The All-Star game. The everyone-teaming-up-with-bitter-rivals game. The one that “matters now.” (And don’t you forget it! Thanks for the ever-so-inconspicuous reminders, Fox.)
But regardless of whether you’re #TeamShouldCount or #TeamShouldn’tCount, you have to admit, the All-Star Game is, simply put, pretty cool.
Once the broadcast starts and the teams line up along the first and third baselines to be announced, one by one, all that matters are the moments this night creates.
By now I’m sure you all know what happened. (If you don’t, the National League won. Prince Fielder hit a bomb, a few more runs scored, and our favorite Red went 0-1 and still snagged a post-game interview. Oh, and the Bearded Wonder from SanÂ Francisco got the save.)
Really, though, the All-Star Game is about creating moments — for both the players and for the fans. And this night had plenty of them.
The first was of the tear-jerking variety, as tribute was paid to the Arizona shooting victims from earlier this year. Special attention was called to little Christina Taylor Green and a moment of silence was held before the proceedings began.
Kudos to Major League Baseball for taking the time to remember and reflect.
But everyone was there for the baseball, so let’s get to it.
Never fails, watching the players line up to have their names called as members of the American or National league teams always gets to me. Despite the last minute flip flopping andÂ suspiciousÂ cop-outs, the field was full of stars thrilledÂ to have that moment, and they were soaking it all in.
Of course, once the Cardinal All-Stars were announced, my attention was fully focused on them. Lance Berkaman was his usual chatty self, caught on camera more than once gabbing with whomever was in ear shot! This personable side of him is what has made LB such a great teammate to our Cardinals this year!
Matt Holliday isn’t the boldest personality on the team, but even he couldn’t hold back the grin. The home run derby disappointment couldn’t keep the kid in him from living up another All-Star experience! After spending some time injured, it’s nice to see Matty just enjoying himself.
And Yadier Molina. Oh, Yadi … who doesn’t love him? As soon as he was introduced at the start of the game, the Cardinal Twitterverse erupted withÂ simultaneousÂ “YADI!” tweets. We sure are lucky to have a superstar catcher as committed to this game — and his team — as Yadi is.
We really had three of the most likable All-Stars there could possibly be!
And they weren’t just silent observers.
Berkman did the LBfanClub proud, first with a running catch in right field (not as impressive as Jose Bautista’s sliding snag in foul territory, though!) and a single up the middle — the first hit of the game. Of course, being followed by his teammate was almost instantly a curse. Runner on first for the Cardinals? Less than two outs? Well, isn’t this a convenient time for our team-favorite double play?!
It was a strike ’em out, throw ’em out DP as Berkman was called out on the steal.
Oh well. I guess not all “moments” are magical?
Not to worry, though. There was plenty of magic yet to come.
Possibly my favorite moment of the night came courtesy of Yadi and former Cardinal Chris Perez. Chris came on in relief, and Yadi was up for his first plate appearance. After a quick tip of the hat from Yadi towards the mound, the Cardinal All-Star blastedÂ a first-pitch double that missed the top of the wall by inches. And when the camera checked back in with Perez, he had the goofiest, “Yeah, okay, you would do that to me right now!” grin on his face. It was classic! If you missed it, check it out and see for yourself.
In a not-so-Cardinals-related moment, Heath Bell reminded fans — myself included! — why baseball players are just so great. Between his chat with a young fan in the front row, to giving the kid his Yoda backpack, to his mad sprint from the bullpen (and the ensuing feet-first slide towards the mound!), he proved that this exhibition game really is a blast to participate in. Oh yeah, and he pitched pretty well, too. Think he has any interest in St. Louis?
But the moment of the night belonged to the one and only, Stan the Man. Yes, fans, we did it — Stan’s home run in the 1955 Midsummer Classic was named the Greatest Moment in All-Star History. Well deserved, of course. Congrats, Stan!
Tara is a contributing writer for St. Louis Cardinals baseball coverage at Aaron Milesâ€™ Fastball. Follower her on Twitter @tarawellman