The 88th All-Star game in Miami was a few days ago, in which the American League their 5th straight victory, winning 2-1 in the 10th courtesy a solo home run from Mariners’ Robinson Cano. Blue Jays’ Roberto Osuna and Justin Smoak appeared in the game, both their first time and did great. Smoak got a hit and Osuna pitched a scoreless inning in the 7th. While watching it though, it got me thinking about the time hosted the All-Star game. It was a long time ago, 16 years to be exact, so it’d make sense if you don’t remember it. I got you covered though with a quick recap below.
The 62nd annual All-Star game was one to remember-not just if you’re a Blue Jays fan. On July 9th, 1991, Toronto was the host of the Midsummer Classic, bringing baseball fans from both south and north the border to the Skydome. The 1991 All-Star roster was one of the best in history. It should have been renamed the Hall of Fame game as 14 of the 21 players elected into the hall of fame since 2000, were part of the ’91 All-Star game, including Roberto Alomar, Carlton Fisk and Tony Gwynn.
The 1991 classic was started by the Twins’ Jack Morris and Tom Glavine of the Braves. However, as expected, offense outshined the pitching as Cal Ripken Jr. blasted a 3 run homer to center in the bottom of the 3rd to put the American League ahead 3-1. That home run earned him the AL All-Star MVP title. Also notable, Carlton Fisk, who was 43 years, seven months, and 13 days old, became the oldest person in All-Star game history to collect a hit. In the end, the American League took it home, winning 4-2.
I wasn’t born yet to witness the first and only All-Star game in Toronto, but thanks to YouTube, I got the chance to watch it. What stood out to me wasn’t the on-field action but the impact it had off-field. By hosting the Midsummer Classic, Toronto established itself in the world of baseball. It solidified the fact that a Canadian city can be a baseball city. When you think of baseball cities, New York and Boston are quick to come to mind, but since that All-Star game, Toronto has become an important part of baseball culture. At that very moment, Toronto was at the top of the baseball world. People underestimated the Blue Jays simply because of where they were based in, but that one July day changed it all.