Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

All-Star Game Report | NATIONAL LEAGUE GLANCE

Gwynn Has a Night to Remember

July 11, 2001|Houston Mitchell

For five innings, Cal Ripken Jr. was the center of attention, getting a final inning at shortstop and hitting yet another dramatic home run.

But baseball didn't forget fellow retiring great Tony Gwynn.

When the AL took the field in the top of the sixth inning, video highlights of Ripken and Gwynn played on the Safeco Field scoreboard.

Angel Troy Glaus ran onto the field to replace Ripken, who was showered with cheers.

Gwynn walked onto the field for the ceremony and All-Stars poured out of both dugouts in a sign of appreciation toward two of the greatest players of this generation.

"The outpouring of love Cal and I received was unbelievable," Gwynn said.

"I can understand it for Cal. I have a hard time understanding it for me."

Highlight Reel: John Burkett, warming up in the bullpen, made a nice catch of Ripken's home run ball in the third inning. And Burkett wouldn't even have been there if not for the graciousness of teammate Greg Maddux, who declined an invitation to be on the team to ensure that Burkett would make the squad. See, teamwork does pay.

Winning Number: 8:35 PDT. That was what the clock read when the game ended. What a pathetic display on offense for the NL, which would have been better off playing a team of similar talent, say the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Wrong Number: Two. Moments after Tim McCarver pointed out that the Cubs have given up the fewest home runs in the NL, Cub pitcher Jon Lieber gave up consecutive home runs to Derek Jeter and Magglio Ordonez. Nice call, Tim.

Not in the Box Score: What do Randy Johnson and Barry Bonds have in common? Neither hustles to first base. In the first inning, Bonds grounded to the pitcher and jogged to the bag. And Johnson took his sweet time getting to first on a hard smash by Ichiro Suzuki, who got a single on the play because Johnson was late covering. Nice all-star hustle, guys.

First-Timers: It's a good thing the NL had some first-timers, or it never would have come close. Ryan Klesko drove in the only run with a sacrifice fly, Lance Berkman singled, Albert Pujols drew a walk and Jimmy Rollins walked and stole a base.

Old Hands: The best all-star veteran for the NL didn't play. Sure he wasn't officially on the roster, but would anyone have complained if Gwynn had been given a chance to hit?

In a game in which Ripken was named MVP, it would have been nice to see the NL's soon-to-be-retired superstar get one more chance to bat.

Quotebook: "I'm happy I'm retiring in the same year as Cal," Gwynn said. "When I told him that, he told me he was happy to be retiring with me.

"That made me feel good. Cal is a special player. I am not on the same level as he is."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|