A Look Back: Baseball in the All-Star Wars Era

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While distant galaxies a long, long time ago were fighting inner-galactic wars, here in the Milky Way, the All-Star Wars were just beginning. Long, long before genetically-engineered vatman “Roy Hobbs” hit a game-defining homer, long, long before Carl Crawford robbed a home run, or Fred Lynn hit a grand slam, the Okrimus Solar System was engaged in a fierce war over who would host the All-Star Game, the Okrimus home planet (Okrimus), the Plenner home planet (Plenn), or the National League (primordial Earth).

Here are the top ten moments from that fierce, bloody war:
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A Look Ahead: the All-Star Game of 2146

future-resortIn anticipation of this season’s festivities, we turn our transchronospectrojig toward the year 2146 AD/CE/Pretty Good, and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game that will be.  Ah yes, we shall remember it semi-honestly.  In a tight, little dome, somewhere in the swampy morass that was once medium-sized states, far from the corpse-pile stench of the ocean-chewed coasts, the best-known players not contractually prohibited from participating will take the field to represent AmeriCo and the Nations League in the Summer Classic Presented by the Independent Duchy of Sponsorglomerate.

The All-Star Game will do fairly well in its HoloNeuroBeam Transmission bracket, edging ahead of baseball’s regular sporting competitor, Watch People Being Killed With Violence, but falling quite a distance behind the regular top program, Ancient Footage of Food Being Made By Hand.

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Altuve Vows Not to Be Thwarted Again; Invokes Infernal Monstrosity

Hinder me at your peril, humanity.

Houston Astros’ second baseman and defrocked nuclear physicist José Altuve has been denied the cycle for the second time in less than a week, as of the close of today’s contests.  An unlikely — even fractious . . . and yet startingly effective — team of superheroes took credit for combining their powers to sink Altuve’s 6th inning line drive, allowing it be caught rather than clearing the wall for a home run as the embattled mastermind originally intended, this coming a mere four days after Altuve was struck down rounding second by a coalition of minor divinities while attempting to secure a triple.  Two days later, this latter incident would generate a sympathy stumble from fellow superhuman Mike Trout, who in 2013 overcame significant, unified and international opposition to achieve the feat.  The two were soon spotted plotting nefariously in Orange County, CA.

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One Man’s Revised All-Star Ballot, For Real

A 1972 All-Star Ballot

American League starters

1B – Mike Trout

2B – Brian Dozier

SS – Mike Trout

3B – Manny Machado

LF – Mike Trout

CF – Mike Trout

RF – Mike Trout

C – Mike Trout

SP – David Price

DH – Prince Fielder Mike Trout Prince Fielder Mike Trout

National League starters

1B – Albert Pujols (circa 2009)

2B – Jackie Robinson (circa 1949)

SS – Arky Vaughn (circa 1935)

3B – Mike Schmidt (circa 1980)

LF – Stan Musial (circa 1948)

CF – Andrew McCutchen Willie Mays (circa 1954)

RF – Hank Aaron (circa 1963)

C – Johnny Bench (circa 1972)

SP – Sandy Koufax (circa 1966) 

DH – Roy Hobbs (circa 1939)

A Look Back: the All-Star Game of 1942

1942ship-plane

As this year’s action wraps up, we look back to an All-Star contest from a more tumultuous time: the War Years. With so many stars of the Majors on active duty, others were called upon to participate in the Midsummer Classic — and this they did, often with a gusto and gravity that outshone the more leisurely approach of the professional ballplayers. Today we examine the tilt of 1942 in particular: a crucial moment in sporting history. The season had begun rough all around: Germany had struggled through their first road-trip of the year, but as the weather warmed they were picking up steam and looked to roll confidently into the series at Stalingrad behind the bat of Paulus and the glove of von Manstein. Japan, meanwhile, got off to a hot start through the Philippines, but had given up a lot of runs in the games at Midway and lost a key player. America and Britain were endeavoring to reorganize after dropping several North African showdowns in a row, while the USSR braced for the upcoming visit from their longtime foes. But all these plans were put on hold as umpires were summoned from Switzerland and Turkey, and each team’s top performers got together on the diamond. To many, the All-Star game of 1942 was a pivotal point in the rivalry between the Allied and Axis Leagues. Continue reading

2015 All-Silly Team

American League
C – Jesus Sucre, for pitching a scoreless inning.
1B – Miguel “Banknotes” Cabrera, for a strong handshake.
2B – Jose Altuve, for diminutive height.
SS – Sir Mariekson Julius “Didi” Gregorius, for being a knight.
3B – Adrian Beltre, for head-rubs.
LF – Yoenis Cespedes, for Showcase.
CF – Mike Trout, because who else?
RF – Brock Holt, who during the game will play every single position.
Designated Fielder – Delmon Young

Delmon Young

Pitchers
Pat Venditte
Larry Bernandez
Darren O’Day

National League
C – Derek Norris, for achievements in beardery.
dereknorris1B – Danny Dorn, for Crash Davis status (rookie, age 30) and pithy name.
2B – Dee Gordon, for his only home run being inside-the-park.

