MLB Stars Shine at the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium

The night the baseball royals returned to Los Angeles, the sky over Chavez Gorge opened up and showered Dodger Stadium with stars.

AT First Major League Baseball All-Star Game in the old park at 42 Tuesday, the memories shone, the greatness shone, and the sparkle spread magnificently over the green.

First, it was Denzel Washington, who stood at home plate during the pre-match ceremonies wearing the No. 1 jersey 42 Dodgers and in honor of the incomparable Jackie Robinson.

“He changed the game of baseball and so much more,” Washington said, adding later, “Off the field, Jackie Robinson challenged us to be the best versions of ourselves.”

Then the microphone took Mookie Betts Dodgersleading both teams and a full house of 52,518 people at the celebration 100 years since the birth of Robinson’s wife.

“Happy birthday, Rachel!” everyone was shouting, perhaps the loudest cheer for the party.

Next up is Fernando Valenzuela throwing a perfect first pitch in the community he assembled four decades ago, the most powerful Los Angeles Dodger throwing a hit that sent a roar evoking memories of Fernandomania.

Then, finally, the largest current star occupied the house – Clayton Kershaw steps out on the mound to applause that still echoes down Vin Scully Avenue.

After making his first All-Star start in his ninth All-Star appearance amid what could be his final season with the Dodgers, the legend only delivered one inning, but what an inning that set the tone for an emotional evening that ended American League 3-2 victory.

“I hope I don’t screw up too much,” Kershaw said beforehand, and he didn’t.

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts, led by players and the crowd, congratulates Rachel Robinson on her 100th birthday.

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts leads players and the crowd in congratulating Rachel Robinson on her 100th birthday ahead of the start of the MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.

(Wally Sculidge/Los Angeles Times)

He gave up a poor first pitch single in favor of a first hit. Shohei Otani, who actually announced to the crowd that he was swinging on the first pitch. But Otani’s victory did not last long.

After three throws with the New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge, Kershaw deftly pulled Otani off first base, leaving the Angels star lying on the ground, frozen in despair.

Kershaw then eliminated Judge on a wild kick, passed Raphael Devers of the Boston Red Sox, and then ended the career of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays. at the option of the fielder, the Grounder must finish the inning without allowing a run.

Kershaw left the hill to another big standing ovation, his job finished after 17 pitches he will never forget.

“At first I tried to take a moment to process everything and look around, which I usually never do,” he said afterwards. “And I think the moment itself, being here at Dodger Stadium, where I’ve been for 15 years, and doing something like that with the best in the world, it’s really fun, and it’s also been really personal for me and my families, for everyone.

Kershaw said that for perhaps the first time in his career, he appreciated the crowd, the stadium, the moment.

“Right before halftime… I just stepped on the back of the mound for a second and looked around and it was cool,” he said. “I think it kind of calmed me down and then I had a lot of fun.”

All in all, it was the perfect start to a near-perfect night that featured monstrous homers, breakout pitches and shots from behind the back to start a double play for the Cleveland Guardians’ Andres Jimenez.

Even by high Hollywood standards, this is truly a midsummer classic.

“It was just a great time,” Betts said. “Los Angeles came and showed itself.”

The real MVP could indeed be the Dodger fans who bared their souls in front of the national television audience during the pre-game show.

Great Lakers player and Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson welcomes American League manager Dusty Baker.

Lakers great player and Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson (center) greets American League manager Dusty Baker (right) and coach Gary Pettis ahead of the MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium.

(Wally Sculidge/Los Angeles Times)

In a powerful display of painful memories, they rained down hail on anyone with a Houston Astros uniform.

Even though only one of the four Astros introduced was part of the 2017 sign theft scandal that cost the Dodgers a World Series championship – pitcher Justin Verlander – all four Astros felt anger so intense that no one could even hear them being introduced. . . Later in the game, fans even booed a performance by the anonymous Astros coaching staff.

Beforehand, Astros manager Dusty Baker, who was booed despite being a former Dodger, basically pleaded with fans to show some restraint.

“If they boo my players, I’d rather this beautiful city of Los Angeles didn’t and kind of forget the past because most of the players that are here weren’t even there at the time of the scandal,” Baker said. . “And I’m just thinking about forgiving ‘humanity’ with such hope, I hope they don’t boo them because it doesn’t do any good.”

Sorry Dusty. The fans here will never forget. And they shouldn’t.

Those same fans cheered for former Dodgers Corey Seeger of the Texas Rangers and Jock Pederson of the San Francisco Giants, while continuing to boo former Dodger Manny Machado, who harassed him when he played here and now plays for the San Diego Padres.

Then there was the jug, whose work was met with only an ominous silence. It will be the Dodgers. Tony Gonsolinwho was the losing pitcher of the game after being rocked for consecutive fourth-inning home runs by the Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton—the game’s MVP—and Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins.

Gonsolin, who allowed three runs in his only inning, was an unexpected success in the first half of the season with an 11-0 record. There was no doubt in the silence that followed Tuesday that he was falling back to earth.

Other Dodgers were more fortunate, starting with Betts, who made the announcement before the pre-game ceremony when he practiced wearing a T-shirt that read, “We need more blacks in the stadium.”

Clouds glow as the sun sets on Dodger Stadium during Tuesday's All-Star Game.

Clouds glow as the sun sets on Dodger Stadium during Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

Soft Betts said he was ready to get involved in social activities.

“I have grown and matured, I am at a different stage, and I think I can take on this responsibility,” he said.

Betts then spoke with his bat, knocking down Ronald Acoon Jr. of the Atlanta Braves. with a single in the first inning.

Trea Turner, Dodgers shortstop, also started and stood out in the first inning. Freddie Freeman later pulled up in third to fervent chants of “Die Fred, Die Fred!” Dodgers sixth representative Tyler Anderson remained on the bench.

Angelsmeanwhile, only made one All-Star game in Otani after Mike Trout pulled out with a back injury.

Just like Kershaw helped start the magic, he also put a punctuation mark on it with a sweet post-game encounter in the interview room.

Blake Grice, 10 year old aspiring reporter turned to Kershaw with a story or how his late grandfather always wanted to meet him.

“My grandfather loved you… so this moment is important to me because I’m dating you for him,” Blake said.

“Come here man, nice to meet you,” Kershaw said.

The large pitcher moved forward for a hug, enclosing the small, crying boy in its gigantic arms.

“It took a lot of guts, man,” Kershaw said. “It was amazing.”

Starry starry night.