1997 was a very eventful year at the newly opened Gateway District in Downtown Cleveland. Cleveland would be host to both the MLB, and NBA all star festivities that year.
The NBA All Star weekend took place on the weekend of February 9th. This was the 47th NBA All Star Game and it also commemorated the 50th anniversary of the NBA. The MVP award was given to the Charlotte Hornet’s SF Glen Rice who played 25 minutes while scoring 25 points and breaking two NBA records. Rice Scored 20 points in the 3rd quarter notching the first ever triple double in NBA All Star Game history, while leading the Eastern conference to a 132-120 win over the Western Conference. The attendance at this game was 20,562.
The MLB All Star game took place on July 8th and was played in front of 44,916 people. First pitch of the annual event was thrown out by Indians HOF’er Larry Doby. This Midsummer classic happened to be the first ever for recently retired Yankees closer Mariano Rivera who notched himself his first ever All Star Game save to close out the American League’s 3-1 win over the National League. In the bottom of the 7th inning Cleveland’s own Sandy Alomar Jr. hit a 2 run home run which would eventually be the game’s winning RBI. Alomar would go on to be selected as the MVP.
This game was the last time the Milwaukee Brewers were represented as a team from the American League. The Brewers switched over to the National League for the 1998 season as a result of the expansion franchises in Arizona and Tampa.
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