Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz will make his 10th and final All-Star Game appearance tonight in San Diego, where the future Hall of Famer is sure to be the center of the festivities at the 87th Midsummer Classic.
Ortiz’s impending curtain call on one of baseball’s biggest stages brings to mind other recent All-Star farewells by some of the game’s brightest stars. Here is a sampling:
Derek Jeter, 2014
“The Captain,” who won five World Series titles in 20 seasons playing shortstop for the Yankees, left his 14th All-Star Game in the fourth inning to a three-minute standing ovation from fans at Target Field in Minneapolis. True to his reputation as one of the most consistent players ever to man the position, Jeter doubled and singled in two at-bats in the game, which the American League won 5-3.
Mariano Rivera, 2013
Baseball’s all-time career leader in saves, the Yankees reliever enjoyed a memorable All-Star finale at Citi Field in New York. Called upon to pitch the eighth inning in a game the American League would win 3-0, Rivera trotted in from the bullpen to the familiar strains of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” No other players took the field while Rivera warmed up, leaving the spotlight fully to one of the game’s best closers ever.
Cal Ripken, 2001
Playing in his 19th All-Star Game, the Orioles icon was pushed into the spotlight — literally — when Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez, who was elected to start at the position in fan voting, forcibly switched positions with Ripken, who was starting at third base.
Ripken led off the third inning with a home run off Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park at Seattle’s Safeco Field. It was a fitting turn of events for the Orioles icon who built a Hall of Fame career in part on dramatic clutch hits in big moments. Ripken also homered the night he broke Lou Gehrig’s all-time record for consecutive games played.