Yankees captain goes out in style; Angels superstar wins All-Star MVP Award
By Roger Schlueter
On July 11, 1978, in San Diego, Giants left-hander Vida Blue -- honored with the starting assignment for the National League in the 49th All-Star Game -- immediately faced the unenviable task of trying to keep leadoff hitter Rod Carew off the bases.
As many pitchers did around this time, Blue failed, surrendering a triple to the lefty-swinging hitter, who just a year before had made a run at hitting .400. With Carew at third, George Brett -- who, in 1980, would replicate Carew's chase for a .400 season -- doubled against Blue and later scored to give the American League a 2-0 advantage in the first inning.
The dynamic duo would be at it again in the third, with Carew opening the inning with a triple and Brett again driving him in, this time on a sacrifice fly. Brett would later single, and although the AL lost for the seventh straight time, those two at the top of the Junior Circuit's starting lineup had done something no other teammates hitting first and second in an All-Star Game had ever done: each had at least two hits, each had at least one extra-base hit, and each scored at least one run.
Derek Jeter and Mike Trout, with their performances in Minnesota on Tuesday night, joined those two AL icons.
Captain goes out in style
In the 85th All-Star Game, the AL fell a single shy of hitting for the cycle while jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, and it eventually came away with a 5-3 victory.
Jeter -- an All-Star for the 14th time -- led off for the AL and went 2-for-2 with a first-inning double and a single in the third. With the effort, Jeter finished his All-Star career with 13 hits in 27 at-bats (he's totaled 29 plate appearances) for a .481 career average.
There are 51 players who have collected at least 25 plate appearances in the Midsummer Classic. Among that group, Jeter's .481 mark is second to Charlie Gehringer's .500 (10-for-20 in 29 plate appearances).
No. 2 ranks No. 2
Derek Jeter ranks second in batting average among players with at least 25 All-Star plate appearances.
Ken Griffey, Jr.
• Jeter concluded his All-Star career tied for fifth all-time in hits, with those 13. The top four are Willie Mays (23), Stan Musial (20), Ted Williams (14) and Nellie Fox (14). At 13, Jeter is tied with Billy Herman, Hank Aaron, Brooks Robinson, Dave Winfield and Cal Ripken, Jr.
• Jeter became the 18th player with at least three multihit games in All-Star play (Mays leads with six). The others to have at least three as AL representatives: Gehringer, Fox, Robinson, Ken Griffey Jr. (each of these four with four), Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Carew, Brett and Ivan Rodriguez (all with three).
• Jeter became the 26th leadoff hitter to have an All-Star Game with at least two hits and a run scored, and he was one of 15 to also have an extra-base hit as part of the line. Among this group of 15, Jeter was the first since J.D. Drew in 2008 to do this, the first shortstop since Jose Reyes in '07, and the first AL shortstop since Dick McAuliffe in 1965.
• At 40 years and 19 days old, Jeter became the oldest player in All-Star history with a multihit game. He surpassed Yastrzemski, who was 39 years and 329 days old in 1979, when he had two singles. The previous oldest player with at least two hits and one going for extra bases had been Babe Ruth, who was 38 years and 150 days old in 1933, when he homered and singled.
Trout is game's big fish
Trout, at 22 years and 342 days old, tripled, doubled, drove in two runs, scored one and won the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet.
Some tidbits regarding his line:
• Trout is one of 20 players in All-Star Game history with at least two extra-base hits and two RBIs (the NL's Jonathan Lucroy also did this Tuesday -- more on him in a bit); Trout is the third youngest of the collection. Griffey Jr. was 22 years and 236 days old when he went 3-for-3 with a double, homer and two RBIs in a 13-6 victory in 1992. In the AL's 7-5 win in 1941, Williams -- 22 years and 312 days old at the time -- had doubled and had one RBI before his three-run walk-off homer in the ninth capped his day. The oldest player with at least two extra-base hits was Lou Gehrig, who was 34 years and 18 days old in 1937 when he doubled, homered and drove in four.
• Trout was the 10th AL player to post two extra-base hits and two RBIs, and the first to do it since Garret Anderson in 2003. The others: Earl Averill (1934), Gehrig ('37), Williams ('41 and '46), Al Rosen ('54), Griffey Jr. ('92), Kirby Puckett ('93) and Paul Konerko (2002).
Tigers roar for AL
In addition to Cabrera hitting the game's only home run, his Tigers teammate Max Scherzer came away with the win.
Scherzer was the fourth Tigers pitcher to record an All-Star victory, and the first since Jim Bunning in 1957 (Bunning started and hurled three perfect innings). Before Bunning, reliever Tommy Bridges picked up the victory in '39, and reliever Virgil Trucks got a win in '49.
Cabrera was the 13th Tigers player to homer in the All-Star Game, and the third to do it as the AL's cleanup hitter. His two predecessors in this latter lens: Al Kaline in 1960 and Rocky Colavito in '62. Before Cabrera, no Tigers player had homered in an All-Star Game since Lou Whitaker in '86. The only other Tigers first baseman to go yard in the Midsummer Classic was Rudy York in '42.
Here and there
• The all-time record now stands at 43 wins for the NL, 40 for the AL. There were ties in the second game played in 1961 and in 2002. Since Fred Lynn's grand slam in 1983 helped his league snap an 11-game losing streak to the Senior Circuit, the AL has won 22 of 32, and since 1997, has gone 14-3-1.
• As mentioned, Lucroy became one of 20 players in All-Star history to have at least two extra-base hits and two RBIs. The other NL players to accomplish the feat were Arky Vaughan (1941), Ernie Banks ('60), Willie McCovey ('69), Bobby Bonds ('73), Gary Carter ('81), Mike Schmidt ('81), Mike Piazza ('96), Andruw Jones (2003) and Albert Pujols ('04).
• Eleven AL pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts and one walk. The line marked the fifth time in All-Star Game history a league collected at least 13 K's, with the one walk marking the second-lowest total of free passes among the five. In 1967, five AL pitchers -- Dean Chance, Jim McGlothlin, Gary Peters, Al Downing and Catfish Hunter -- combined for 13 strikeouts and no walks in a 15-inning, 2-1 loss.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.