Screw the Summer of George. 1999 was the Summer of Pedro. Watching Martinez tie up batters in fits and play Superman to Clemens’ Lex Luthor helped take the sting and sweat out of the humid July air better than a busload of Coors Light. And smack dab at its center was his electrifying performance in the 1999 All Star Game at Fenway Park.
All of a sudden, the world was in his house, and he responded by striking out the first four batters he faced–including noted protein shake-quaffers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa–and serving notice that with him at the reins, the Sox would be a force to be reckoned with down the stretch. McGwire and Sosa in particular look like they’d have better luck tying a knot in a stream of piss than catching up to Pedey’s fastball.
This was probably the last All-Star Game I watched from start to finish. And after seeing Pedro work his magic, there never really was another reason in my mind to ever tune in to another. Nothing would top the unstoppable awesomeness of the World’s Skinniest Jedi doing our park and our city proud.
If we’d only had a few more horses of his calibre on the team, we might have been able to overtake New York in the ALCS just a few months later. Nonetheless, his performance on the mound that night was one for the ages.
Oh, and who was the starting pitcher for the National league that year, you ask? Philadelphia’s own Curt Schilling!