9 best All-Star performances by Yankees players

Yankees Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera became All-Star MVP in 2000 and 2013
Sara Molnick
Tuesday July 11, 2023

Table of Contents

Throughout the rich history of Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, the New York Yankees have consistently showcased their legendary players, from Babe Ruth and Derek Jeter to Aaron Judge. As a franchise with a remarkable baseball legacy and a tradition of excellence, it’s no surprise that the Yankees have contributed numerous memorable moments to this prestigious event.

Since the inaugural Midsummer Classic in 1933, where fate seemed to align with the Yankees‘ greatness, to the most recent edition in 2019, the Yankees’ star power has left an indelible mark on the annual clash between the leagues.

In this article, we highlight some of the most outstanding performances and unforgettable moments by Yankees players in the All-Star Game. While the order might not please everyone, perhaps in the future, we can explore the idea of fan balloting to determine the rankings, just like the game itself.

Here, we showcase the most remarkable standout performances.

#9. Lefty Gomez, 1935

In today’s game, it is unlikely to see a starter pitch six innings, as they are often limited in their workload. However, in the 1935 All-Star Game, Lefty Gomez defied expectations by delivering an impressive performance. The Yankees starter pitched six innings, allowing only one run and three hits against the NL lineup. This stellar outing was just one example of Gomez’s remarkable success in the All-Star Game, as he still holds the record for the most wins in the history of the event.

#8. Derek Jeter, 2000

In the 2000 All-Star Game held at Turner Field in Atlanta, Derek Jeter had the opportunity to start due to an injury to Alex Rodriguez, and he certainly made the most of it. Jeter had a flawless performance, going 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored. He started off strong by doubling off Randy Johnson in the first inning, followed by a single off Kevin Brown in the third inning.

In the fifth inning, Jeter delivered a clutch two-run single off Al Leiter. His exceptional display earned him the prestigious MVP award for the game, making him the first Yankee player to receive such an honor. This remarkable achievement also paved the way for Jeter to become the first player in MLB history to be named the MVP of both the All-Star Game and the World Series in the same season, a feat that remains unmatched.

Additionally, this marked the first of two occasions where Jeter went 3-for-3 in an All-Star Game, with the second occurrence taking place in 2004.

#7. Aaron Judge, 2017

During his impressive rookie campaign, Aaron Judge had the privilege of being the starting right fielder for the American League in the 2017 All-Star Game. In a remarkable display of his power, Judge joined an elite group of Yankees legends by hitting a home run in the All-Star Game before the age of 26. This feat placed him alongside the esteemed company of Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, making him the third Yankee player to accomplish such a milestone.

Among the noteworthy performances at the 2017 All-Star Game in Miami’s Marlins Park, Aaron Judge’s stood out prominently. It was a testament to his exceptional rookie season, as Judge showcased his prodigious power by belting an impressive 47 home runs while only recording 29 “outs.” The cumulative distance covered by Judge’s home runs amounted to a staggering 3.9 miles, equivalent to the distance from home plate to Miami’s picturesque Biscayne Bay. Reflecting on his outstanding display, Judge expressed his enjoyment and emphasized his determination to perform at his best.

#6. Joe DiMaggio, 1949

Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Despite being limited to just 12 games due to injury, Joe DiMaggio‘s exceptional talent earned him a spot as a reserve player in the All-Star Game. However, due to an injury to Tommy Henrich, DiMaggio found himself in the starting lineup. Taking full advantage of the opportunity, DiMaggio delivered a standout performance, going 2-for-4 at the plate and driving in three runs to contribute to the American League’s 11-7 victory.

#5. Mariano Riveria, 2013

Making his entrance to the iconic tune of “Enter Sandman” that transcends borough boundaries, Mariano Rivera took the mound in his last All-Star Game appearance. With his trademark poise and precision, Rivera pitched a flawless eighth inning, contributing to the American League’s 3-0 victory at Citi Field. As the all-time saves leader and an impending unanimous Hall of Fame inductee, Rivera made history by becoming the first pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 1999 to earn the All-Star Game MVP honors.

Reflecting on the momentous occasion, the Yankees closure expressed that it ranked among the pinnacle moments of his illustrious career, second only to his five World Series championships. He humbly acknowledged the privilege and honor of playing alongside his fellow All-Stars, emphasizing the profound significance of the experience.

#4. Jason Giambi, 2003

During the 2003 All-Star Game, the American League showcased its resilience by mounting a remarkable comeback in the eighth and ninth innings. Led by Jason Giambi, who was a member of the New York Yankees at the time, the AL team staged an impressive rally. In a dramatic finale, Giambi stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth and delivered a clutch walk-off RBI single, securing a well-deserved victory for the American League.

#3. Lou Gehrig, 1937

Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig.com

In front of an impressive audience of over 31,000 spectators, which included the esteemed presence of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the legendary Lou Gehrig showcased his prowess at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. Known as the “Iron Horse,” Gehrig left a lasting impact on the game by blasting a powerful two-run home run in the third inning off the Cardinals’ Dizzy Dean.

The Yankees’ iron horse further bolstered the American League’s offensive onslaught with a two-run double in the sixth inning against the Dodgers’ Van Mungo. Gehrig’s remarkable performance resulted in four RBIs and six total bases, leading the charge for the American League in their resounding 8-3 victory.

#2. Babe Ruth,1933

Known as the historic “Game of the Century,” the inaugural All-Star Game took place at Comiskey Park in Chicago as a special event to commemorate the city’s centennial and coincide with the World’s Fair. It was originally planned as a one-time affair. The legendary Babe Ruth rose to the occasion and delivered an impressive performance on this grand stage.

In the third inning, the Yankees’ superstar crushed a powerful home run off the Cardinals’ Bill Hallahan, driving in two runs and giving the American League an early advantage. Ruth’s impact wasn’t limited to his hitting prowess; he also showcased his defensive skills with a remarkable running catch, denying the Reds’ Chick Hafey of extra bases. This outstanding play preserved the AL’s 4-2 victory. The winning pitcher of the game was Lefty Gomez, who contributed to the triumph of the American League team.

#1. Derek Jeter, 2000

In the 2000 All-Star Game, Derek Jeter displayed his exceptional skills and became the first Yankee player to be named the All-Star Game MVP. Jeter had a flawless performance, going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate and driving in two runs. His contributions played a significant role in the American League’s triumph in the game.

Stepping in for the injured Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter made the most of his opportunity as the starting shortstop in the 2000 All-Star Game at Turner Field. Jeter showcased his skills by going a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, delivering a double off Randy Johnson in the first inning and singles off Kevin Brown and Al Leiter in later innings. The Yankees captain contributed two RBIs and scored a run, playing a pivotal role in the American League’s offensive performance. Reflecting on his achievement as the first Yankee to win the All-Star MVP, Jeter humbly expressed his surprise and attributed his success to being in the right place at the right time.

The Bonus: Yankee Stadium, 2008

In the last year of its existence, the iconic Yankee Stadium became the backdrop for the longest All-Star Game ever played. Lasting an impressive four hours and 50 minutes, the thrilling 15-inning contest will forever be remembered. While Josh Hamilton’s extraordinary performance in the Home Run Derby captured attention, it was Justin Morneau who emerged as the champion.

In the end, the American League secured a 4-3 victory with Michael Young’s decisive sacrifice fly. Reflecting on the memorable night, Derek Jeter noted that it felt as though the Stadium itself resisted the game’s conclusion, adding an extra layer of magic to the event.

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