Today at 4 pm, voting for the 2010 All Star team will end, and the rosters finalized. The current questions hounding the final fan picks - Will Votto surpass Zimmerman? Wagner end his career as an All Star? Swisher surprise Youkilis? - will be answered. So much politicking has surrounded this final round of voting with candidates Twittering and Facebooking (are these seriously verbs now?) attempting to drum up support.
It is hard to believe that a mere 20 years ago, the World Wide Web was still a year away from going public, twittering was something a bird did, fans voted for starters via ballots distributed at Major League ballparks, and 29 men from each league participated.
The Midsummer Classic was played in Chicago's Wrigley Field on July 10, to a drenched crowd of just over 39,000 - rain had plagued the game from the beginning. Cubs public address announcer Wayne Messmer sang O' Canada! followed by the Star Spangled Banner performed by Richard Marx. Hall of Fame star Ernie Banks (Chicago's own, Mr. Cub) threw the ceremonial first pitch.
The game itself was not terribly exciting. Despite the slugging power on both sides, there were no home runs hit. Oakland A's pitcher Bob Welch relinquished two hits, while the National League pitching staff, led by Reds hurler Jack Armstrong, gave up 7. The only inning that saw much action was the 7th, which was delayed due to rain, and the American League scored the only two runs of the game, securing its third All Star win in a row. Bret Saberhagen picked up the win, Dennis Eckersley earned the save, and Jeff Brantley received the loss. Julio Franco of the Texas Rangers, picked up the MVP Award for his double that allowed the two runs to score.
That year, nine future Hall of Fame recipients took the field:
Rickey Henderson, Wade Boggs, Cal Ripken, Jr., the late Kirby Puckett, and Dennis Eckersley (AL)
Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Ozzie Smith, and Tony Gwynn (NL)
The Complete 1990 All Star Roster:
**Source: Baseball Almanac