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 14th, 1992 - San Diego, California
When it comes to baseball honors, Major League Baseball works at a pretty casual pace. The major awards, like MVPs, Cy Young Awards, Gold Gloves, and Silver Sluggers, aren't awarded to their recipients typically until December, months after the last pitch was delivered in the World Series; longer for those who saw no post-season action at all. World Series championship rings are often times delivered the following season, typically in grandiose pre-game ceremonies, sometimes in front of rival teams, and occasionally with key contributors to the championship actually no longer on the roster (those guys get their rings via the venerable FedEx with a note that says "good job, thanks a lot, have a neat summer").
The one honor that is rewarded the absolute latest however, is the honor of managing the All-Star Game. The rules are quite simple: if you manage a team to the World Series, you are automatically selected to manage the following year's All-Star Game. Regardless of if you are retired or fired, but not if you switch leagues, but that's irrelevant in this case. Managing the All-Star Game is the final reminder to the fans and everyone else in baseball, that it was your managing talents that reigned in a World Series team, nine months prior.
Following the magical worst-to-first 1991 season, which culminated in the legendary '91 World Series, Bobby Cox was named manager of the National League All-Stars for the first time in 1992, which took place in Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. He would go on to manage the All-Star Game a total of four more times in his illustrious managerial career, but the first time, is always special.
Four Braves players were named All-Stars in 1992 in Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Terry Pendleton, and Ron Gant. Starting the game for Cox would be none other than the Braves' own Tom Glavine, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, making his second-consecutive All-Star starting assignment. Considering Glavine was 13-3 with a 2.57 ERA at the time, it's hard to chalk it up to Bobby being a homer, as much as Tom Glavine genuinely earning the nod of starting the game.
Unfortunately for Bobby, his first All-Star game was not meant to be victorious, as an American League lineup featuring stars such as Cal Ripken, Jr., Joe Carter, Kirby Puckett, and eventual All-Star MVP Ken Griffey, Jr., exploded out of the gate, singling seven consecutive times in the first inning, leaving Glavine and the NL All-Stars down 3-0 immediately. Glavine would ultimately give up another run before being pulled, and at that point, Bobby just couldn't seem to press the right buttons to get the National League back on track. Greg Maddux would give up a home run to Griffey, Jr., and Bob Tewksbury was milked an inning too many and yielded four more runs, while the gauntlet of pitching from the American League featuring guys like Roger Clemens, Kevin Brown, and Mike Mussina simply silenced the NL's bats until the sixth inning, when the game was well out of hand by then.
Some good-intentioned decisions didn't work out and he ran into a few buzzsaws of opposition, which could often be said about Bobby Cox's managerial career as a whole. But like such, Bobby would have multiple opportunities managing All-Star teams, and in 1996, eventually got his win, with a 6-0 victory over the American League, which would be the last National League win in thirteen years.
1992 might not have been a win for Bobby Cox, but hey, back then, the games "didn't count," so what did the outcome genuinely matter? His first time being named an All-Star, a trip to beautiful sunny San Diego, and taking the helm of a team of the best players in baseball - sounds like a pretty swell reward for being really good at your job - nine months ago.