MIAMI — Baseball’s All-Star Game got back to its roots Tuesday, as an exhibition of the best players in the game.
No more a gimmick tied to the World Series, the first All-Star Game in South Florida was about putting the spotlight on the skill and personality of the star players, as when Babe Ruth hit the first and decisive home run in the inaugural in 1933. The 88th edition at Marlins Park in Little Havana also featured a bow to the diversity and baseball heritage of the region.
The type of scenario that led to the game being used to decide home-field advantage in the championship series, an extra-inning tie in 2002, was averted when game MVP Robinson Cano hit a leadoff home run in the 10th inning off Wade Davis for a 2-1 American League victory, its fifth in a row.
The unscripted part of the show belonged to the pitchers in a lethargic contest that produced little in memorable moments. There were 22 strikeouts in the game, 14 by NL pitchers.
Featured stars of the day included the modern incarnation of the Babe, Aaron Judge, the New York Yankees latest big bopper.
And in recognition of the setting, there were Miami Bryce — fans’ voting favorite Bryce Harper making the scene styling the Don Johnson look, as well as Miami Marlins All-Stars Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna in the starting lineup for the National League.
Yadier Molina, the Cardinals’ eight-time All-Star from Puerto Rico, gave the crowd a thrill by sending an opposite-field home run to right off Zack Greinke to tie it at 1-1 for the National League in the sixth. Two days before turning 35, he is the oldest catcher to homer in an…
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