The National League won its third straight MLB All-Star game in an 8-0 demolition of the American League. It’s one of the largest margins of victory in All-Star game history, but where does it rank among the most embarrassing?
The National League leads the all-time series 43-38-2, and many of those games have been very close games. Since 1933, 26 games have been decided by just one run, and 22 have been decided by two. There’s no shame in losing a close All-Star game, but getting blown out is a completely different story.
The teams are supposed to showcase the best talent in each league, and true dominance shows in the box score. There’s no escaping that.
Here are the 10 most embarrassing blowouts in All-Star game history.
The National League was riding a six-game winning streak going into the 1969 All-Star Game and wasn’t looking for that to end.
The NL All-Stars scored at least one run in the first four innings of the game to take a commanding 9-3 lead.
Johnny Bench hit a two-run home run in the second inning, and then the NL erupted for five in the third inning behind a two-run home run by Willie McCovey (MVP), a two-run double by Felix Millan and then an RBI double by pitcher Steve Carlton. McCovey would hit a solo shot in the fourth for the NL's ninth run.
The AL All-Stars only managed six hits off the NL pitchers and just two after the sixth inning. Phil Niekro struck out two batters in the ninth inning to pick up the save and secure the seventh straight win for the NL.
Riding a five-game win streak heading into the 1993 All-Star Game, the American League looked to make it six in a row at Camden Yards.
The National League took a quick lead with a two-run home run by Gary Sheffield off Mark Langston in the first inning. Kirby Puckett (MVP) would narrow the gap in the second inning with a solo shot. Roberto Alomar would add a home run in the third inning to tie the game, 2-2.
The AL would pounce on the NL in the fifth and sixth innings behind big hits by Albert Belle, Ken Griffey Jr. and Puckett. The AL would also score twice on a pair of wild pitches by John Smoltz.
Barry Bonds and Sheffield notched two hits apiece in the game, but the NL couldn’t score off the combination of Jeff Montgomery, Rick Aguilera and Duane Ward in the final three innings, losing 9-3.
After going winless in the three previous Midsummer Classics, the National League looked to pitcher Bucky Walters to change its luck. On the American League's side was Hank Borowy, who had the daunting task of trying to keep Stan Musial off the bases.
The AL got on the board first when Borowy hit a single to center field off Walters to score Ken Keltner. The NL would take its first lead of the game in the fifth inning when it scored four times. It would add three insurance runs, two in the seventh and one in the eighth, to hold a 7-1 lead.
AL batters would go hitless in the final four innings and couldn’t get anything off the duo of Rip Sewell and Jim Tobin. The NL would win 7-1 behind the strong pitching and hitting of Borowy.
The 1944 All-Star Game was the final time Joe McCarthy (pictured) managed in the showcase.
During this time period, the National League rarely lost to the American League, and the result in 1973 was no different. The NL roster was stacked with big-name players such as Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench and Hank Aaron. It also had Willie Mays coming off the bench.
AL pitchers Catfish Hunter and Ken Holtzman held the NL lineup scoreless through two innings, but the pitching staff blew out thereafter. Bert Blyleven and Nolan Ryan each allowed two runs, while Bill Singer allowed three, all over the course of five relief innings.
Bobby Bonds (MVP) hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to extend the NL’s lead from two to four. The NL pitching staff, led by the likes of Don Sutton and Tom Seaver among others, only allowed one hit past the fourth inning.
The National League would keep rolling three years later in the 1976 All-Star Game, winning 7-1. The American League pitching staff was horrendous, as three of the four pitchers who appeared allowed at least two earned runs.
Steve Garvey and George Foster (MVP) would each drive in runs in the first inning, and then Foster would connect with a two-run home run in the third inning to give the NL a 4-0 lead. Fred Lynn would answer with a home run off Tom Seaver in the next inning, but that’s all the AL would manage to get.
The NL would score three more insurance runs in the eighth inning behind an RBI single by Ken Griffey Sr. that was followed up by a two-run home run by Cesar Cedeno. The NL pitching staff was great, only allowing the lone Lynn home run while striking out five over the course of the nine-inning contest.
