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Ranking the 7 Greatest MLB All-Star Game Performances

| June 12, 2022 5:30 am PDT
MLB logo, All Star stamped underneath, MLB player collages in background

The MLB All-Star Game has been around since 1933. The game pits the best players from the AL and NL against each other in a marquee battle. There was big significance behind the game, too, as it was used to determine home-field advantage for the World Series.

Unlike the NFL Pro Bowl or NBA All-Star Game, MLB players go all out in the All-Star Game. That has led to quite a few tremendous performances.

The best MLB All-Star Game performances feature the biggest names in baseball. Let’s check out the best performances.

7. Ichiro Suzuki (2007)

Ichiro Suzuki burst onto the MLB scene with an unbelieve rookie season in 2001. He won MVP for a Seattle Mariners squad that is among the best MLB teams that did not win a World Series. He made the All-Star Game in his first ten seasons. However, his best MLB All-Star Game performance was in 2007.

Ichiro hit the leadoff, opening the game with a single to the right. He returned to the plate in the third inning. He was facing a 2-2 count when he hit a single into left field. His third at-bat made this one of the top MLB All-Star Game performances.

He did something no one in All-Star Game history has ever done.

Ichiro hit the ball deep into the right field. It didn’t clear the fences, but it took a weird bounce off the right-field wall at Oracle Park.

That gave Ichiro plenty of time to circle the bases to score on an inside-the-park home run. He became the first player in MLB history to achieve that in the All-Star Game. Brian Roberts scored ahead of Ichiro to give the AL a 2-1 lead.

Ichiro exited the game following the home run. He went 3-3 with two RBIs and one run. The AL picked up a 5-4 victory, with Ichiro winning All-Star Game MVP.

Hitting a home run will always give you a good chance to win All-Star Game MVP. An inside-the-park home run plays a significant factor in one of the greatest MLB All-Star Game performances.

6. Tim Raines (1987)

Tim Raines was a speed demon during his playing time. Raines led the NL in steals from 1981 to 1984. His all-around skill set allowed him to finish top ten in NL MVP voting three times. The 1987 season was one of his best.

You would think the most impressive performances in the MLB All-Star Game feature a player in the starting lineup. However, Raines came off the bench in 1987. He came on as a defensive replacement in the sixth inning.

His first plate appearance wasn’t until the ninth inning. Raines singled into center field and stole second base. A bad throw allowed him to reach third base. He failed to score, sending the game to extra innings.

Raines picked up another single in the 11th inning, but the game remained tied. He finally broke through in the 13th inning.

He hit the ball into the left-field gap, scoring Ozzie Virgil and Hubie Brooks. Raines used his speed to reach third base. It took 13 innings, but the NL was the first team on the board.

Sid Fernandez shut down the AL in the bottom of the 13th inning to give the NL a 2-0 victory. Raines won All-Star Game MVP after his performance off the bench.

This performance would be impressive from a starter, but Raines accomplished this with three plate appearances after the eighth inning. The numbers are worthy of a top MLB All-Star Game performance, but his game-winning triple puts it over the top.

5. Ted Williams (1941)

Does it surprise anyone to see Ted Williams on this list? Williams could make any list involving baseball players doing something great. There isn’t a popular G.O.A.T debate in baseball, but Williams has to be among the contenders.

The 1941 season was only his third in the majors. He entered the All-Star Game with a .405 batting average. By the way, he is the most recent player with a batting average of over .400.

Williams drew a walk in his first at-bat, but he put the AL on the board with an RBI double in the fourth inning. He failed to reach base in his next two at-bats, but Williams saved his best for last.

The AL faced a 5-2 deficit in the eighth inning. Dom DiMaggio made it a one-run game with an RBI single in the eighth inning. Joe DiMaggio had an RBI groundout in the ninth inning.

That’s when Williams came to the plate. The AL was down to their final out, with Williams facing a 2-1 count. That’s when Williams smacked the ball into right field and out of the park to give the AL a 7-5 victory.

There wasn’t an All-Star Game MVP in this era, but it’s hard to imagine Williams not winning the award. He went 2-4 with a home run and four RBIs. He also became the first player to hit a walk-off home run in the All-Star Game.

It was an unforgettable MLB All-Star Game performance from one of baseball’s legends.

4. Pedro Martinez (1999)

The greatest MLB All-Star Game performances aren’t exclusive to hitters. Pedro Martinez was arguably the best pitcher in baseball in the late 1990s. The 1999 season marked his third AL Cy Young award in four seasons.

Before we talk about Martinez’s All-Star Game performance, I should note the pregame honoring of Ted Williams was the best moment in All-Star Game history. Fenway Park honored the greatest player in Boston Red Sox history.

It’s always interesting to see who wins the battle of best pitcher vs. best hitters in the All-Star Game. It didn’t take long to realize Martinez had the upper hand in the 1999 All-Star Game. He survived an eight-pitch at-bat to strike out Barry Larkin. From there, he was off and running.

