By The Numbers: Yankees on All-Star Week
Four New York Yankees were selected to the American League All-Star team, with pitcher CC Sabathia (who will not play due to a groin injury) joining starters Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, and Curtis Granderson on the AL’s roster for the Midsummer Classic. And, one day before that, Cano will be the AL’s Captain for the Home Run Derby, where the defending champion and his trio of junior-circuit sluggers will try to outduel Matt Kemp and the National League bomb squad.
The Yankees are no strangers to excellence during All-Star Week, and we present a special By The Numbers that takes a look back at some of the Bombers’ top performances at the Midsummer Classic and its ancillary events.
1939: Yankee Stadium first hosted the All-Star Game in 1939, and in that year’s game, the AL won 3-1 with Yankees driving in all three runs for the victors.
1948: Yankees hurler Vic Raschi pitched three scoreless innings in the 1948 All-Star Game, helping the AL to a 5-2 win that ran their all-time All-Star record to 11-4…and not only did Raschi get the win for the AL side, he also helped himself by hitting a two-run single.
1959: Yogi Berra may have said “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over,” but his home run in the second 1959 All-Star Game gave the AL a lead they wouldn’t relinquish en route to a 5-3 victory over the NL.
1960: In 1960, the Yankees hosted the second of two All-Star games played in a three-day span, with Whitey Ford taking the mound for the AL – but thanks to a 3-for-4 performance by Giants star Willie Mays, the NL went on to a 6-0 victory.
1997: Tino Martinez made the Yankees 1-for-1 in the Home Run Derby in 1997. Marking the first appearance by a Bomber in the Derby, Martinez bashed 16 total homers and bested Colorado’s Larry Walker in the finals to walk away with the trophy.
1999: The first MLB Futures Game was held in 1999, and then-Yankees farmhand Alfonso Soriano was the game’s MVP. Soriano, then a shortstop with the Columbus Clippers, went 2-for-3 with a pair of home runs to help the World Team defeat Team USA 7-0.
2000: The 71st All-Star Game, held at Turner Field in 2000, was dubbed the “All-Scar Game” due to the many stars who had to bow out because of injury. But that just let some of the stars who were there shine brighter, and a 3-for-3 performance by Derek Jeter helped the AL defeat hometown hero Chipper Jones (who was 3-for-3 himself) and the NL squad by a 6-3 margin.
2001: Jeter provided some All-Star heroics for the AL for the second year in a row in 2001, and his homer to lead off the sixth inning off future teammate Jon Lieber marked the first time a Bomber had gone deep in the All-Star Game since Yogi’s aforementioned blast in 1959.
2002: “The Giambino” struck in the 2002 Home Run Derby, as Jason Giambi blasted 24 bombs at Milwaukee’s Miller Park to become the second Yankee to win Derby gold. Unfortunately, he was unable to defend his title in 2003, as he succumbed to Albert Pujols in the semifinals of a Derby eventually won by Garret Anderson.
2005: Although he wouldn’t be a Yankee for another few weeks, Bobby Abreu made history at the 2005 Home Run Derby. Abreu went deep 24 times in the first round to set a new single-round record, than smashed six in the semis and 11 in the finals – for a Derby-record 41 total – en route top being crowned the champion.
2008: In its final season, the original Yankee Stadium hosted the 2008 All-Star Game – and set a record for the longest Midsummer Classic in MLB history. After four hours and 50 minutes of play, Texas’ Michael Young hit a game-winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 15th inning, giving the AL its 11th straight All-Star win.
2011: And finally we come to 2011, where Robinson Cano walked away as the Yankees’ third Home Run Derby Champion. Avenging losses by Giambi in 2003 and Nick Swisher in 2010, Cano blasted 32 total dingers – eight in round one and 12 in both the semifinals and finals – to top Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez and earn the right to be the AL captain for this year’s Derby.
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES
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