From 1959 through 1962, MLB held two All-Star Games per season. In 1960, the National League took both of them with scores of 5-3 and 6-0. Let’s look into how the 6-0 NL victory went.
The NL pitching staff wasn’t very good at all, giving up eight hits and walking six, but the AL lineup couldn’t score off them for some reason. Eddie Mathews would crush a two-run home run in the second inning, and then Willie Mays connected with a solo shot the following inning.
Stan Musial would hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, and then Ken Boyer hit a two-run deep ball to give the NL a 6-0 lead. The four players to come to the plate in the ninth inning—Nellie Fox, Brooks Robinson, Al Kaline and Roger Maris—couldn’t start a rally as the AL again lost to the NL.
Whitey Ford (pictured) was awful, allowing three earned runs on two home runs over three innings while taking the loss.
The dominance of the National League was slowly coming to an end, and the 1996 All-Star Game would be the last time the NL would win for a long, long time.
Barry Bonds kicked off the scoring in the first with an RBI groundout. The NL got its second run the next inning with a Mike Piazza home run, and a Henry Rodriguez single later in the frame gave it a 3-0 lead.
Piazza would drive in the NL’s fourth run in the third inning with a double off Chuck Finley. A Ken Caminiti bomb and then an RBI groundout by Craig Biggio gave the NL a 6-0 lead after the sixth inning.
John Smoltz picked up the win for the NL, going two scoreless innings, and the eight relievers used by Bobby Cox were also very good. They only gave up five hits after Smoltz and struck out four batters without walking anyone. Piazza (MVP) was the hero with his home run and two RBI.
Here’s where the 2012 All-Star Game ranks, as the National League pounded the American League, 8-0. The NL erupted for a five-run first inning, as Justin Verlander, normally good (Chris Berman voice), couldn’t stop the hot bats of the NL.
Ryan Braun doubled in Melky Cabrera (MVP) to score the first run of the game, and then Pablo Sandoval hit a bases-clearing three-run triple to really open some eyes in the AL dugout. Sandoval would then score on an infield single by Dan Uggla.
An RBI single by Matt Holliday in the fourth inning added to the NL’s lead, and then a Cabrera two-run shot would put this game out of reach.
The NL pitchers, all 11 of them, were virtually flawless. The AL lineup was an embarrassment as it dropped its third straight game. These games count for home-field advantage, and the AL can’t afford to keep losing them. The AL left eight men on base. At least score a run.
Talk about an onslaught handed to the National League by the American League in the 1983 All-Star Game. Mario Soto allowed runs in each of the first two innings, and then in came Atlee Hammaker. 1983 was easily the best season of his career, but this game might have been his worst.
Jim Rice started the third inning with a solo home run. George Brett followed with a triple and later scored on a single by Dave Winfield. Rod Carew would single in Winfield, and late in the inning, Fred Lynn (MVP) would connect for a grand slam. Hammaker allowed seven runs on six hits in just 0.2 innings. That’s horrendous.
Dave Stieb got the win for the AL, throwing three innings where he allowed an unearned run and struck out four without giving up a hit. Rick Honeycutt was just a minor speed bump for the AL, giving up two runs, but the AL relievers wouldn’t allow anything else as they blew out the NL.
The 1946 is my pick for the most embarrassing blowout in All-Star Game history, and it’s actually a pretty interesting story. In 1945, the All-Star game wasn’t played due to World War II despite each league’s roster being announced. The American League saved up those runs they couldn’t score the previous season for the 1946 Midsummer Classic.
Played at Fenway Park, the AL struck first with a two-run home run by Charlie Keller that scored Ted Williams. Williams would hit a home run of his own in the fourth inning and then play a role in a three-run fifth. Williams would hit his second home run of the game in the eighth inning, when the AL scored four more times for a 12-0 lead.
The AL would use just Bob Feller, Hal Newhouser and Jack Kramer to pick up the victory as they secured the largest margin of victory in All-Star game history. The trio would only allowed three hits and one walk while striking out 10 NL batters.
This easily goes as the most embarrassing blowout in All-Star game history.