Martinez struck out Larry Walker and Sammy Sosa to become the first pitcher in All-Star Game history to strike out the first three batters. He extended that streak with a strikeout of Mark McGwire.

Matt Williams reached an error, but Martinez faced the minimum after a strike-em-out throw-em-out double play. He left the game with five strikeouts in two innings.

The AL scored a 4-1 victory, with Martinez winning MVP in front of his home crowd. He became the second player to earn that honor. He nearly won regular-season MVP but lost by 13 points.

Martinez is one of the top MLB players from 1980 to 2015. His performance in the 1999 MLB All-Star Game validates that claim.

3. Carl Hubbell (1934)

Pedro Martinez had a spectacular performance in the 1999 MLB All-Star Game, but the greatest MLB All-Star Game performance for a pitcher belongs to Carl Hubbell.

The 1933 season marked the first time the MLB held an All-Star Game. Hubbell was in the game on his way to winning the regular season MVP. Hubbell returned to start the 1934 MLB All-Star Game.

It wasn’t an ideal start as Hubbell allowed the first two batters to reach base. However, he settled down with three straight strikeouts. He did an excellent job working out of a jam, but the quality of batters he struck out makes this one of the best efforts in the MLB All-Star Game.

Carl Hubbell
  • Babe Ruth
  • Lou Gehrig
  • Jimmie Foxx

We’re talking about three Hall of Fame players putting up elite levels. Babe Ruth was near the end of his career, but his numbers were as good as anyone. Gehrig led the majors in home runs and RBIs, and Foxx wasn’t far behind.

Hubbell struck out three batters in the second inning, including Hall of Famers Al Simmons and Joe Cronin. He pitched three innings, allowing two hits with six strikeouts. The magnitude of players struck out makes this a standout performance.

Pitchers had a tough job in this era because hitters consistently reached base. However, Hubbell didn’t back down. He led the majors with a 2.30 ERA and 25 complete games in 1934.

2. Al Rosen (1954)

Al Rosen is the lone player on this list that isn’t an MLB Hall of Famer. Technically, Ichiro Suzuki isn’t in the Hall of Fame, but he’ll be in when he becomes eligible.

Rosen entered the 1954 season on the heels of winning the 1953 MVP. He led the MLB with 43 home runs and 115 RBIs that season. He wasn’t as strong in 1954, but he had one of the best MLB All-Star Game performances.

He struck out in his first at-bat, but he recovered with a three-run homer to give the AL a 3-0 lead. That home run was in the third inning. The game turned into a slugfest, as it was a 7-5 game when Rosen made his third plate appearance.

Rosen made it 7-7 with his second home run of the game. Check out his final numbers.

Al Rosen
  • 3-4
  • 2 home runs
  • 5 RBIs
  • 2 runs
  • 1 walk

He singled in the sixth inning before drawing a walk in the eighth inning. Nellie Fox had a two-run single to give the AL an 11-9 lead. That two-run advantage was enough to give the AL the victory.

Rosen became the third player in All-Star Game history to hit two home runs. This performance becomes more impressive when you find out Rosen played with a broken finger. Posting those numbers while playing through pain makes this one of the most amazing performances in the MLB All-Star Game.

1. Ted Williams (1946)

Ted Williams had a great performance in the 1941 MLB All-Star Game, but his performance five years later tops the list of best MLB All-Star Games performances.

Williams served in WWII from 1943 to 1945. He returned to the MLB in 1946, picking up where he left off in 1942. Williams would win his first MVP in 1946, and his performance in the All-Star Game was in line with that award.

He drew a walk in the first inning, but Williams came back in the fourth inning with a solo home run to give the AL a 3-0 lead. He had an RBI single in the fifth inning to put the AL up 5-0.

Williams had his final at-bat in the ninth inning following another single.

Williams took the first pitch, but he crushed the second out of the park for his second home run of the game. The runs were a formality as the AL already had a big lead. They went on to win the All-Star Game 12-0.

Williams had a great performance, going 4-4 with two home runs, five RBIs, four runs, and one walk. He didn’t show any rust in his first All-Star Game appearance since 1942.

Everyone knows Williams is one of the early MLB legends. Unfortunately, they didn’t have an All-Star Game MVP in his era because he would’ve won at least two awards, if not more. Williams might be the greatest player in MLB All-Star Game history.

Looking Back on the Top MLB All-Star Game Performances

It always seems like extra energy surrounds the MLB All-Star Game. The NFL and NBA All-Star/Pro Bowl Games are typically lackluster, but we can’t say the same for the MLB.

Many of these performances came from the pre-21st century, but there have been great performances in the last 20 years. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone from this era had one of the best MLB All-Star Game performances.

The MLB All-Star Game has plenty of betting opportunities. Feel free to check out the guide to betting on the MLB All-Star Game. MLB All-Star Game Betting Guide
Nicholas Sterling
Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with GamblingSites.com since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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