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2001 All-Star Game
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2001 All-Star Game

Live 
Event Notebook  72nd All-Star Game
A team of MLB.com reporters have descended on Seattle and will provide a live running notebook from All-Star Week. Check in often to see which celebrities are hanging out at the ballpark and around town from July 8 to July 10.

 All-Star Game TUESDAY, JULY 10  |  MONDAY, JULY 9  |  SUNDAY, JULY 8  

Sprinklers in the outfield signify the official end of the All-Star Game festivities.
10:40 p.m. PT
By now all of the fans and most of the media have left the SAFECO Field. On the field there is a Japanese talk show having a roundtable-like discussion near the first-base line and various production crews are taking group photos around home plate.

8:29 p.m. PT
Well, the American League won the 72nd edition of the All-Star Game, 4-1. Sasaki earned his save as expected, and Cal got the MVP award, which hardly came as a surprise.

Ripken, joined by his family, is one the field accepting the award. We are predicting Cal will get his fifth standing ovation within minutes.

Cal is now on the field being interviewed by ESPN's Rich Eisen as fans start filing out of the stadium.

8:26 p.m. PT
Crowd is on its feet as Kazuhiro Sasaki is throwing warm-up pitches, looking to close out the game.

The consensus at SAFECO is that Cal Ripken will win the All-Star MVP award.

A Seattle favorite, the Bad-Dancing contest, is being shown on the Jumbotron. Smart money is on Tommy Lasorda's break dance in the sixth inning.

7:40 p.m. PT
Ichiro, wearing his hat backwards, spoke to a jam-packed interview room. When the moderator said "English [questions] first" Ichiro got up jokingly as if he were going to walk away.

On Cal: "I am very happy to see Cal hit the home run. I am very honored to be on the same field as him."

He also said he was very honored to face Randy Johnson in an All-Star Game. By the way, Ichiro wears No. 51 for the M's -- the same number the Unit wore during his career here in Seattle.

7:25 p.m. PT
Duck! Vladimir Gurrero lost the grip on his bat and it flew toward third-base coach Tommy Lasorda, knocking him over into a back somersault.

When fans realized Lasorda was OK, there was collective laughter throughout the stadium -- especially when it was replayed on the in-stadium TV system.

Lasorda went to the bench where he was met with laughter and jokes from Sean Casey, Chipper Jones and Mike Piazza.

Ever the trooper, Lasorda headed back out to the third-base box where Barry Bonds tried to get him to wear the umpire's chest shield. Tommy, still laughing about the incident, politely declined.

7:15 p.m. PT
Sammy Sosa was impressed with Cal Ripken's dramatic home run.

"Wow," he said. "It's like a dream come true. He is the man. He is the man."

7:06 p.m. PT
The game has stopped and a podium has been wheeled out near third base. The commissioner is presenting Cal Ripken with a trophy. All the players have emptied their respective dugouts and surrounded Ripken.

"Thank you, thank you everyone." Ripken says as he acknowledges the crowd.

By our count, this puts Ripken's standing ovations at four.

6:45 p.m. PT
MLB.com is hearing rumors that there is something special planned when Cal Ripken comes out of the game in the fifth inning. Stay tuned for details...

6:00 p.m. PT
Our kid reporter, DJ Drysdale, reacts to the "honorary kid reporters" in the dugout on Fox's broadcast. "HEY!"... He's comforted when he realizes their credential says "guest" and is suspended by a plain white string, whilst his says "Working Media" and dangles proudly off the official, collectible lanyard of the 2001 All-Star Game. (MLB.com staff gently suggest that his credential may be altered to more accurately read, 'Pestering Media,' but that's another story.)

The flags of the world wave during Tuesday's opening ceremonies.
5:50 p.m. PT
Roger Clemens apparently is tired of talking about facing Mike Piazza, as he didn't attend the post-game interview session he was supposed to have. We've been told he may be available later around the clubhouse.

5:40 p.m. PT
One of the more heartwarming scenes during this All-Star celebration came when Bobby Clemente, Roberto's grandson, ran a ceremonial trip around the bases. As he waved to the crowd, Edgar Martinez and Sammy Sosa waited for the 7-year-old at home plate, where he jumped into the arms of Martinez.

The managers walked to home plate to exchange lineup cards. NL Manager Bobby Valentine was accompanied by his mentor, Tommy Lasorda, while AL manager Joe Torre was joined by his brother, Frank.

When the AL starters ran onto the field, Cal Ripken, appearing in his final All-Star Game, sprinted noticeably faster than the rest of the squad. A-Rod, who is the AL starter at shortstop, playfully pushed the future Hall of Famer to his longtime position at short and then took Ripken's spot at third base, much to the delight of the fans at SAFECO.

5:33 p.m. PT
During the player introductions, the loudest response, understandably, was for the first name announced, local favorite Ichiro Suzuki. The crowd wasn't as favorable to Alex Rodriguez, who received a split reaction of boos and cheers from his former hometown crowd.

Singer Diana Krall, clad in the red National League All-Star jersey, performed the Canadian National Anthem. Afterwards, Mya, draped in the green American League jersey, performed the Star-Spangled Banner.

