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How baseball's All-Star Game became 'midsummer classic'

When Major League Baseball holds its 78th All-Star Game Tuesday night, all eyes will be on San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds. He was voted to the National League (NL) starting lineup and will be playing in his 14th midseason classic – this time in his home stadium, AT&T Park, where fans are used to seeing him wallop home runs into "McCovey Cove," a corner of San Francisco Bay. If he hits one Tuesday, it won't count toward his career total, but it would be a timely reminder that he's on the verge of breaking Hank Aaron's record of 755 homers. That would be a memorable occasion in the National-versus-American League (AL) showdowns. Among the All-Star Game's most notable dates:

1933: First played (in Chicago)
1941: Ted Williams's three-run homer with two out in bottom of 9th gives the AL a 7-5 win
1946: Blacks play for first time
1950: Red Schoendienst's 14th inning homer wins for the NL, 4-3
1959-62: Leagues face off twice each season
1967: NL wins longest All-Star Game (15 innings), 2-1
1970: Pete Rose's home-plate collision in bottom of 12th propels NL to 5-4 win
1973: Designated hitter makes debut
1985: Home run derby added
1986: Fernando Valenzuela strikes out five AL batters in a row to tie Carl Hubbell's 1934 feat
2002: Game ended after 11 innings because rosters are used up
2006: AL wins record 10th straight time

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