The Midsummer Classic returned to Yankee Stadium in 2008 for the fourth — and final — time. Yankee Stadium, which hosted the All-Star Game in 1939, 1960 and 1977, will be replaced in 2009 and officials chose Yankee Stadium for the site, believing it to be an appropriate way to usher out the historic ballpark.
A historic ballpark deserved a historic game and the 2008 Midsummer Classic did not disappoint. From start to finish fans witnessed what will go down in history as one of the greatest All-Star Games in Major League history. Pre-game events included a red-carpet parade through New York City, a player introduction ceremony where startes took the field at their position flanked by forty-nine living Hall of Fame players - each lined up at their former position, and a Stealth Bomber fly-over.
The actual game itself was a record-setter as well, lasting four-hours and fifty minutes. Did the House That Ruth Built simply not want to see the legends leave its hollowed grounds? Derek Jeter said following the game, "It seemed like the Stadium didn't want it to end. That's what we were talking about. It just wanted baseball to continute and I thought it was fitting."
MLB.com columnist Bryan Hoch (Night is Young: AL walks off in 15th, 07/16/2008), summed up the game perfectly, "It was a Midsummer Classic — in every sense of the phrase — taking place in a building best known for its immaculate stage. It was the House that Ruth Built, where Lou Gehrig proclaimed himself the luckiest man, where Joe DiMaggio jolted and where Mickey Mantle became an idol to millions. It was where Don Larsen was perfect, where Roger Maris toppled the Babe and where Reggie Jackson forever acquired October with just three swings."
"When you think of Yankee Stadium, it is, in my opinion, the most famous cathedral in all of sports. You think of all the great Yankee teams to play there, the prize fights, the great football games. It's a fitting way to honor the last year of its existence." - Commissioner Bud Selig on MLB.com (Barry M. Bloom, 01/31/2007)
2008 All Star Game
|2008 All-Star Game Capsule|
|N.L. Pitcher(s)||A.L. Pitcher(s)|
Carlos Zambrano (3rd)
Dan Haren (5th, H)
Edinson Volquez (7th, BS)
Brian Wilson (8th, H)
Billy Wagner (8th, BS)
Ryan Dempster (9th)
Aaron Cook (10th)
Carlos Marmol (13th)
Brandon Webb (14th)
Brad Lidge (15th, L)
Joe Saunders (3rd)
Roy Halladay (4th)
Ervin Santana (5th)
Justin Duchscherer (6th)
Joe Nathan (7th)
Jonathan Papelbon (8th)
Francisco Rodriguez (9th)
Mariano Rivera (9th)
Joakim Soria (11th)
George Sherrill (12th)
Scott Kazmir (15th)
|N.L. Home Runs||A.L. Home Runs|
|Matt Holliday (5th)||J.D. Drew (7th)|
2008 All-Star Game
National League All-Star Squad
|3||Lance Berkman (5)||Houston Astros||1B|
|7||Ryan Braun (1)||Milwaukee Brewers||OF|
|Aaron Cook (1)||Colorado Rockies||P|
|Ryan Dempster (2)||Chicago Cubs||P|
|8||KosukeFukudome (1)||Chicago Cubs||OF|
|Adrian Gonzalez (1)||San Diego Padres||1B|
|Cristian Guzman (2)||Washington Senators||SS|
|Dan Haren (2)||ArizonaDiamondbacks||P|
|Corey Hart (1)||Milwaukee Brewers||OF|
|6||Matt Holliday (3)||Colorado Rockies||OF|
|5||Chipper Jones (6)||Atlanta Braves||3B|
|Brad Lidge (2)||Philadelphia Phillies||P|
|Tim Lincecum (1)||San Francisco Giants||P||Did Not Pitch|
|Ryan Ludwick (1)||St. Louis Cardinals||OF|
|Carlos Marmol (1)||Chicago Cubs||P|
|Russell Martin (2)||Los Angeles Dodgers||C|
|Brian McCann (3)||Atlanta Braves||C|
|Nate McLouth (1)||Pittsburgh Pirates||OF|
|4||Albert Pujols (7)||St. Louis Cardinals||1B|
|Aramis Ramirez (2)||Chicago Cubs||3B|
|1||Hanley Ramirez (1)||Florida Marlins||SS|
|Ben Sheets (4)||Milwaukee Brewers||P||Starting Pitcher|
|Alfonso Soriano (7)||Chicago Cubs||OF||Replaced-Injury|
|9||Geovany Soto (1)||Chicago Cubs||C|
|Miguel Tejada (5)||Houston Astros||SS|
|Dan Uggla (2)||Florida Marlins||2B|
|2||Chase Utley (3)||Philadelphia Phillies||2B|
|Edinson Volquez (1)||Cincinnati Reds||P|
|Billy Wagner (6)||New York Mets||P|
|Brandon Webb (3)||ArizonaDiamondbacks||P|
|Brian Wilson (1)||San Francisco Giants||P|
|Kerry Wood (2)||Chicago Cubs||P||Did Not Pitch|
|David Wright (3)||New York Mets||3B||ReplacedSoriano|
|Carlos Zambrano (3)||Chicago Cubs||P|
|Bold = Fan-Elected Starter|
2008 All-Star Game
American League All-Star Squad
|Milton Bradley (1)||Texas Rangers||DH|
|Joe Crede (1)||Chicago White Sox||3B|
|J.D. Drew (1)||Boston Red Sox||OF|
|Justin Duchscherer (2)||Oakland Athletics||P|
|Carlos Guillen (3)||Detroit Tigers||3B|
|Roy Halladay (5)||Toronto Blue Jays||P|
|Josh Hamilton (1)||Texas Rangers||OF|
|Derek Jeter (9)||New York Yankees||SS|
|Scott Kazmir (2)||Tampa Bay Rays||P|
|Ian Kinsler (1)||Texas Rangers||2B|
