First Pitch: 7:00 PM Central
Weather: 83℉, sunny, 7 mph winds
Web: MLB All-Star Game
The two leagues will match up head-to-head for the 92nd iteration of the MLB All-Star game tonight at Dodger Stadium. The first was held before 47,595 patrons in July 1933 at Comiskey Park in Chicago, where the AL beat the NL 4-2 behind a two-run home run from Babe Ruth and six combined shutout innings from future Hall of Famers Lefty Gomez (win) and Lefty Grove (save). Gomez, for his part, also drove in a run with a base hit in his only plate appearance.
You might be trying to do the math to figure out how we’re about to witness the 92nd All-Star game in 2022 (and not 2025, as 1933 plus 92 would suggest). This is because from 1959 to 1962, two All-Star Games were played per season as a way to increase the amount of money going into the players’ pension fund. Additionally, the mid-summer classic was not played in 1945 and 2020 due to World War 2 and a global pandemic, respectively.
Like that first All-Star Game, the American League has emerged victorious in the majority of these contests and it enters tonight with a 46-43 advantage over the National Leaguers. For those again trying to do the math, two All-Star Games have ended in ties — 2002 most infamously, but also the second All-Star Game of 1961. That exhibition was called off after nine innings with the score knotted at one because of rain.
Given the location and weather forecast, there is next to no chance that this All-Star Game will be called off due to rain. And, thanks to a negotiated detail in the new collective bargaining agreement, there is now no chance that the game will end in a tie. Better still — I’m not talking about ManfredBall.
Starting tonight, if the All-Star Game is tied after nine innings of play, the winner will be decided by a home run derby. Each side will pick three players that will each get three swings to hit as many homers as they can. The side with the greatest combined total of dingers will be declared the winners of the All-Star Game. In the event of a tie, each manager shall select one of the participating players to take three swings to break the tie. This head-to-head format will continue until the tie is broken.
In terms of the Minnesota Twins and the All-Star Game, Byron Buxton and Luis Arráez will be making their All-Star debuts. They are the 60th and 61st Twins to be named All-Stars.
The large majority (37) of the Minnesota representatives have been single-timers. Eleven players have gone twice, three have earned nods three times, and four have garnered four. Six Twins — Rod Carew (12), Harmon Killebrew (11), Kirby Puckett (10), Tony Oliva (8), Joe Mauer (6), and Earl Battey (5) — have been named All-Stars more than four times while with the franchise.
Of course, being named to the game multiple times is hardly a prerequisite for making memorable All-Star moments. For instance, Brian Dozier homered in his only All-Star at-bat back in 2015:
Dozier’s home run puts him in company with Killebrew and Puckett as the only Twins to hit homers in the All-Star game. Killebrew, naturally, remains the franchise leader with three such occurrences. Puckett launched his only All-Star homer as part of an all-around effort that resulted in the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award in 1993:
Not all of the Twins' big All-Star moments have come with the bat, though. Torii Hunter’s most famous home run robbery came in the aforementioned 2002 All-Star game in Milwaukee.
And in 2014, with Minneapolis and Target Field serving as the host for the All-Star festivities, left-hander Glen Perkins closed out a 5-3 American League victory in front of his home crowd:
Now, Buxton and Arráez will look to add their feats to the list of memorable All-Star Game moments in their first opportunities. Buxton will start in Center Field and bat sixth for AL manager Dusty Baker. Arráez will begin the game on the bench but figures to find himself and his league-leading .338 batting average at the plate soon enough.
The rest of the AL lineup and Brian Snitker’s opposing NL team will start the game like this:
This being an exhibition, most of these starting players will take a plate appearance or two, and the starting pitchers will probably toss an inning before the bevy of star-studded reinforcements takes over. Come enjoy the game with us!
For our discussion tonight, what is your favorite Twins All-Star Game memory? What are you most looking forward to in tonight’s game?