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Best Moments from MLB’s 93rd Mid-Summer Classic

National League Latino All-Stars flexing and posing in All-Star Game batting practice - Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

MLB’s 93rd Mid-Summer Classic, included nearly all of what one could desire out of an All-Star Game — defensive web-gems, home runs, dominant pitching performances, and clutch moments in front of an electric, sold out crowd of 47,159 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

“It was just unbelievable to have all the stars here and the energy that the fans brought, like it was unbelievable what they did,” said Julio Rodríguez, the Mariners 22-year-old superstar, who was an ambassador for this year’s All-Star Game festivities. “Seattle definitely showed out.”

Here are the best moments from MLB’s 93rd Mid-Summer Classic: 

‘Cuban Rockets’ begin All-Star Festivities on Back-to-Back Nights!

To open up the first round of the 2023 T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday night, the ‘Cuban Rockets,’ Adolis García (Ciego de Avila, Cuba) and Randy Arozarena (Havana, Cuba), went head-to-head, and just over 24 hours later, the pair of All-Stars kicked off the All-Star Game — each making miraculous catches at the warning track with the sun shining down… 

Could you have scripted a better 48 hours for García and Arozarena? 

Yandy Díaz Lights Up The Scoreboard 

The Tampa Bay Rays 31-year-old first baseman, Yandy Díaz, appearing in his first-career All-Star Game, capitalized on a 80 mph, 0-1 sweeper off of Pirates right-hander Mitch Keller in the bottom of the second inning to lift the score 1-0, in favor of the American League. 

The solo-blast from Díaz (Sagua la Grande, Cuba), marked the first home run hit in an All-Star Game by a Cuban-born player since Cookie Rojas (La Habana, Cuba), who homered in the 1972 Mid-Summer Classic — over 50 years ago!

Luis Arráez — A Pure Contact-Hitting Machine

If you want to learn more on contact-hitting, watch Luis Arráez, the Marlins left-swinging second baseman, who entered the All-Star break with a .383 batting average — the highest average for a player heading into the ASG break since Nomar Garciaparra in 2000, who batted .389 prior to the break, and finished that season at .372. 

Luis Arráez and the chase to 400 – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

The 26-year-old, of San Felipe, Venezuela, saw a total of two pitches throughout the night: a splitter from Nathan Eovaldi and a four-seam fastball from George Kirby, and that was enough for Arráez to compile two hits with an RBI. He tied the AL vs. NL affair up at 1-1, prior to being replaced by Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies (Willemstad, Curaçao). 

All in all, an All-Star performance from the hitting machine, Arráez. 

García Does It Again!

ARE YOU KIDDING? Adolis García once again had the Seattle crowd in awe, but this time, during the top of the fourth inning. As Braves Sean Murphy launched an opposite-field line-drive to deep-right — somehow, and someway, the 30-year-old García, tracked it down and made a spectacular grab at the warning track — nearly a replica of his first highlight that led off the game. 

Adolis García makes yet another amazing catch at the warning track in 2023 All-Star Game – Image Credit: Emma Sharon

Picture Perfect… Twice! 

Check the Radar Gun on Camilo Doval

The San Francisco Giants flamethrowing closer Camilo Doval entered the bottom-half of the seventh with a full tank of gas — throwing eight out of 16 pitches at 100 mph or higher. Doval, 26, a native of Camasa, Dominican Republic, recorded one strikeout across his four batters faced in a scoreless frame and was deemed the winning pitcher. 

In their franchise history, the Giants have had eight pitchers record a win in an All-Star Game — Sal Maglie (1951), Johnny Antonelli (1959), Stu Miller (1961), Juan Marichal (1962 & 1964), Gaylord Perry (1966), Vida Blue (1981), Matt Cain (2012), and Doval (2023). 

What A Journey For Elias Díaz 

In certain moments, baseball becomes poetic or in other words, romantic. And that’s exactly the story for Elias Díaz, Colorado’s 32-year-old journeyman catcher, who walked up to the plate in the eighth inning with a runner on, no outs, and the NL trailing 2-1… 

Díaz (Maracaibo, Venezuela), who made his MLB debut in 2015, took his time during the at-bat, soaked in the memorable All-Star experience, and followed up on the fifth pitch against Félix Bautista — sending a ‘frozen rope,’ 360 feet, with an exit velocity of 93.3 mph to the left-field seating area. 

“It means a lot to me, to my family,” Díaz said during the FOX broadcast following his home run. “So proud of what I’ve been doing, what I’ve been able to accomplish. Being in the All-Star Game for me is amazing.”

Thanks to Díaz, the National League took a 3-2 lead, and was able to hold on in the ninth for their first victory since 2012. Although a Hollywood script would have included Julio Rodríguez coming up and sealing a walk-off victory for the American League in front of his home-crowd — J-Rod was walked by closer Craig Kimbrel, and in the next at-bat with the AL attempting a comeback, José Ramírez struck out to end the game. 

“It meant the world, just kind of having the opportunity to kind of step on the plate again with a chance to do something special,” said Rodríguez about his final at-bat in the ninth. “The crowd knew, everybody kind of felt it in the building, and it was pretty surreal the energy that they were sending down.”

Now for Díaz, he became the fifth Rockies player in franchise history to hit a home run in an All-Star Game, joining Charlie Blackmon (2019), Trevor Story (2018), Matt Holliday (2008), and Todd Helton (2003).

Elias Díaz during All-Star Game batting practice – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

Oh, and about poetic, romantic baseball moments? 

He is the sixth player to hit a go-ahead HR in a Mid-Summer Classic in the eighth inning or later: 

2023: Elias Díaz

2003: Hank Blalock

1981: Mike Schmidt

1972: Cookie Rojas

1954: Gus Bell

1941: Ted Williams — walk-off HR

Following the conclusion of the game, Díaz was voted the 2023 Ted Williams Most Valuable Player and was presented the award on-the-field.

During an interview, he revealed that his mother was there in attendance to watch him play in his first-ever Mid-Summer Classic. 

“It’s incredibly special to me to have her here,” said Díaz. “A lot of emotions for me. With everything that we’ve been through, all the sacrifices that she made for me — It’s really special to have her here for me.” 

Surprising Finds

Díaz (2023), and David Concepción (1982), are now the only two Venezuelan-born players to be named the All-Star Game MVP.

Elias Díaz during All-Star Media Day – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

Also, he is the first Rockies player in franchise history to win the All-Star Game MVP and just the fifth catcher in MLB — Brian McCann (2010), Sandy Alomar Jr. (1997), Mike Piazza (1996), Terry Steinbach (1988), and Gary Carter (1981 & 1984). 

This was the first-ever All-Star Game that included two players with the same last name, each hitting a home run (Elias Díaz and Yandy Díaz).

National League Latino All-Stars pose for a picture in All-Star Game batting practice – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

And that’s a wrap from All-Star Week in Seattle!

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and co-editor of Latino Sports – Email:

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