2004 All-Star Game

The 75 th Midsummer Classic will always be remembered not for WHAT happened, but for WHAT DIDN'T happen. As with most All-Star events, pre-game hype was at an all time high and the sports media could not have asked for a better itinerary of events to cover. The recently "un" retired Roger Clemens dominated the headlines and his hometown crowd of Houston Astros fans were more than anxious to witness their "favorite son" make history. At age forty-one (41), Clemens had become the oldest pitcher ever to start an All-Star Game and had recently completed a phenomenal first-half of the season. A veteran of the Classic, Roger had dominated for the American League in all eight of his previous All-Star appearances. During that time, he faced forty (40) hitters and had given up a total of one (1) extra-base hit (a 1991 home run to Andre Dawson). Ironically, catcher Mike Piazza, who had a long-standing feud with "The Rocket," also started behind the plate for the National League. Both men stated that they had put the past behind them, but many doubted that this was true.

In the opening ceremonies, American icon Muhammad Ali helped toss out a ceremonial first-pitch and Hall of Fame great Nolan Ryan "coached" one lucky fan to a million dollars in a Taco Bell sponsored pitching contest. Little did the fans at Minute Maid Park know that would be the ONLY quality pitching they would witness until the second inning. Almost immediately after taking the mound, Clemens ran into trouble. Speed, control and consensus on pitches with his catcher were obviously lacking and before they knew it, the National League was down 6-0.

Catcher Ivan Rodriguez ignited the American League's rally after tagging an RBI triple. Then, Boston's Manny Ramirez knocked out a two-run home run giving his teammates an immediate 3-0 lead. With two outs, Jason Giambi reached base on a rare Jeff Kent error, and after Derek Jeter singled to left, game MVP Alfonso Soriano cleared the bases with a first-pitch home run to left field that gave the American League a huge advantage. Both Clemens and the crowd appeared in shock after he had surrendered more runs in the first inning, than he had ever given up in his entire All-Star career to date. Although he was throwing on only two-days rest, "The Rocket" refused to accept that as an excuse and took full responsibility as he walked back to the clubhouse. Unfortunately many fans, as well as members of the media, would later pose rumors of a "conspiracy theory" after Clemens appeared to shake off a few pitches called by "his rival" leading up to the Ramirez home run.

The surprise opening marked only the second time that an All-Star team had scored six runs in a single frame as well as the most runs scored by a team since the American League tallied a record seven runs in the third inning of the '83 Classic. As a result, skipper Jack McKeon was forced to change his entire game plan after the starting right-hander threw thirty-five (35) pitches in the first inning debacle. The sudden shuffle appeared to prevent the National League from establishing a rhythm and they continued to struggle throughout the contest.

Little improved for National League favoring crowd of 41,886 either until the fourth inning when the Nationals managed to score three runs off of Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia. First Jeff Kent knocked a two-out single, followed by a base hit by Carlos Beltran. Edgar Renteria sent Kent home with a ground-rule double down the left-field line, and two more runs scored on a double by Albert Pujols.

Not to be outdone, David Ortiz added a third home run for the American League in the sixth with a two-run shot that increased the American's lead to five. Starter Mark Mulder was credited with the win after holding the National League to one run over two innings of work, although being staked to a 6-0 lead didn't hurt the Oakland ace's chances either. Along the way, Mulder retired Barry Bonds on a routine fly ball to center field, which pleased him nearly as much as getting the win. When America League reliever Esteban Loaiza walked Barry Bonds later in the game, the sellout crowd showered him with boos.

