07/13/08 8:40 PM ET
Sunday features non-stop All-Star action
Fans enjoy Futures Game, Celebrities & Legends softball
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
It is non-stop action, and you just do your best to keep up with it all. For starters, you are well-advised to act now on the MLB.TV All-Star Package, which costs $2.95 (free if you're an existing MLB.TV customer) and is loaded with goodies like live coverage of Monday night's batting practice and State Farm Home Run Derby, Tuesday's All-Star Game batting practice and Wednesday's Olympic Baseball Team Selection Show.
Everything is moving fast now, indelible memories are being made as a legendary ballpark is feted in style, and there is an army of MLB.com coverage personnel out there trying to help bring all of the developments to you. Here is a look at what was going on Sunday, with "Blaze of Glory" and "Runaway" still ringing in some of our ears:
XM All-Star Futures Game
In a game stocked with players who will represent multiple nations at the Summer Olympics next month in China, the World team beat the USA, 3-0. World pitchers held the Americans to only three hits at Yankee Stadium, as this year's game was expanded to nine innings largely for greater evaluation opportunity.
Red Sox prospect Che-Hsuan Lin's two-run home run provided one of the few offensive highlights and Phillies farmhand Carlos Carrasco started a string of scoreless pitching.
A first-inning throwing error from Jason Donald (Phillies) provided the opening for World to take an early lead. It enabled Rangers prospect Elvis Andrus to reach second base with one out, and he promptly stole third to set up Pablo Sandoval (Giants) for an RBI on a fielder's choice.
The only other scoring in the game came on Lin's homer. His seventh-inning drive down the left-field line came after Juan Francisco (Reds) singled to start the rally. Lin hit a first-pitch fastball from Ryan Mattheus (Rockies) and poked it just inside the foul pole. It was the first extra-base hit from either side in the game.
Taco Bell Legends & Celebrities Softball Game
Whoopi Goldberg fielded a grounder to second, flipped it perfectly to shortstop Billy Crystal, who turned the pivot by dragging his right foot over second base in textbook fashion and throwing sidearm to Tino Martinez at first. Just your average 4-6-3 double play.
Chris Rock set the Legends & Celebrities Softball Game all-time record by striking out more than once in a game, but he made up for it by fielding a grounder at second and then flipping backhand to Ozzie Smith covering second for a force to end an inning.
"Ozzie Smith made it to the Hall of Fame not getting hits, so why not me?" the comedian said during the game.
It got even funnier when Rock compared himself to one of the greatest power hitters in history, who once hit three homers in a game here. "Power hitters strike out a lot," Rock said. "Take Reggie [Jackson]."
George Brett went up to bat for one more game at Yankee Stadium, and someone handed him a pine tar rag for his aluminum bat. He smeared it all over the barrel of the bat -- one last comment on the infamous Pine Tar Incident there 25 years earlier.
Who won? It actually did matter to those playing, if you watched Wade Boggs pointing to center to call his shot and then getting pitched around in the last inning with a chance to win it. But in the big picture, it didn't matter. It was a blast like always, and fans in the Bronx were treated to the most marquee celebrity talent yet for this year's event.
2008 All-Star Youth Stickball Tournament
Willie Mays came out to Harlem to watch a stickball tournament between children from Harlem RBI, a youth development program, the New York Emperors Stickball League and the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. The youngsters competed in front of a giant black-and-white photo of Mays playing stickball in Harlem, where the Hall of Famer would sometimes play with neighborhood children as a member of the New York Giants.
"I think everybody knows that when I came to New York from Alabama, I didn't know anything about New York City," Mays said. "But New York has treated me so well.
"When you can, 50 years later, say we're still talking about stickball, I think it's wonderful."
Hal Bodley's All-Star Memories
The first All-Star Game Hal Bodley covered was in 1958, when he was "a young reporter in the stands with goosebumps." This will be his first as MLB.com's senior correspondent, and he has no question about which Midsummer Classic is at the top of his personal list.
"When I think back to the greatest games that I have seen," he said, "I have to think back to 1970, when Pete Rose, in the first [All-Star] Game at Riverfront Stadium, barreled into Ray Fosse, injuring him, to score the winning run for the National League."
DHL All-Star FanFest
MLB.com is broadcasting live every day of FanFest at the Jacob Javits Center, and the big event on Sunday was a visit from Cal Ripken Jr. The 2007 Hall of Fame inductee took questions from fans. He said Goose Gossage -- whose induction is coming up later this month -- was the toughest pitcher he ever faced. Ripken also said he was often injured during his record consecutive-games streak, playing with broken bones at times.
Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew was there for fans to watch in person or on BaseballChannel.TV. MLB.com's Billy Sample (an ex-Yankee) spotted former Yankee Bobby Richardson in the crowd and quickly got him on the set, where he talked about the 1960s Yankees dynasty.
Shows were hosted all day by MLB.com talent like Vinny Micucci, Jim Duquette, Casey Stern, Noah Coslov, Seth Everett and Jack McDowell. Visit BaseballChannel.TV to see an array of clips throughout this All-Star Week.
An expected record overall FanFest crowd is experiencing all of the interactive magic, the history, the collectibles market and of course the shops. Fans there have tried frantically to stump MLB.com experts on trivia, and there is a special computer set up just so fans can leave their favorite Yankee Stadium memories for all other Yankees fans to see. It is at Yankee Stadium Memories, and with a free MLB.com registration, you can leave comments.
Quote of the Day
Cubs manager and former Yankee Lou Piniella, talking about the farewell to Yankee Stadium with this celebration event:
"I think it should mean a lot to baseball in general. It's been a bastion of baseball stability throughout the years, and there is so much history and tradition there, so many great players, so many championships won."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.