Greatest Individual MLB All-Star Performances in History
With the 2013 MLB All-Star Game just a week away, we're paying tribute to some of the greatest individual All-Star Game performances in MLB history.
Dating all the way back to 1934, I've dug up some of the best performances in baseball's Midsummer Classic.
Some of the biggest names in baseball history shined brightest when representing their league in the ASG, and this article is all about paying tribute to those who played at the highest level against the best competition.
Reggie Jackson, 1971
You may know Reggie Jackson for his years with the New York Yankees and his tumultuous relationship with Billy Martin and other key members of the pinstripes, but his two-run blast in the 1971 All-Star Game is unforgettable.
In the third inning, Jackson stepped up to the plate for the AL and hit what's probably the longest home run in MLB history, as his two-run jack traveled a reported distance of 532 feet, according to ESPN's Home Run Tracker.
While this was the 25-year-old's lone at-bat of the game, we're certainly not going to discount the fact that he launched a home run 500-plus feet and likely holds the record for the longest homer in MLB history.
Jackson was voted to 14 All-Star games, won five World Series championships and won the AL MVP in 1973, but true baseball fans still remember Reggie for his colossal blast in the 1971 ASG.
Willie McCovey, 1969
The 1969 campaign saw San Francisco Giants first baseman Willie McCovey put together his best season as a pro, as he finished the year with a .320 average to go with 45 homers and 126 RBI in a season that saw him win the NL MVP award.
Even after 18 big league seasons, McCovey still had the talent to win the NL Comeback Player of the Year award, as he accomplished the feat in 1977 and went on to play three more seasons after that for a total of 22 MLB seasons.
McCovey's performance at RFK Stadium at the 1969 All-Star Game was much like his regular season performance that year. The lefty went 2-for-4 with two home runs, three RBI and two runs scored as the NL cruised to a 9-3 win.
All in all, McCovey was voted to six All-Star games and was a three-time NL HR champion, but his most memorable performance in an All-Star game came in 1969.
Pedro Martinez, 1999
As the starter for the American League in the 1999 All-Star Game, Pedro Martinez certainly proved worthy before his home crowd at Fenway Park.
Martinez pitched two innings, struck out five hitters and didn't allow a single hitter to reach base. The righty threw a total of 28 pitches—19 of them for strikes.
The feat is even more impressive when you consider the players he struck out—Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Jeff Bagwell—the same year that McGwire and Sosa hit more than 60 long balls each.
If it wasn't for an error by Roberto Alomar, Martinez would have pitched a perfect two innings.
Nonetheless, we tip our hat to him for his incredible performance in 1999, a season in which he would go on to win his second of three Cy Young awards.
Carl Hubbell, 1934
One year after winning the NL MVP award, Carl Hubbell again impressed the baseball world, this time before the crowd at the Polo Grounds in the 1934 All-Star Game.
Although the NL would go on to lose the game 9-7, that loss can't be traced to the left-handed pitcher.
Hubbell started for the NL, pitching three innings and only allowing two hits while fanning six hitters. More importantly, it's about who Hubbell struck out that makes this one of the best performances in ASG history.
How about five future Hall of Famers to begin the game?
Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Joe Cronin and Jimmie Foxx all fanned against Hubbell in consecutive at-bats to start the game, as the two-time NL MVP surrendered zero earned runs in his three innings of work.
Ted Williams, 1946
As Ted Williams usually did throughout his 19-year career, the left-handed hitter put on an absolute hitting clinic at the 1946 All-Star Game, which was coincidentally at Fenway Park before the home crowd.
As arguably the game's greatest hitter, Williams went 4-for-4 for the AL, hitting two homers and driving in five runs while scoring four runs of his own. Williams went on to win the AL MVP award that same year—one of two in his Hall of Fame career.
Williams' outburst at the plate was part of a day that saw the AL drub the NL by a score of 12-0.
Charlie Keller went deep in that game and drove in two runs, but ultimately, Williams stole the show.