Perhaps the most exciting performances on the mound took place only after the game had been clearly decided. Fans in attendance were treated to a real "pitcher's duel" put on by two of the game's greatest. Eric Gagne, who had recently set an all-time record for most consecutive saves (84) completed the Nationals effort and Mariano Rivera, the most successful post-season closer in history, ended the game. Still using the "it counts" concept (disputed by the Players Union), the American League walked away with a 9-4 victory and their second consecutive home field advantage going into the 2004 World Series.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"He's (Roger Clemens) been a warrior, and sometimes it happens to the best of them. He's a premium pitcher and just had a bad first inning. What are you going to do?" - National League All-Star Manager Jack McKeon (July 14, 2004, Post Game Press Conference)

2004 All-Star Game

2004 All-Star Game Program : Roger Clemens Edition
2004 All-Star Official Program
Roger Clemens Edition
2004 All-Star Game Program : Nolan Ryan Edition
2004 All-Star Official Program
Nolan Ryan Edition

2003 | 2004 Major League Baseball All-Star Game | 2005

Game Number
75
Date / Box Score
Location
Minute Maid Park
Attendance ( Rank )
41,886
The Star Spangled Banner
God Bless America
Undetermined
1 st Pitch
From
To
Jamie Caro (Salvation Army)
Jacob Hobbs (Boys & Girls Club)
Starting Pitchers
Managers
Jack McKeon
Coaches
Undetermined
Undetermined
Undetermined
Undetermined
Undetermined
Undetermined

2004 All Star Game

Line Score

League 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
American 6 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 9 14 0
National 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 9 1
Mark Mulder (W)
Esteban Loiaza (3 rd )
C.C. Sabathia (4 th )
Javier Vazquez (H, 5 th )
Ted Lilly (6 th)
Joe Nathan (7 th )
Tom Gordon (8 th )
Francisco Rodriguez (8 th )
Mariano Rivera (9 th )
Roger Clemens (L)
Danny Kolb (2 nd )
Randy Johnson (3 rd )
Carlos Zambrano (4 th )
Carl Pavano (5 th )
Tom Glavine (7 th )
Ben Sheets (8 th )
Eric Gagne (9 th )
-
Manny Ramirez (1 st )
Alfonso Soriano (1 st )
David Ortiz (6 th )
None
-
-

2004 All-Star Game

American League All-Star Squad

Ron Belliard (1) Cleveland Indians 2B
Hank Blalock (2) Texas Rangers 3B
Francisco Cordero (1) Texas Rangers RP
Carl Crawford (1) Tampa Bay Devil Rays OF
6. Jason Giambi (5) New York Yankees 1B
Tom Gordon (2) New York Yankees RP
3. Vladimir Guerrero (5) Anaheim Angels OF
Carlos Guillen (1) Detroit Tigers SS
Ken Harvey (1) Kansas City Royals 1B
Tim Hudson (2) Oakland Athletics SP Replaced - Injury
7. Derek Jeter (6) New York Yankees SS
Matt Lawton (2) Cleveland Indians OF
Ted Lilly (1) Toronto Blue Jays SP
Esteban Loaiza (2) Chicago White Sox SP
Victor Martinez (1) Cleveland Indians C
Hideki Matsui (2) New York Yankees OF Final Man
9. Mark Mulder (2) Oakland Athletics SP Starting Pitcher
Joe Nathan (1) Minnesota Twins RP
David Ortiz (1) Boston Red Sox 1B
4. Manny Ramirez (8) Boston Red Sox OF
Mariano Rivera (6) New York Yankees RP
5. Alex Rodriguez (7) New York Yankees SS
Francisco Rodriguez (1) Anaheim Angels RP
2. Ivan Rodriguez (11) Detroit Tigers C
Kenny Rogers (2) Texas Rangers SP
C.C. Sabathia (1) Cleveland Indians SP
Curt Schilling (6) Boston Red Sox SP Replaced - Injury
Gary Sheffield (8) New York Yankees OF
8. Alfonso Soriano (3) Texas Rangers 2B
1. Ichiro Suzuki (4) Seattle Mariners OF
Miguel Tejada (2) Baltimore Orioles SS
Javier Vazquez (1) New York Yankees SP Replaced Hudson
Jake Westbrook (1) Cleveland Indians SP Replaced Schilling
Michael Young (1) Texas Rangers SS
BOLD = Fan's choice to start the game (Manager chooses pitchers).

