The Midsummer Classic is upon us. On Tuesday, July 19, baseball's brightest stars will gather at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles to put on a show at the 2022 MLB All-Star Game. It represents an opportunity for a superstar to dominate a field filled with his peers and go down in history.
Let's look back at the most dominant All-Star Game performances in MLB history.
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Pedro Martinez (1999)
It's hard to think of anybody but Pedro when remembering truly great ASG performances. Martinez was at the height of his powers in the late '90s, which is remarkable given he was throwing fastballs to some of the greatest hitters of all time juiced to the gills. One need look no further for proof of how good Martinez was than the 1999 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He pitched two innings and struck out five of the six batters he faced-- including Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire. Martinez became the first pitcher in MLB history to open an All-Star Game by striking out the side.
Ichiro Suzuki (2007)
Ichiro took home MVP honors in 2007 with an excellent day at the plate capped off by another record, hitting the first inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history. The craziest part was that it wasn't even close. Paired with two other singles to make for a perfect day at the plate and you have the full Ichiro experience-- consistency paired with something you've never seen before, and he made it look all too easy.
Carl Hubbell (1934)
Let's throw it all the way back because baseball is an ancient game and we should do our best to honor the old eras when taking a look back like we are right now. Hubbell started the 1934 ASG (the second ever) and racked up an extremely impressive strikeout count in merely two innings. After allowing the first two batters to get on base, he proceeded to strike out the next five batters-- who you might've heard of. Hubbell struck out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin. Consecutively. Pretty hard to top that.
Tim Raines (1987)
Raines won the ASG MVP back in 1987 because he went 3-for-3 with two RBI, a triple, and a stolen base. An impressive statline, but not one to necessarily call home about. Why is he mentioned here, then? Because he did all that after entering the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. One of the best substitute performances we'll ever see from an All-Star.
Ted Williams (1946)
It's hard to talk about any historic MLB performances without Ted Williams' name coming up in some fashion. It is no different here. The 1946 All-Star Game marked the first for Williams after he spent three years fighting in World War II and he obviously didn't lose a step during his time away from the game. He went 4-for-4 with two home runs, five RBI, a walk, and a run. Players these days don't stay in the game long enough to even come close to a statline like that, making it very unlikely anybody matches Williams in the near or far future.