Pedro Martinez two perfect innings at home in Fenway Park in 1999
In anticipation of this year’s MLB All-Star Game, I’ve produced a number of lists: Most memorable games, best moments and this one among others.
Naturally there is some repeat of players or moments and themes. Though the MLB All-Star Game has a long, storied past, there are some moments which invariably show up. They have to, because they are the best moments provided by some of the greatest players of all-time.
Pedro Martinez’s performance at the 1999 MLB All-Star Game in his home ballpark, Fenway Park, sits rather high in the annals of greatness in All-Star Game history. If you don’t like the repeats, I’m sorry, but Pedro’s five strikeouts in five hitters in 1999 is one of the best moments and performances in MLB All-Star Game history.
The fact he did it after an incredible pre-game ceremony where former Red Sox great Ted Williams was honored next to some of the other all-time greats is one reason. How he kept his cool and electrified the home crowd after it was already electrified remains one of the great improbable events in sports history.
And the fact he did it a time when hitting was at an all-time high in baseball (same could be said of his career at large) is equally improbably and impressive.
Look at the lineup he mowed down in those two innings on his way to the All-Star Game MVP:
- SS Barry Larkin, Cincinnati Reds (Hall of Fame)
- LF Larry Walker, Colorado Rockies
- CF Sammy Sosa, Chicago Cubs (Should be in Hall of Fame)
- 1B Mark McGwire, St. Louis Cardinals (Should be in Hall of Fame)
- 3B Matt Williams, Arizona Diamondbacks
- DH Jeff Bagwell, Houston Astros (Will be in Hall of Fame soon)
- C Mike Piazza, New York Mets (Should be in Hall of Fame)
He faced those seven hitters. And struck out five of them. Enough said.
Next: Bo Knows...how to dominate an All-Star Game