All-Star memories abound for all
Former stars, future players and fans share their favorites
SAN FRANCISCO -- Dane Cook stood there in his orange No. 19 All-Star jersey during Sunday's Taco Bell Celebrities and Legends Softball Game at AT&T Park, and you could see what baseball meant to him just by the way he soaked in the moment. All around him were past All-Stars like Wade Boggs, Rollie Fingers, Fred Lynn, Ozzie Smith, Dave Winfield -- people many grew up watching at this time of year.
"My favorite memories in baseball were spending a lot of time at the park with my dad, who wanted to play for the Boston Braves in '52, but opted to go to Korea," said Cook, an Arlington, Mass., native and popular actor/comedian who is now starring in Major League Baseball's unprecedented postseason marketing campaign. "He had scouts wanting him to sign, but he opted to go defend his country.
"Baseball is everyone's game, just like it was to my Dad and me, and to me the All-Star Game just means the best of the best. You are here to see the best of the best, simple as that. You're seeing magic happening on the field, things you will always remember."
With the 78th All-Star Game all set to create more memories starting tonight at 8 p.m. ET, MLB.com went looking around Major League Baseball this week to ask others for their favorite All-Star memories of the past. You no doubt will have your own unforgettable treasures in the memory vault, such as Pete Rose barreling over Ray Fosse at home plate or maybe Cal Ripken going deep in one last Midsummer Classic. Here were some that probably will trigger some good feelings:
Rollie Fingers, Hall of Fame closer and seven-time All-Star, whose American League team was generally pummeled by the NL: "My best All-Star memory was getting three outs in San Diego after making the team while I was with the Padres. As for my worst memory, that would be the other six."
Rob Dibble, 1990-91 All-Star reliever from the Reds: "Flipping a coin with Lee Smith to see who throws the eighth inning of the '91 game. We were behind in Toronto, and we were both tired. I won the flip, so I pitched the eighth, and that means he had to stay out there for the ninth. He didn't get to pitch anyway, because we lost. But what I remember most from that is him coming back into the clubhouse and being ticked off because someone stole his glove. I felt guilty because he loses this flip to me, and that glove probably had 300 saves in it, bound for the Hall of Fame."
Justin Upton, Diamondbacks prospect who homered in Sunday's 2007 XM Satellite Radio Futures Game: "For me, it's awesome just being able to play here and being a part of the whole week. As for one All-Star memory, I want to say it was in Milwaukee when Torii [Hunter] stole the homer from Barry [Bonds]. Just the way they were having fun with it, when Barry lifted Torii up into the air. I love having fun with guys, you know, just keeping it light and playing loose. That's baseball."
Rev. Jesse Jackson, son of former Negro Leagues player Charles Jackson: "To see Jackie [Robinson], Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe on the field [as All-Stars] at the same time, just being there. That was always a big deal to me. The beauty is that the game continues to grow, to where we are truly moving to be a World Series now. Players are Asian, Latinos, African-American, white, a real reflection on our cultures. Whenever the players feel that the playing field is even, this game truly means something big. This game and this sport is America at its best -- 60 feet to home plate, 90 feet between the bases, the same for everybody."
Robby Thompson, 1988 and '93 All-Star second baseman for the Giants: "I made it to two All-Star Games and didn't play either due to injury. I had never met Ripken or [Wade] Boggs, because I played in the NL. I went up to the cage in BP that first year, and I introduced myself to them, kind of humbly. They said, 'Oh, man, you're having a great year,' and were going on and on. It made me really feel good. I'm just a little kid playing out here on the West Coast, hearing that from those guys."
Alyssa Milano, Dodger season-ticket holder and actress/designer: "Last year was my first year being at the All-Star Game, and my favorite memory was seeing Albert Pujols in his NL All-Star gear and his little son holding his hand while wearing his Cardinal gear, as they were walking in from the outfield. Just to see this big, strong superhero have this really great moment with his son was great. It made you realize what these guys give up for this game."
Bill Larrabee, Angels fan in Houston: "My fondest memory is of the 1967 All Star Game at Anaheim Stadium. I was 11 years old and my Dad took me to the game where we saw Tony Perez hit the game-winning home run in the 15th inning. My love of baseball began that year and lives in me just as strong today. It was that game and the thrill and excitement of being in Anaheim Stadium that led me to make the Angels my ballclub and for 40 years I have supported them. My loyalty through the lean years was rewarded in 2002 with a World Series championship."
Jeff Garlin, comedian: Reggie Jackson's  home run in Detroit, by far. I was 9 years old. I watched that, and it was amazing. Over the roof. The game they called [a tie] in 2002, that ruined it. Players should play out of pride."
Jerry Rice, former 49ers legendary receiver: "This one. It think it's great being here in San Francisco, where the fans just love baseball. It's great having this in your backyard. You can tell because of the way the excitement is starting to build, and by Tuesday night it just becomes crazy."
Luke Hochevar, top Royals pitching prospect: "It would have to be the McGwire-Sosa Home Run Derby, the year they were both chasing the record."
Dave Winfield, an All-Star each year from 1977-88: "My favorite All-Star memory was when I was selected the second time, playing that game at home in San Diego. The applause at the old Murph, my home park at the time, was thunderous and long. In the All-Star Game, I got a lot of hits, won a lot of games, played with a lot of my idols and became friends. Once you step on the field, you've earned it. I would have gone to the All-Star Game any time. I was going to go no matter what."
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.