|Courtesy of SportsLogos.net|
The Midsummer Classic; it’s where baseball’s brightest stars all shine for one evening, under one roof. In 1991, the MLB All-Star Game took place under the world’s first fully retractable roof, to be specific.
With the 2013 Midsummer Classic just around the corner, for this week’s Flashback Friday we take a look back at the 1991 MLB All-Star Game at the Skydome in Toronto; the home of the Blue Jays.
In 1991, the Toronto was selected as the host city of the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby in the newly-minted Skydome. Keep in mind, this was the first time the Skydome and the Toronto Blue Jays were truly on display for the entire word.
The Skydome boasted the world’s first retractable roof, as well as the Jumbotron; which at the time was the largest video display in North America, and the second largest video display on the planet.
Looking back, it’s funny how people on the broadcast marveled at how
advanced the Skydome was back in 1991. In every right it was one of the most technologically advanced ballparks for its time, but today it’s just one of seven
stadiums still standing that were around in 1991.
The festivities started off with the Home Run Derby, which interestingly enough took place during the afternoon, the day before the All-Star Game itself. And the afternoon belonged to none other than Cal Ripken Jr.
Cap Ripken Jr. easily captured the Home Run Derby title, as he swatted 12 home runs over the course of two rounds. The next closest contestant was Paul O’Neill with 5 home runs, but what most people will remember is Cecil Fielder’s towering shots in the Home Run Derby.
Two of Fielder’s four home runs traveled over 450 feet, sailing over top of Windows restaurant. That’s right … over top of Windows.
Those in attendance included President George Bush, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and even Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Joe Dimaggio made a special appearance.
There was a bit of a snaffoo as the announcer introduced Joe Carter first and yet Jimmy Key was lined up first. Key tipped his hat to the crowd, and yet the fans were cheering for Joe Carter. So Carter stood there with his arms crossed, as the announcer eventually introduced Key.
Roberto Alomar was the lone starter for the Blue Jays in the 1991 All-Star Game, voted in as the starting second baseman by the fans. He played alongside his brother Sandy Alomar Jr., and the Alomars actually batted eighth and ninth in the lineup.
It marked just the second time in franchise history that a Toronto Blue Jays player started the Midsummer Classic. Alomar, Carter and Key were the lone representatives from the Blue Jays at the 1991 All-Star Game.
The game itself featured a lot of new faces, as there were 18 first-time All-Stars in total. One of them included Joe Carter, who made it in for the first time in his nine year career up until that point.
The American League would go on to win the All-Star Game 4-2, and hometown favourite Jimmy Key was awarded the win … even though he pitched just one inning, following the American League starter Jack Morris.
To this day, the 1991 All-Star Game banner still flies high at the top of the Rogers Centre, and is a reminder that baseball was truly at its peak in Toronto during the early nineties.