The MLB All-Star Game has been full of memorable moments, and with the 82nd Mid-summer Classic upon us, Atlanta Braves fans remember some special moments for their team in All-Star Game history. We here at Talking Chop are proud to introduce the top-10 Braves All-Star Game moments.
July 15, 2003 - CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Following the 11-inning tie in the 2002 All-Star Game, this such contest held much more significance: it would be the first All-Star Game in which the winning league would earn home field advantage in the World Series. The NL had lost six straight since last winning in 1996.
The Braves entered the Break with MLB's best record at 61-32; they had a comfortable 8.5-game lead having won 10 of 12, including eight in a row, and were well on their way to a 101-win season and their 12th straight division title. Bobby Cox's team sent seven All-Stars to U.S. Cellular Field: Javy Lopez, Gary Sheffield, Marcus Giles, John Smoltz, Rafael Furcal, Russ Ortiz and Andruw Jones. Lopez and Sheffield were elected starters while Giles was injured and couldn't play.
The AL had a slim 1-0 lead when the NL broke through in a big way in the fifth. Todd Helton hit a 2-run HR with Sheffield on base and Rafael Furcal's single four batters later drove Seattle pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa from the game. Andruw Jones stepped to the plate with two on against Eddie Guardado and plated both runners with a ground-rule double to left; he later scored on an Albert Pujols single.
The NL led 5-3 in the seventh when Andruw delivered again, smashing a Mark Mulder pitch for a solo home run. The lead was 6-4 headed to the eighth and victory was imminent with Eric Gagne entering the game. Gagne had converted his last 39 save chances and was on his way to a record 84 consecutive saves. On this night, however, he failed to hold the lead, surrendering a run-scoring double and a two-run HR. Suddenly, the AL had a lead they would not relinquish, winning 7-6.
Garret Anderson was 3 for 4 with two RBI and was named MVP.