The Quarter! No. 25! It’s been 25 years since the 1997 All-Star Game at Jacobs Field. It was an exciting era to be an Indians fan because they were a powerhouse team. Having the midsummer classic in Cleveland made it more special and unforgettable. The game marked the fifth time the All-Star Game took place in Cleveland and the first since 1981. However, it was the first one at Jacobs Field. The name sounds better than Progressive Field, but that’s my opinion.
The event had so many talented players: so many legends and great ones in one venue. Twenty players combined from the American and National League went on to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The loudest ovation of the All-Star Game came during the player introductions. Kenny Lofton, who got traded to the Atlanta Braves before the season, received a standing ovation. Albert Belle, on the other hand, wearing a Chicago White Sox uniform, didn’t receive a warm welcome. He got booed. Right after Belle’s introduction, the crowd returned to a happy mood when the announcer called Sandy Alomar and Jim Thome’s names. The crowd would give more reason why to cheer for Sandy Alomar later on in the game.
Sandy Alomar entered the All-Star Game on a 30-game hitting streak. He was on fire. In the bottom of the 7th inning, the game tied at 1-1. Bernie Williams was on second base, and Sandy Alomar hit a home run to left field to give the American League a 3-1 lead. The home run turned out to be the game-winner. Alomar won the MVP. He became the first player in All-Star history to win the prestigious honor in the home park.
What’s more interesting is that his brother, Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, would win the All-Star Game MVP the following year. In addition, he got traded from the Orioles to the Indians to join his brother. You can’t write a better script than that one.