|Cliff Lee (1)||Cleveland Indians||P||Starting Pitcher|
|Evan Longoria (1)||Tampa Bay Rays||3B||Monster 2008 Final Vote|
|Joe Mauer (2)||Minnesota Twins||C|
|Justin Morneau (2)||Minnesota Twins||1B|
|Joe Nathan (3)||Minnesota Twins||P|
|Dioner Navarro (1)||Tampa Bay Rays||C|
|David Ortiz (5)||Boston Red Sox||DH||Replaced-Injury|
|Jonathan Papelbon (3)||Boston Red Sox||P|
|Dustin Pedroia (1)||Boston Red Sox||2B|
|Carlos Quentin (1)||Chicago White Sox||OF|
|Manny Ramirez (12)||Boston Red Sox||OF|
|Mariano Rivera (9)||New York Yankees||P|
|Alex Rodriguez (12)||New York Yankees||3B|
|Francisco Rodriguez (3)||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||P|
|Ervin Santana (1)||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||P|
|Joe Saunders (1)||Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim||P|
|George Sherrill (1)||Baltimore Orioles||P|
|Grady Sizemore (3)||Cleveland Indians||OF|
|Joakim Soria (1)||Kansas City Royals||P|
|Ichiro Suzuki (8)||Seattle Mariners||OF|
|Jason Varitek (3)||Boston Red Sox||C|
|Kevin Youkilis (1)||Boston Red Sox||1B|
|Michael Young (5)||Texas Rangers||SS|
Bold = Fan-Elected Starter
The following is word-for-word transcript of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address played on 1010 WINS News Radio Sunday, February 4, 2007:
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
" Yankee Stadium , the House that Ruth Built , perhaps the greatest cathedral in all of sport. Since opening in April 1923, it's played host to shutouts and knockouts, to popes and pigskin, to Joltin' Joe and Billy Joel and hundreds of other memorable moments.
"Now, get ready to add one more great event to that list. On Wednesday, Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig announced that the 2008 All-Star Game will take place at Yankee Stadium . In recent years, the game has been used to showcase the sport's newest ballparks. But in this case, the game will be an occasion to commemorate the final season at our most storied stadium before the team moves across the street into its new home.
"In many ways, the game will be a celebration of two New York teams. That's because both the Yankees and the Mets will be opening new, state-of-the-art, privately-financed, ballparks the following year. We've broken ground on both facilities within the past six months and when the gates finally open and the bats start swinging; they will help drive major revitalizations in Flushing and the South Bronx.
"Major League Baseball's decision to bring the All-Star Game to Yankee Stadium is also a testament to how far the city has come in recent years. There is a lot of competition to host these kinds of events. But by making our streets safer and cleaner than they have been in decades and by promoting the world-class resources that make us unique, we've been able to attract big events - like the Latin Grammys and the Country Music Association Awards.
"In fact, our City's Economic Development Corporation expects that the All-Star Game and the activities leading up to it will generate nearly $150 million in new business. That's money spent in our hotels, in our restaurants, and in our stores, which will then ripple throughout our local economy.
"Just as importantly, the game will be watched in 100 million homes in 226 countries around the world. Showcasing our city to such a huge, diverse television audience is equal to millions of dollars in free advertising and will help us attract even more business and visitors to our city in the years to come.
"Yes, the 2008 All-Star Game is going to be a great moment for baseball fans, but considering all the visitors it's going to bring to town, this is something every New Yorker can cheer about. For those of you scoring at home, this will be the fourth time that Yankee Stadium has hosted the All-Star Game . The event was previously held there in 1939 , 1960 , and 1977 . And as any baseball buff will be quick to point in each of those years, the Yanks then went on to play in the World Series .
"So while the 2008 All-Star Game will certainly be a wonderful moment in the Stadium's final season, my hunch is that it won't be the last.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Source: News from the Blue Room ( NYC.gov ).
Did you know that the "original" Yankee Stadium was torn down, rebuilt on the same frame and reopened in 1976? The new Yankee Stadium will be built across the street and it will open in time for the 2009 Opening Day game.
When Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto took the field to start the 2008 All-Star Game he became the first rookie catcher in Midsummer Classic history to start an All-Star contest.