Honorary captains for the NL squad were Ralph Branca and Bobby Thompson, while Hall-of-Famer Kirby Puckett was announced as the AL honorary captain to a standing ovation.

5:15 p.m. PT
We're all settling in for the start of the game, with world music bands performing on the field. Continuing with the international theme, the flags of many nations were unfurled at SAFECO after the performance.

Ceremonial pitches were thrown out by a remarkable lineup of Hall of Famers from around the world: Luis Aparicio (Venezuela), Juan Marichal (Cuba), Tony Perez (Cuba), Orlando Cepeda (Puerto Rico) and Ferguson Jenkins (Canada).

SAFECO Field is filled to capacity. The players are lining up along the baselines -- the AL players on the first-base line and the NL squad along the third-base line.

A large banner was opened in the outfield. It read: "Baseball was born in America, but it belongs to the world. -- Allen H. 'Bud' Selig, MLB Commissioner."

4:20 p.m. PT
The players and media were cleared from the field so that the crew could set up for the pregame festivities. While the groundscrew waters the infield, others haul out "big drums, like -- what are those called? -- kettle drums or big bongos," describes our musically-challenged reporter (fear not, she really knows her baseball.)

And we're not promising anything, but the retractable roof at Safeco Field is in the process of closing -- it's about one-third of the way shut as we speak -- despite the fact that there isn't a cloud in the sky in sunny Seattle this afternoon. Wonder what kind of special plans they have brewing?

With less than hour to go before game time, the stands are humming at about 75% capacity.

Ryan Ripken went over the top of his popular pop, Cal, to check out the action while the AL squad took batting practice.
3:45 p.m. PT
Down on the field during the NL's BP session, there's a nice Mets moment taking place, with Bobby Valentine, Mike Piazza, Rick Reed and some of the Mets coaches like Mookie Wilson, John Stearns and Randy Niemann posing for a picture.

Former pitcher/current musician Jack McDowell is wandering aimlessly around the field, looking too cool to realize that few people recognize him with his burgundy, shoulder-length hair -- a far cry from his closely-cropped playing days.

Someone that everyone seems to recognize is Cal Ripken, who looks like the Pied Piper with the comet's tail of people that follows him wherever he goes. Earlier, Ripken was spotted on the field with his son while the AL was taking batting practice.

Fellow retiring legend Tony Gwynn is also in town, chatting up the media about his favorite subject -- baseball. Gwynn was invited as a special guest to tonight's festivities and, while he's not going to play, he is currently walking around with a bat in his hand. We'll let you know if he steps in the cage to take a few cuts.

3:10 p.m. PT
While most of the media are squeezed together like cattle down on the field, MLB.com was privy to limited access to the mellow atmosphere of the NL clubhouse.

Being All-Stars themselves apparently didn't stop Sean Casey and Todd Helton from making their way around the locker room in search of autographs.

But our reporter couldn't believe his eyes when he saw the Braves' Chipper Jones and the Mets' Mike Piazza sitting next to each other, hanging out and having a good time. Aren't players from these two teams supposed to hate each other? It's like Elmer J. and that Wascally Wabbit chillin' in the forest together, scarfing down a cold one.

Helton's jersey, complete with autographs.
2:58 p.m. PT
It's more than two hours before game time, but the fans have already started pouring into Safeco Field. The stands are an estimated one-third full, with most of the people congregating in the outfield seats, better positioning themselves to wrassle for batting practice home runs.

On the field, meanwhile, you'd be hard-pressed to spot any of the players -- though word is the AL is way out in center field taking their team picture -- thanks to the more than 3,000 media members that are roaming around down there.

But that's nothing compared to the 5,000 or so people who showed up at the Commissioner's Gala last night, including Mike Hampton, Rick Reed and Alex Rodriguez. In fact, when one of our reporters arrived, A-Rod was the very first person she saw (but no, he didn't offer to take her coat and show her party to their seats).

But what's a party without an after party? The biggest one was at the jam-packed W. Hotel, hosted by SuperAgents Leigh Steinberg and Jeffrey Moorad. Derek Jeter -- reportedly wearing the same smooth blazer and sky blue t-shirt from that afternoon's interview session -- was the star everyone was gazing at.

List of available DVD's on the wall in the clubhouse.
2:50 p.m. PT
Spotted in the National League clubhouse, a list of DVDs available to watch on the big-screen TV. It's heavy on the goofy comedy and Adam Sandler: Caddyshack, Back to School, Tin Cup, Something About Mary, Wedding Singer, Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, Scary Movie, Blazing Saddles, Me, Myself & Irene, Dude Where is My Car.

2:30 p.m. PT
NL clubhouse: A large sunflower arrangement sits in Chan Ho Park's locker from a well-wisher. Matt Morris sits on the couch, reading "Stuff" magazine. Sammy Sosa sits in his corner locker, eating a plate of rice & beans. Sammy brought his brother (who looks just like him) and his son to the festivities.

This atmosphere brings out the little boys in the men playing the game. Todd Helton's jersey, hanging in his locker, is covered in autographs from peers and legends in attendance.

More Notebooks:
TUESDAY, JULY 10  |  MONDAY, JULY 9  |  SUNDAY, JULY 8