LEEInks List: Top 10 Red Sox All-Star moments since 2000
|07.16.13 at 9:46 am ET|
Baseball’s biggest names and top talent — including David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz — are descending upon The Big Apple in preparation for the 84th annual MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field. As your own prep for the exhibition that counts, take a walk down memory lane with a look at the top 10 Red Sox All-Star moments since 2000.
10. 2002: Johnny Damon voted in as 30th man
In his first season as a Red Sox, Damon was elected as the “The All-Star 30th man,” the inaugural version of what has become the “Final Vote,” for his first of two All-Star appearances. Damon, who joined Manny Ramirez to land two-thirds of the Sox outfield in the Midsummer Classic, started a four-run, seventh-inning rally when he singled and stole second before scoring.
9. 2007: Hideki Okajima gets in on Final Vote
The Red Sox brought in two Japanese pitchers prior to the 2007 season, but only one of them was an All-Star. Okajima, a left-handed reliever known in part for his unorthodox delivery that featured him looking away from home plate, beat out Roy Halladay and three other pitchers in that year’s Final Vote to join fellow Sox hurlers Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon.
8. 2006: With all-Red Sox/Yankees infield, AL wins again
With Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter starting on the left side of the infield, Ortiz was voted the AL’s first baseman (the game was played under NL rules at PNC Park in Pittsburgh) and Mark Loretta, in his only season as a Red Sox, played second. Jeter, Ortiz and Rodriguez were 2-3-4 in the batting order, but the foursome went hitless.
In the fifth, Loretta gave way to the Rangers’ Michael Young, whose two-run triple in the top of the ninth was enough to earn him MVP honors and give the AL a 3-2 win.
7. 2005: Four Red Sox voted in as starters
A year after winning the World Series, four Red Sox — Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, Ortiz and Damon — were selected by fans to be starters for the AL squad managed by Terry Francona. (Right-hander Matt Clement also made the team after a 10-win first half.)
The Red Sox crew went a combined 4-for-8 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Ortiz drove in Damon with a line-drive single to right in the third as the AL won, again, 7-5.
6. 2009: In 17th major league season, Tim Wakefield gets first All-Star nod
Be it a lifetime achievement award or a truly earned roster spot, the beloved knuckleballer went to St. Louis as an All-Star in 2009. Wakefield didn’t pitch, however, with Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon electing to stash him away in the event the contest was a long one — just as it was the year prior.
5. 2010: Ortiz tops Hanley Ramirez for Derby title
The 2010 All-Star Game marked the first time since 1996 that the NL topped the AL, but on the day before the game, Ortiz provided plenty of fireworks during the Home Run Derby. He launched 21 home runs, a handful of them into the fountains at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, in the first two rounds to qualify for the finals against his former protégé, Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez. His 11 in the last round was plenty to outlast Ramirez’s five to give Ortiz his only Derby championship.
Ortiz’ 32 total home runs are tied with Robinson Cano’s 2011 performance for third most all-time.
4. 2007: Jonathan Papelbon fans a pair to record hold
After a leadoff walk, Papelbon whiffed Orlando Hudson and Aaron Rowand and got Freddy Sanchez to fly out to center in the eighth inning of a 5-4 win for the junior circuit, a victory that gave the Red Sox home-field advantage in the World Series against the Rockies. It was the All-Star debut for the hard-throwing righty, who made the team but did not get into the game in 2006.
3. 2002: Derek Lowe gets the start, baseball honors Ted Williams
Long before the 2002 edition ended in a 7-7 tie when both teams ran out of pitchers after 11 innings, manager Joe Torre elected to give Red Sox right-hander Lowe the start to oppose then-Diamondbacks star Curt Schilling. Lowe went the first two innings and allowed one run on two hits, and it would have been worse if not for center fielder Torii Hunter’s home run-robbing catch on Barry Bonds’ deep drive in the bottom of the first.
The game was played four days after the death of Ted Williams, and in his honor a red-and-white No. 9 was painted on the left-field grass at Miller Park in Milwaukee. There also was a pregame ceremony honoring Williams, for whom the All-Star Game MVP award was re-named.
2. 2004: Ramirez, Ortiz homer to give Sox home-field advantage in World Series
Ramirez’s two-run homer off Astros starter Roger Clemens helped the American League hit for the cycle in the first inning and gave his team a lead it would never relinquish en route to a 9-4 win in Houston. Ortiz accounted for the final two runs with a blast of his own in the sixth inning. With the win, the AL earned home-field advantage in the World Series, which the Red Sox, of course, used to their advantage against the Cardinals three months later.
1. 2008: J.D. Drew scores game-winner in 15th, garners MVP honors at old Yankee Stadium
With a contingent of seven Red Sox, plus Francona on the bench, it was Drew who stole the show as the sport started to collectively say farewell to The House That Ruth Built. Drew blasted a two-run home run in the seventh inning to knot the score at 2-2, then drew a walk to load the bases in the 15th to set up Young’s game-ending sacrifice fly for the 4-3 AL win. He also made a routine-but-dramatic catch on a Nate McClouth fly ball at the warning track to lead off the 14th en route to being named the game’s MVP.
Had the game gone much longer, Francona may have resorted to using Drew as a pitcher.
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