This year's edition of the MLB All-Star festivities was held in Phoenix, Arizona at Chase Field and just like every one, this year's events were surely something to watch.
Simply put, we had a wide range of entertainment.
Baseball fans were treated to a slugfest of a home run derby, a couple of fan-inspired oddities, and even an unusual celebrity appearance that left everybody laughing.
From the epic-ness of Brian Wilson to the swagger of Rickey Henderson, 2011's extravaganza had a little something for new and old school fans.
Here are the top ten moments of the 2011 All-Star festivities.
Did anyone else notice that a Pittsburgh Pirate was tabbed to close out the mid-summer classic?
I don't know which sight is more bizarre...a Pittsburgh Pirate coming on to end the All-Star Game or an actual pirate coming on to end the All-Star Game.
Either way, Bruce Bochy bringing out Joel Hanrahan to end a game with home-field advantage implications was extremely bold. Yes the National League held a comfortable four run lead and he didn't actually record the final out. And yes, Hanrahan has been nothing but lights out this season.
But the manager of the reigning World Series Champions put the fate of the All-Star Game into the hands of a first-time selection from the Pirates.
Even though it didn't happen, seeing a Pittsburgh Pirate shaking hands with the National League catcher after the third out in the ninth inning would have been rare to say the least.
Not a lot of people saw this, but Rickey Henderson gave us a bit of a flashback in the Celebrity Softball Game.
Rickey, in his usual fashion, led off the game with a homer to right. He then proceeded to jog the bases only like Rickey can.
It may not have mattered, but watching Rickey do as Rickey does was a golden nugget in this otherwise meaningless event.
It wasn't quite up to the level of the Pedro Martinez performance in 2000, but Halladay's two perfect innings set the tone for an NL-dominated game.
The game's best pitcher sat down some of the league's best hitters--guiding the likes of Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista, and Josh Hamilton back to the crowded American League dugout.
But should we expect anything less from the league's most dominant pitcher?
Brian Wilson. Microphone. Television.
All-Star games are full of both newcomers and the usual suspects. But with this year's event came a load of new faces, especially on the mound.
Managers Ron Washington and Bruce Bochy did an exceptional job of providing these first timers with a heck of an experience by allowing them to toe the rubber. In addition, some much deserved talent received some much deserved exposure on a national stage.
In fact, 74% of the game's pitchers were first-time selections.
Here are the first time All-Stars who pitched in this year's game:
David Robertson (NYY) Tyler Clippard (WSH)
Michael Pineda (SEA) Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
C.J. Wilson (TEX) Jair Jurrjens (ATL)
Jordan Walden (LAA) Craig Kimbrel (ATL)
Chris Perez (CLE) Jonny Venters (ATL)
Brandon League (SEA) Joel Hanrahan (PIT)
Alexi Ogando (TEX)
Gio Gonzalez (OAK)
On a serious note, a Texas Rangers fan fell to his death during a game on July 8th. It was a deeply sad moment for not only the Rangers organization but for all of baseball.
So the thought of another fan falling in another fatal accident during an MLB event was unthinkable.
During this year's State Farm Home Run Derby, a fan attempting to catch a ball hit into the stands nearly tumbled 20 feet to the ground. Fortunately for the eager man, his peers were able to grab hold and drag the man back over the railing. This wise move by that group of men prevented another potentially fatal accident to another MLB fan.
In a promotion for his upcoming film, Justin Timberlake was interviewed by FOX's Mark Grace in the pool area. It was bizarre to say the least as an apparently intoxicated Timberlake made some questionable comments.
Watch as the pop culture star makes his hate of Joe Buck and love of beer known in this unusual interview.
In a game ruled by pitching and defensive, the only blip on the radar was the three-run bomb by the game's MVP Prince Fielder. Milwaukee's first baseman launched a shot to left center off of Texas' C.J. Wilson in the 4th inning and gave the National League a 3-1 lead they would never relinquish.
Fielder may not have won the Home Run Derby, but he may have hit the biggest home run in his career. If the Brewers manage to clinch the National League pennant, they would have home-field advantage in the World Series.
So that one home run from Prince can potentially give the Brew Crew a huge edge if they end up in the fall classic.
Here's another slide dedicated to a fan, this time for a positive reason.
As everyone watched in anticipation for a pool shot, a heroic fan stepped up to the plate and delivered.
In a truly epic moment--the fan jumped, caught a home run ball, landed in the pool, and managed to save some of his beer in the process. If that wasn't enough, he was then congratulated by a group of poolside ladies as he raised his arm in exuberance.
A home run ball, a beer, a highlight, and probably a date?
I think we found our big winner at this year's festivities.
In a thoroughly entertaining edition of baseball's Home Run Derby, the Yankees' Robinson Cano slugged his way to victory. It was a contest full of moon-shots, moon-shoots, and more moon-shots--most of them off the bat of New York's second baseman.
There were so many reasons why this moment was truly a special one.
Like the fierce final round competition between Cano and A-Gon. It was an incredible battle between a Yankee and a Red Sox defined by each team's strength: the long ball. When Gonzalez tied a final round record of 11 homers, we all thought it was over. But sure enough, the Bronx Bomber one-upped the Bean-town slugger and hit a record 12 home runs in the finals.
But the greatest factor in this moment was the father-son combination of Jose and Robinson Cano.
From the backyard of his grandmother's house to a national stage at Chase Field, father Jose Cano tossed pitches to his son Robby in the home run hitting spectacle. Jose, a former major league pitcher for the Houston Astros, never cracked a smile throughout the course of the derby.
However, after Robinson's derby-clinching homer, Jose Cano finally smiled and embraced his son with a huge hug between the mound and home plate.
This moment goes to show that baseball is truly a sacred bond shared by a father and his son.