Remember the All Star Game in Baltimore

July 10, 2012 | Josh Levine

Beach | Beer | Baltimore Sports: Remembering the All-Star Game in Baltimore

Remember when the All-Star game was here in Baltimore at Oriole Park at Camden Yards? The year was 1993, one year after the most beautiful ball park in baseball opened. What a site it was to see Barry Bonds, Randy Johnson, Cal Ripken, Jr., Kirby Puckett, Ken Griffey, Jr., Ivan Rodriguez, Darren Daulton, Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza and so many more great stars all gather in Baltimore. July 13, 1993 was a great day.

I remember Griffey hitting the warehouse during the homerun derby and wondering who will be the first player to hit the warehouse (still waiting). How about Randy Johnson throwing the ball around John Kruk? I remember Reggie Jackson having a prominent role in the week’s festivities. Gary Sheffield blasted a homerun representing the expansion Florida Marlins.

However, what I remember most is the wild Baltimore crowd clamoring, hoping and praying to see Orioles Ace, Mike Mussina pitch in the game and a smug, arrogant, American League All-Star Manager Cito Gaston getting booed out of the building for refusing to do so. Hey Cito, I still have not forgotten and I still do not forgive you.
The American League was winning 9-3 in the 9th inning and Gaston, manager of the defending world champion Toronto Blue Jays, summoned his closer Duane Ward to come close out the game. Mussina took it upon himself to start warming up in the bullpen and the fans wanted to see Mussina pitch. He didn’t. He did not pitch an inning and he did not even pitch to one batter. Instead, Gaston stayed in the dugout and watched his closer, close out the game.

Gaston quickly became the most hated man in Baltimore. Do you remember Gaston’s excuse that he was saving Mussina for extra innings? It has been 19 years and I still don’t buy that excuse. Cito Gaston forgot that the all-star game was a game for the fans and he could have used his closer for two outs and let Mussina finish the game for the final out and sent the fans home happy. Instead he was a jerk. I am still mad at Cito about it and always enjoyed watching the Orioles beat his Blue Jay teams.

My last memory of the game is silly. James Earl Jones, the legendary actor who voiced the greatest villain of all time, Darth Vader, messed up the national anthem, because the Baltimore faithful delivered their traditional “Ohhhhhhh” during the Star Spangled Banner.

Beer of the Day: National Bohemian