The Top 20 Moments in Jacobs Field History: Alomar Homers in 1997 All-Star Game
The 2013 season will mark the 20th year of baseball at Progressive (ie Jacobs) Field. It’s been a relatively short history (although with the stadium building boom in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Progressive Field is the 13th oldest facility in the majors). Did the Tribe Win Last Night? has compiled a list of the 20 most memorable moments in the field’s history. We’ll count them down while we wait for Opening Day.
By Vince Guerrieri
4. 1997 All Star Game
Three years after Jacobs Field opened, it hosted the 68th All-Star Game. It was the fifth time the Indians hosted the Midsummer Classic, setting a record.
Larry Doby threw out the ceremonial first pitch, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of him being the first African-American ballplayer in the American League. Tribe players David Justice, Jim Thome and Sandy Alomar Jr. were on the bench for manager Joe Torre. Albert Belle, who had left Cleveland that offseason for the White Sox, was also named to the All-Star team. He was booed quite lustily by the crowd.
Edgar Martinez homered in the bottom of the second off Greg Maddux to give the American League a 1-0 lead. The Braves’ Javy Lopez homered in the seventh off Jose Rosado to tie the game. But in the bottom of the seventh, Sandy Alomar, who had come on to replace starting American League catcher Ivan Rodriguez in the sixth, hit a two-run homer off Shawn Estes to give the AL a 3-1 lead.
Rosado ended up being the winning pitcher for the game, and Alomar made baseball history, becoming the first player ever named All-Star Game MVP in his home park. He was also the first Indian ever named MVP of the Midsummer Classic.