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I just saw a headline that read “MLB Celebrating the Greatest of All” in regards to the 2021 Major League Baseball All Star Game. Greatest of all? Come on. You’re kidding me.
I also have read in multiple places where fans, especially Mets fans, are claiming, and complaining, that Pete Alonso will have ruined his swing by participating in the Home Run Derby. Again…you’re kidding me.
As for Alonso, and anyone else who participates in a “home run derby,” it is absolutely absurd to think that someone’s swing will be affected. These players sport a swing that is geared to home run derby every game. Launch angles…exit velocity…linear weights…terms in 1971, 50 years ago, were associated with a NASA spacecraft launch are now the science behind hitting a baseball.
And it was 50 years ago, the 1971 All Star Game, that it truly was an exhibition of some of the “greatest of all” in baseball history. In that game, 21 players that went to that game in Detroit made it to the Hall of Fame.
It happened in 1973...I was there. The Mets pitching staff had halted the attack of the Big Red Machine and the Reds had their backs against the wall in the National League Championship Series. Something had to give. Someone had to light a fire and get the Reds back in the series. That's when Pete Rose went in hard...VERY hard...into the Mets beloved shortstop Bud Harrelson to break up a double play. It did not break up the double play but it DID incite a riot at Shea Stadium.
Even after the players returned to their respective dugouts and bullpens, the raucous fans at Shea would not let up. When Rose went to take his position in left field, he was showered with all kinds of debris. It was actually a horrible display. The public address announcer made an announcement telling the fans that the game would be forfeited if they didn't stop. Finally, Tom Seaver, Cleon Jones, Willie Mays, and Rusty Staub - acting as goodwill ambassadors - walked out to left field and appealed to the fans to halt. The game resumed, the Mets won, but not before Rose claimed the title for the most hated athlete in New York...long before he became the most despised person in baseball period.
And now another has claimed the title that Rose so eloquently carried for so many years...and under some somewhat similar circumstances.