Ranking the Top 7 All-Star Games in MLB History

By Nicholas Sterling in MLB
| June 30, 2022 12:25 pm PDT
MLB All Star plaque, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, and Red Schoendienst

The MLB All-Star game allows fans to watch the best players compete against each other. It started with the 1933 All-Star game, and we’re not too far from reaching 100 MLB All-Star games.

We’ve seen a few less than stellar games, but overall, the MLB All-Star game has produced thrilling action. We saw that on full display in the best MLB All-Star games.

From Ted Williams’ walk-off to a 15-inning marathon, we countdown the best All-Star games in MLB history.

7. 2003 – Eric Gagne Blows Save

The 2003 MLB All-Star game marked the first time the winner would hold the home-field advantage for the World Series. There was extra motivation for players to lead their team to a victory. It’s no wonder we consider it a top MLB All-Star game.

Carlos Delgado kicked off the scoring with an RBI single in the third. The NL responded with a five-run fifth to take a four-run lead. The AL chipped away on a two-run homer by Garret Anderson, but the NL responded with a solo homer.

Following another solo home run for the AL, they faced a 6-4 deficit in the eighth inning. The NL brought in closer Eric Gagne. Check out the overall numbers in 2003 for Gagne.

Eric Gagne
  • 55 Saves
  • 1.20 ERA
  • 0.69 WHIP
  • 137 Strikeouts

No one expected Gagne to have an issue, but a pair of doubles made it a one-run game. Then, Hank Blalock delivered a pinch-hit two-run homer to give the AL a 7-6 lead.

AL closer Keith Foulke had a 1-2-3 inning to give the AL the victory. Gagne won the 2003 NL Cy Young award, but Blalock’s late-game heroics make this one of the best MLB All-Star games ever.

6. 2008 – Marathon Game

The 2008 MLB All-Star game marked one of the final marquee events at old Yankee Stadium. It was an early pitcher’s duel, as neither offense scored in the first four innings.

Matt Holliday gave the NL a 1-0 on a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning. Lance Berkman extended the lead with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. The game didn’t look like the best MLB All-Star game, but that changed in the bottom of the seventh inning.

JD Drew tied the game with a two-run homer. Each team scored a run in the eighth inning, sending the game into extra innings. I wonder how many people used the best MLB betting sites to wager on the 2008 MLB All-Star game going into extras.

Both teams had a solid chance to win in extras. Nate McLouth saved the NL, throwing out Dioner Navarro at home plate. The NL loaded the bases in the 12th inning but couldn’t score.

Michael Young had a walk-off sacrifice fly to give the AL the victory in 15 innings. It was a long game for everyone, but it stands out as one of the greatest MLB All-Star games.

5. 1967 – Strikeout Special

Most people will tell you the 2008 MLB All-Star game is the longest of all time. However, they have a company with the 1967 All-Star game. Pitching was on full display, but Dick Allen’s second-inning home run gave the NL a 1-0 lead.

The strikeouts piled up for both sides, with NL pitcher Fergie Jenkins striking out six batters in three innings. However, he allowed the game-tying home run to Brooks Robinson.

Honestly, that was about it from the offenses. The 2008 MLB All-Star game wasn’t the only top MLB All-Star game to reach the 15th inning. That’s when Tony Perez stepped to the plate.

I imagine it felt like forever, but Perez’s home run finally broke the 1-1 tie. Rookie and future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver earned the save to give the NL a 2-1 victory.

Some people might not consider this one of the best MLB All-Star games because of the lack of scoring, but you have to appreciate the pitching. Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale, and Catfish Hunter contributed to the 30 strikeouts.

It only makes sense the MLB All-Star game rankings include the two longest games. The 1967 game earns an advantage because of the spectacular pitching.

4. 1950 – Free Baseball

The MLB All-Star game has seen its fair share of extra-inning games. However, that was unheard of ahead of the 1950 MLB All-Star game. Every game before this ended in nine innings.

It was a tough start for Ted Williams. He hit the wall making a catch in the first inning, breaking his elbow. Williams remained in the game, but elbow surgery held him out until September. Check out the scoring breakdown in the first five innings below.

