Friday, July 11, 2014

The memorable 1999 MLB All-Star pregame ceremony

Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of an extremely memorable pregame ceremony. Prior to the All-Star game on 7/13/1999 at Fenway Park, several living members on the MLB All-Century Team ballot appeared on the field with actor Kevin Costner performing the introductions. Then the 1999 All-Stars were announced. But the highlight of the evening came after the national anthem when PA announcer Ed Brickley introduced Ted Williams who rode on a cart from the outfield to the pitching mound. This created an unforgettable scene as the current All-Stars surrounded "The Splendid Splinter" on the mound with none of the participants wanting the moment to end. Booth announcers Joe Buck, Tim McCarver, and Bob Brenly sounded rather emotional in describing the events. Eventually MLB officials were able to clear the field so that Williams could deliver the ceremonial first pitch assisted by Tony Gwynn.

The All-Century intros start at the 5:25 mark on this clip, beginning a stretch where Fox stayed on the air for over 38 straight minutes without a commercial break. The Williams segment runs from 36:07 through 43:46.

I still have vivid memories of watching the entire pregame show that night which overshadowed everything else. I didn't even bother watching the exhibition game that followed.

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