2004 All-Star Game

National League All-Star Squad

Bobby Abreu (1) Philadelphia Phillies OF Final Man
Moises Alou (5) Chicago Cubs OF
Carlos Beltran (1) Houston Astros OF Replaced Griffey
Armando Benitez (2) Florida Marlins RP
7. Lance Berkman (3) Houston Astros OF
3. Barry Bonds (13) San Francisco Giants OF
Miguel Cabrera (1) Florida Marlins OF
Sean Casey (3) Cincinnati Reds 1B Replaced - Injury
9. Roger Clemens (10) Houston Astros SP Starting Pitcher
Johnny Estrada (1) Atlanta Braves C
Eric Gagne (3) Los Angeles Dodgers RP
Tom Glavine (9) New York Mets SP
Danny Graves (2) Cincinnati Reds RP
Ken Griffey, Jr. (12) Cincinnati Reds OF Replaced - Injury
Todd Helton (5) Colorado Rockies 1B
Livan Hernandez (1) Montreal Expos SP
Randy Johnson (10) Arizona Diamondbacks SP
8. Jeff Kent (4) Houston Astros 2B
Danny Kolb (1) Milwaukee Brewers RP
Barry Larkin (12) Cincinnati Reds SS
Paul Lo Duca (2) Los Angeles Dodgers C Replaced Casey
Mark Loretta (1) San Diego Padres 2B
Mike Lowell (3) Florida Marlins 3B
Carl Pavano (1) Florida Marlins SP
6. Mike Piazza (10) New York Mets C
2. Albert Pujols (3) St. Louis Cardinals 1B
1. Edgar Renteria (4) St. Louis Cardinals SS
4. Scott Rolen (3) St. Louis Cardinals 3B
Jason Schmidt (2) San Francisco Giants SP
Ben Sheets (2) Milwaukee Brewers SP
5. Sammy Sosa (7) Chicago Cubs OF
Jim Thome (4) Philadelphia Phillies 1B
Jack Wilson (1) Pittsburgh Pirates SS
Carlos Zambrano (1) Chicago Cubs SP

BOLD = Fan's choice to start the game (Manager chooses pitchers).

Game / Box Links: 2004 Box Score | 2004 Play-by-Play
Navigation: Previous Classic | Next Classic

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A single (by Derek Jeter ), a double (by Ichiro Suzuki ), a triple (by Ivan Rodriguez ), and a home run (by Manny Ramirez ) in the top of the first inning made history as the American League became the first All-Star team to hit for the cycle during the same inning.

The Commissioner of Baseball ( Bud Selig ) said his idea to award home field advantage in the World Series to the league that captures the Midsummer Classic has been quite successful and planned on asking the Player's Union to extend the two-year trial put in place during the 2003 All-Star Game . How do you feel about the plan? Read some opinions below & share yours on Baseball Fever .

"What Bud Selig wants to do, he wants the fans to come out and watch a meaningful game. But as far as having something like that determine home-field advantage, I'm not crazy about it." - New York Yankees Manager Joe Torre

"This does mean something. Even a group of players talked to me after the Milwaukee game (a 7-7 tie that was called two years ago after 11 innings) and said they were in favor of the idea. (Former Cubs third baseman) Ron Santo called just to tell me he loved it." - Commissioner Bud Selig

"I guess I'm in the middle on it. I'm not totally for it and I'm not totally against it. I think there are other options that we need to sit down and talk about. I'm a big proponent of letting the regular season schedule decide (home-field advantage). I don't deny it one bit that it's added a little intrigue to the game. But I don't want to just be of the mindset that this is something we agreed to and we're going to do it forever." - New York Mets Pitcher Tom Glavine

"It's nice to have something riding on the game. You could notice that there was incentive. Guys were giving it their all. In baseball, you really have to give your all. Pitchers aren't going to ease up, hitters aren't going to swing easier even if it's an exhibition game. When there's a little bit riding on the game, people seem to concentrate that much more." - San Diego Padres Second Baseman Mark Loretta

Did you know that the 2004 All-Star Game is seen by thirty million people in the United States and in excess of one-hundred million people around the world? Did you also know that it's viewed in two-hundred twenty countries and translated into at least twelve different languages? Those numbers were quoted from Major League Baseball Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan in an official Press Release put out by Major League Baseball on April 21, 2004.

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