2006 Major League Baseball All Star Week Report

Since Friday for me it has been Baseball, Baseball and more Baseball.

I volunteered at All-Star FanFest on Friday and Saturday. Attended the FanFest each day Friday through Tuesday. Scalped tickets to the highly enjoyable Futures and Legends/Celebrities Softball Games Sunday.

On Monday, I hung out for an hour at the Westin and said hello to Tommy Lasorda, Ozzie Smith, Dave Parker, Alex Rodriguez, and Ernie Banks.

The tying home run Ryan Howard hit in the finals of the Home Run Derby landed within a few feet of where I was standing behind the aisle near the ESPN broadcast booth in right centerfield. A bunch of crazies dove over the low barriers surrounding the ESPN setup, scrambling under the scaffolding supporting broadcasters John Kruk et.al., frantically searching, wriggling and fighting each other for the ball that had disappeared under the curtains hiding the structure.

I had a great view of Howard's thrilling winning homerun smacking the "Hit It Here" sign. Afterward, I volunteered at a FanFest invitation only gala, arriving home late, only to stay awake watching the Home Run Derby highlights on ESPN.

On Tuesday, I attended the memorabilia auction at FanFest where Bill Mazeroski opened the festivities with a surprise appearance to auction off his only game-used baseball glove for proceeds to benefit his scholarship fund. A bidder paid $16,000 for the well worn treasure and Maz graciously autographed it for him.

The featured item of the auction - the ball autographed by Babe Ruth that he hit for the first ever All-Star game homerun - brought over $800,000. Click Here and scroll down to "All Star History" to watch a video of the Babe hitting the historic home run. The bat Ruth used to hit his 59th homerun in 1921 was acquired for $460,000.

The city of Pittsburgh welcomed the players by turning the Roberto Clemente bridge into the world's largest red carpet where the arriving stars and their families rode in open air vehicles as the delighted fans cheered them from the edges of the route across the bridge to PNC Park.

The All-Star game itself was fun and exciting featuring a great atmosphere and a low scoring game with a thrilling ending that dissappointed the majority of fans who were pulling for the Nationals and had been standing, cheering for the last out to seal the victory that was not to be.

All in All - Awesome!