When the Tigers began building a new ballpark in the late 90s, you just had to know an All-Star Game would follow. Comerica Park opened in 2000, but it took five years before it played host to the Midsummer Classic. But boy, when 2005 finally came around, the wait was worth it.
Despite having just one All-Star -- this one a deserving Pudge Rodriguez -- and no starters, the fans in the Motor City were fortunate enough to make some lifetime memories when their city hosted the festivities for the firs time in 34 years.
First on many lists is likely the home run derby. Even though Pudge lost much of the power of earlier in his career -- for several seasons by then his home run totals were in the teens -- he put on a show that night to make it to the event's finals. Pudge's heroics were overshadowed, however, by Bobby Abreu. The Phillies slugger set records for single round total (24), championship round (11)and total (41). Pudge hit five in the championship round.
Abreu told the media:
"I was in a good rhythm and it was something that was hard to believe. It was something amazing. This is a beautiful night. This is something amazing that came to me. I don't know if I can sleep tonight."
Of course, you might also remember 2005 because Abreu entered the break with 18 home runs and finished the season with just six more, setting off yearly discussions on whether the derby destroys a batter. But I digress.
The All-Star Game, too, was a high scoring affair. The AL extended its winning streak with a 7-5 victory thanks largely to the efforts of Mark Teixeira and Miguel Tejada, who both homered.
Pudge went 0-for-1 in the game, but I don't think that took away from the enjoyment of the fans.
A few months later, Detroit hosted Super Bowl XL.
No. 7 -- Rookie Mark "The Bird" Fidrych starts the ASG in 1971
No. 8 -- Kell, Wertz homer for the home crowd in 1951
No. 9 -- Briggs Stadium hosts a memoral ninth inning in 1941
No. 10 -- Bran-Torino carries the vote in 2010