Today in Tribe History: July 8, 1997
Bob Toth | On 08, Jul 2016
Sandy Alomar plays hometown and All-Star Game hero, as his two-run home run off of Shawn Estes in the bottom of the seventh inning scores the deciding runs and earns him MVP honors in a 3-1 victory for the American League at Jacobs Field.
Alomar had been on a tear at the plate, taking an active 30-game hitting streak into the Midsummer Classic, hosted in Cleveland for the first time since 1981. Selected as a reserve catcher behind Ivan Rodriguez, Alomar got called upon for pinch-hitting duty in the seventh against San Francisco’s Estes. With Bernie Williams on second base after a one-out walk and a wild pitch, Alomar sent the 2-2 pitch from the Giants left-hander into the bleacher seats over the wall in left to break a 1-1 tie. That score would remain and Alomar would be tabbed as the game’s Most Valuable Player.
“This is a great day for all of our family,” shared his brother, Roberto Alomar, who started at second base for the squad while representing the Baltimore Orioles, in the next day’s The Plain Dealer. “I am very happy for Sandy. I kind of had the feeling he’d be the hero. He has come a long way from the injuries he’s had in the past.
“I never doubted he could have this kind of year. Whenever he is healthy, he is capable of putting up these kinds of numbers. Tonight, he came through when we really needed it.”
He became the first Indians player to ever win the All-Star Game MVP Award and the first player to ever do so at his home park.
Alomar, who was hitting .375 entering the exhibition, was joined on the AL roster by teammates Jim Thome and David Justice, as well as manager Mike Hargrove. Justice was voted in as a starter on the AL squad, but did not play.
Photo: David I. Andersen/The Plain Dealer