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All-Star Results - 1996

Game 67
July 9, 1996

 Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia Game Final 
  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
 American 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 7 0
 National 1 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 X   6 12 1
MVP: Mike Piazza, LA (NL)
Home Runs: Piazza, Caminiti (NL)
Attendance: 62,670

Game Recap

The All-Star Game has a way of contradicting common wisdom, and the 1996 Midsummer Classic would be no different.

As it happened, neither pitching staff issued a walk, an All-Star Game record. The American League could only manage seven hits, and the seven AL players with 20 or more home runs at the break went a combined 3 for 14 (.214). And despite the National League’s eventual 6-0 triumph, the American League pitchers more than held their own - eight National Leaguers were retired on strikes, four at the hands of California’s Chuck Finley.

The 1996 Midsummer Classic was more than simply a rare pitcher's game in a hitters year, however. For Philadelphia baseball fans, it was a chance to celebrate the old and the new - this was the fourth All-Star game played at Philadelphia - and a chance to recognize some of the men who had filled this historic city with countless historic baseball moments over the years.

Five of Philadelphia's finest - Richie Ashburn, Jim Bunning, Steve Carlton, Robin Roberts and Mike Schmidt - were on hand to throw out five ceremonial first pitches. In a gesture that reminded everyone why Philadelphia is called the City of Brotherly Love, two of baseball greatest shortstops - Ozzie Smith, who bedeviled the Phillies for almost two decades and who would retires after the 1996 season, and Cal Ripken, Jr., the iron man who handled the final chance in the Phillies 1983 World Series loss to the Baltimore Orioles - were both received warmly by the partisan crowd.

Even Toronto's Joe Carter, whose home run in the sixth game of the 1993 World Series ended the Phillies most recent brush with a World Championship, smiled broadly when his introduction brought a chorus of boos from the Philadelphia crowd.

The most poignant story of the evening, however, belonged to Mike Piazza. The 27-year -old native of Norristown, who was a big Phillies fan as a child, was called on to catch one of those first pitches - specifically, the one from his boyhood hero, Mike Schmidt. Spurred on by that emotional meeting, the Dodger All-Star promptly went out and homered and doubled to earn MVP honors in front of his hometown fans.

"The words are hard to express," said an emotional Piazza after the game. "For something like this to happen in Philadelphia is just unbelievable."

What a game, indeed.

1996: Piazza Delivery

Dodgers' catcher Mike Piazza, who grew up in nearby Norristown, Pennsylvania, enjoys quite a homecoming at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. Piazza nails a 445-foot home run off Cleveland's Charles Nagy his first time up, then doubles home the NL's fourth run off Chuck Finley in his second at-bat to go 2 for 3 and earn the game's Most Valuable Player Award. In the first All-Star Game ever in which neither pitching staff issues a walk, the National League shuts out the AL, 6-0.

• Highlights: 56K | 300K
American League
  Roberto Alomar
  Sandy Alomar
  Brady Anderson
  Albert Belle
  Wade Boggs
  Jay Buhner
  Joe Carter
  Chuck Finley
  Travis Fryman
  Ken Griffey Jr.
  Roberto Hernandez
  Chuck Knoblauch
  Kenny Lofton
  Edgar Martinez
  Mark McGwire
  Jose Mesa
  Jeff Montgomery
  Charles Nagy
  Roger Pavlik
  Troy Percival
  Andy Pettitte
  Cal Ripken Jr.
  Alex Rodriguez
  Ivan Rodriguez
  Frank Thomas
  Greg Vaughn
  Mo Vaughn
  John Wetteland
  Dan Wilson
National League
  Jeff Bagwell
  Dante Bichette
  Craig Biggio
  Barry Bonds
  Ricky Bottalico
  Kevin Brown
  Ellis Burks
  Ken Caminiti
  Tom Glavine
  Mark Grudzielanek
  Tony Gwynn
  Todd Hundley
  Lance Johnson
  Chipper Jones
  Jason Kendall
  Barry Larkin
  Al Leiter
  Greg Maddux
  Pedro Martinez
  Fred McGriff
  Mike Piazza
  Henry Rodriguez
  Gary Sheffield
  Ozzie Smith
  John Smoltz
  Steve Trachsel
  Matt Williams
  Mark Wohlers
  Todd Worrell
  Eric Young

St. Louis Cardinals Ozzie Smith waves to the crowd during a standing ovation in the seventh inning of the All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 1996, in Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium. This was the last All-Star Game for Smith who announced his retirement earlier in the season.