DeeGordonSS – Andrelton Simmons, for the defense.
3B – Yunel Escobar, for constantly talking to himself on the field.
LF – Jayson Werth, for achievements in beardery and self-proclaimed Rooseveltianism.
CF – Yasiel Puig, for bat flips.
RF – Giancarlo Stanton, for not knowing how to eat Kit-Kats.
DH – Jose Fernandez.

Pitchers
Bartolo Colon
Hyun-Jin Ryu, for rapping skills (hat-tip to Bradley Woodrum)
Johnny Cueto, for dance moves
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TV Commentator
Munenori Kawasaki

Did I forget anyone? Holler cruel things at me in the comments section!

One Man’s All-Star Ballot, For Real

All-Star Ballot

American League starters

1B – Nobody. First base is a stupid position.

2B – Clark Griswold

SS – Rudy Meoli

3B – Margaret Thatcher

LF – Brian Williams, of NBC Nightly News

CF – a Kansas City Royal; doesn’t matter who, really, just as long as one gets in

RF – Eric Sogard

C – Rory McIlroy

SP – Jeff Francoeur

DH – Michael Bublé

National League starters

1B – Paul Goldschmidt

2B – Ellen Griswold

SS – Johnnie LeMaster

3B – Nobody. There are too many people on the field already.

LF – Silvio Berlusconi

CF – a Philadelphia Phillie; doesn’t matter who, really, just as long as one gets in

RF – Steve Jeltz

C – Flava Flav

SP – David Murphy

DH – Bartolo Colon

And yours? 

Must-See Mustaches of the 2015 All-Star Festivities

A 'Staches

The press release from MLB, in the lead-up to the All-Star Game in Cincinnati: 

Major League Baseball and the Cincinnati Reds today announced that 20 Cincinnati baseball-inspired statues will be placed around the Queen City. Each statue is an oversized mustache emblazoned with unique All-Star or Reds-centric imagery and text. The mustache resembles the handlebar style sported by Reds mascot Mr. Redlegs. Each statue measures 8 feet wide, 2.5 feet high and weighs approximately 850 pounds.

The actual – no foolin’ here – rest of the press release: 

In addition to these oversized cookie dusters, the Queen City will also feature large-scale replicas of some of history’s most iconic mustaches:

A Hulk Hogan

- Hulk Hogan: Provided the aesthetic enticement of the wrestler’s horseshoe ’stache, visitors are invited to gaze upon its magnificence as if it were the Arc de Triomphe, and, in a moment that only Paris can provide, cuddle with significant others while speaking in hushed tones about the price of dessert and the behavior of that awful waiter.

A Wilford Brimley

- Wilford Brimley: Visitors are encouraged to rummage through the oversized whiskers to find leftover chunks of fake Quaker Oatmeal, which they can either ingest in advance of an adventurous ride to the emergency room or redeem for pre-owned VHS tapes of the movie Cocoon, in addition to the dying echoes of the word “die-uh-beet-us.”

Groucho Marx

- Groucho Marx: Given the density of Groucho’s ’stache, visitors are invited to bushwhack through the bristles in efforts to find undiscovered groups of indigenous settlers who have never heard of Joey Votto.

A Salvador Dali

- Salvador Dali: Visitors are encouraged to kick surrealist footballs (provided for 10 realist dollars) through the figurative goalposts of Dali’s upswept ’stache to score enjoyable “game-winning” field goals or, if feeling a bit less adventurous, delightful “game-tying” extra points. 

A Rollie Fingers

- Rollie Fingers: Supplied with the upswept curls of the handlebar ’stache, visitors are encouraged to pretend that they are riding the world’s largest Harley-Davidson before engaging in a meth-distribution dispute with the sociopathic recruitment officer of the local chapter of the Bandidos biker gang and then losing an eye and two quarts of blood.

A Charlie Chaplin

- Charlie Chaplin: Visitors are encouraged, though certainly not required, to grab one of the free on-site broom handles, secure it to the bristles of the Chaplin ’stache and sweep the corner clean of discarded leaflets redeemable for five free minutes on a 60-minute massage at the Midnight Cowboy Therapy Emporium (limit one per customer, please).

New Line Cinema Presents The Premiere Of "Hairspray" - Arrivals

- John Waters: If sufficiently industrious, visitors are invited to detach the Waters ’stache from its mooring and, with it, scour each drainpipe within a 10-block radius. Once the project is complete, they may pretend that the ’stache is the killer asp from the never-released 1950s movie Attack of the Killer Asp, going so far as to lie beneath it while screaming for mercy that never comes and then dying in unmitigated agony. 

Major League Baseball hopes that a good time will be had by all. 

h/t Darkstone42, gifted practitioner of tipping hotly.