Chicago Cubs: Looking back at the 1990 All-Star Game


Looking back at the mid-summer classic Wrigley Field hosted in 1990

There was a time the Major League Baseball All-Star Game was about pride, respect, and fun. The thought of having all of the best players in the world on one field playing against each other and putting on a show for the fans was enough for players at one time.

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Eventually players and management worried more about being healthy and having the extra time off to rest the stress of a 162 game season. With those concerns and the threats of some of the marquee players not being present at the game, it forced MLB to make the game have more “meaning” again.

Home field advantage is now awarded to the winner of the all-star game; not exactly the ideal situation, but it was what the powers that be decided was best for the game.

Every year each home team that is awarded the right to host the all-star game adds their own hometown touches to the game and its festivities. Lately, the all-star games have been hosted by some of the newer parks that have been modernized to attract more attention.

With the renovations being done to Wrigley Field, it isn’t unlikely that the Chicago Cubs will soon be thought of as a host for the all-star game soon.

The last time Wrigley Field hosted the all-star game was back in 1990. While the game didn’t go down as an all-time classic, it was a special moment for those who were in attendance.

The 61st all-star game held in Wrigley Field is remembered for its multiple rain delays that occurred before and during the game. There was worry that the game wouldn’t even be able to start with the amount of rain in the forecast.

According to, there was a total of eighty-five minutes of delayed time of the game, including a sixty-eight-minute delay that happened in the seventh inning of the game.

During those rain delays, the CBS network would air Rescue 911 to pass the time.

The game started out with a rendition of the Canadian National Anthem sung by native Chicagoan, Wayne Messmer. Following the Chicago Cubs’ own Messmer would be another Chicago native and national recording artist, Richard Marx, who sang The Star Spangled Banner.

Of course, the one and only Mr. Cub Ernie Banks would throw out the ceremonial first pitch to kick-off the 61st all-star game.

Starting pitchers were Bob Welch of the Oakland Athletics for the American League and the Cincinnati Reds’ Jack Armstrong for the National League.

The Chicago Cubs were well represented at the game. Manager Don Zimmer was named to the staff by San Francisco Giants’ manager, Roger Craig. Cubs’ second baseman and early MVP candidate, Ryne Sandberg started second and batted in the two-hole for the NL squad and Andre Dawson manned right field and batted fifth. Chicago Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston was also named to the team as a reserve.

The three Cubs would combine for a 0-for-7 game.

The game could be looked as a pitching duel, considering that both teams consistently put up zeros on the scoreboard until the top of the seventh inning.

Before the game was delayed due to the rain, Cleveland Indians’ Sandy Alomar led off the inning with a single and was pushed over to third with another single by Lance Parrish of the California Angels.

After the 68 minute delay, new relief pitcher, Rob Dibble came into the game and faced off against the Texas Rangers’ Julio Franco. Franco doubled off Dibble to score both Alomar and Parrish to give the American League their 2-0 lead.

Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley came into the ninth to close the game out for the American League. The National League would only manage two hits, one by Will Clark and the other by Lenny Dykstra in the ninth.

Franco would win the all-star game MVP, driving the only two runs into the game and also hitting the only extra-base hit of the game.

The rain may have put a damper on the game and the field, but the thirty-nine thousand plus in attendance in Wrigley Field at least were on hand for a moment of baseball history.

Next: Chicago Cubs closing the gap on most, but not the Cardinals