It’s been nearly 16 years since Toronto played host to the MLB all-star game. The SkyDome was just over two years old when it welcomed the league’s best on July 9, 1991, marking just the second all-star game ever played in Canada (Montreal had played host in 1981).
In his first season with Toronto, second baseman Roberto Alomar became just the second Blue Jay (George Bell, 1987) in team history to be voted onto the American League starting lineup. Joe Carter and Jimmy Key, meanwhile, were also added to the AL squad along with Jays manager Cito Gaston, who served as one of Tony LaRussa’s coaches.
Prior to the main event, the American League cruised past their National League counterparts by a 20-7 margin in the home run derby. Cal Ripken Jr. dominated the event, blasting 12 homers in total. Carter, the hometown favourite, chipped in with a pair for the AL squad.
As it turned out, Ripken was just getting warmed up. The following night, the ‘Iron Man’ played the hero in the 62nd annual midsummer classic, launching a three-run homer off Montreal’s Dennis Martinez in the third inning that helped propel the American League to a 4-2 win, their fourth straight.
Both Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and U.S. President George Bush were on hand for the game, accounting for two of the 52,382 in attendance, which still stands as a SkyDome/Rogers Centre record.
Alomar went 0-for-4 at the plate, but finished with a game-high four assists while playing a full nine innings at second base. Key came away with the win after tossing a scoreless third inning. Carter, meanwhile, walked in the fifth, and singled and scored in the seventh.