Baseball
  • Enos Slaughter RBI Triple (NL: 1-0)
  • Hank Sauer Sacrifice Fly (NL: 2-0)
  • George Kell Sacrifice Fly (AL: 1-2)
  • George Kell Sacrifice Fly (AL: 2-2)
  • Ted Williams RBI Single (AL: 3-2)

It looked like the AL would score a 3-2 victory, but Ralph Kiner’s ninth-inning home run gave us the first extra-inning game in MLB All-Star game history. And it wasn’t just 10 or 11 innings.

The NL reclaimed the lead on a Red Schoendienst solo home run in the 14th inning. The AL had one last chance with 35-year-old Joe DiMaggio at the plate, but he grounded into a double play.

The greatest MLB All-Star games feature three 14+ inning games.

3. 1955 – NL Overcomes Late Deficit

A comeback victory is one of the most exciting aspects of any sports game. We haven’t discussed a significant comeback in the MLB All-Star Game, but that ends with the 1955 edition.

Back-to-back singles and a wild pitch quickly gave the AL a 1-0 lead. Following a Ted Williams walk, Mickey Mantle blasted a three-run homer to put the AL ahead by four runs. This came before the NL recorded an out.

The AL added another run in the sixth inning. Facing a 5-0 deficit, the NL rallied in the seventh and eighth inning.

Hank Aaron
  • Johnny Logan RBI Single
  • Stan Lopata Single (Error Scored the Run)
  • Randy Jackson RBI Single
  • Hank Aaron Two Run Single

One of the MLB icons from the ‘40s to ‘80s, Hank Aaron, tied the game with a two-run single in the eighth inning. The rally turned this into one of the best All-Star games in MLB history.

And, of course, it wouldn’t be a top MLB All-Star game without an extra-inning game. Stan Musial clinched the victory for the NL with a walk-off home run in the 12th inning.

That moment capped one of the best MLB All-Star games.

2. 1941 – Ted Williams’ Walk-Off

The 1941 MLB All-Star game featured two early MLB legends: Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. Williams was in his third season but was hitting over .400 ahead of the All-Star Game. DiMaggio was in the midst of his 56-game hit streak.

There wasn’t much action early, with Williams’ RBI double being the only run in the first five innings. However, the remainder of this game gives it the No. 2 spot in my ranking of top MLB All-Star games.

Each team scored in the sixth inning, but Arky Vaughan hit two two-run homers to give the NL a 5-2 lead. It was a 5-3 game going into the bottom of the ninth inning.

DiMaggio had an RBI groundout to make it a 5-4 game. That set the stage for Williams.

Williams’ walk-off home run earned the AL a 7-5 victory. He finished the game 2-4 with a home run and four RBIs.

It’s hard to ask for much more from a great MLB All-Star game. The stars were on full display, while the best of them all delivered the clutch hit. Somehow, this wasn’t Williams’ best All-Star game performance.

1. 1970 – Pete Rose Runs Over Ray Fosse

The theme of the best MLB All-Star games has been extra-inning games. Why not combine an extra-inning game and come back for the best MLB All-Star game?

Jim Palmer and Tom Seaver had a pitcher’s duel, allowing two hits and striking out seven in the first three innings. Carl Yastrzemski’s RBI single in the sixth inning marked the game’s first run.

Brooks Robinson had a two-run triple in the eighth inning to give the AL a 4-1 lead. However, the NL mounted a rally in the ninth inning. Dick Dietz hit a solo home run, while Willie McCovey and Roberto Clemente had RBIs to tie the game.

In the 12th inning, we saw one of the most memorable moments in All-Star game history.

Jim Hickman hit the ball to center field. Pete Rose represented the game-winning run as he rounded third. He crashed into catcher Ray Fosse, dislodging the ball from his glove.

The NL scored a 5-4 victory thanks to the collision. It wasn’t the prettiest play, but it’s something baseball fans will never forget. That’s why we consider the 1970 MLB All-Star game the best of all time.

Betting on the MLB All-Star Game

MLB All Star logo

The MLB All-Star game is unique from the NFL and NBA because it’s hard not to go 100 percent. There’s little risk of injury, so players don’t have an excuse to give their all.

That makes it more fun for the players and fans. It certainly helps bettors because they’ll better understand which side has the upper hand.

The best MLB All-Star games may have been dicey for bettors, considering the extra-inning drama. That said, you can bet on these games (whether they end up getting added to a list like this or not) and potentially make some extra money.

If you’re interested in doing so, feel free to check out our guide to betting on the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.

MLB All-Star Game Betting Guide

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