Ellis Burks gets forced out at second base at the 1996 All Star Game. Meanwhile, Dante Bichette crossed home plate as the first Rockie to score a run in an All Star Game. Photo by Al Bello, courtesy of Getty Images
The Blake Street Bombers were rock stars in Colorado, but they hadn't done much on the national scene. In fact, save for a Dante Bichette single which did not result in a scoring chance in 1994, the Rockies did not even have a hit in an All Star Game. The young team known for electric offense did not contribute to an All-Star scoring rally.
That changed in 1996, when Colorado sent three All-Star hitters to the game for the first of three times. Dante Bichette was the starter in right field in the last National League victory before 2010. Bichette certainly had himself a strong first half, hitting .335/.377/.556 with 17 HR, 80 RBI and 14 stolen bases.
But Bichette didn't even have the best numbers of a Rockie at that game. In the only season in which he played strictly second base, Eric Young Sr. was a reserve in his only All-Star season. At the break, Young had these numbers attached to his name: .345/.428/.451 with 4 HR, 38 RBI and 31 stolen bases. But it gets better.
It was 1996 that Ellis Burks exploded (a 7.6 rWAR and 7.2 fWAR full season campaign), with raw first half numbers that are just not seen much anymore: .341/.414/.629 with 22 HR and 72 RBI. Oh...and his second half OPS was actually better than the first half.
Take the jump to see how it all went down.
Hitting sixth, Dante Bichette grounded out to second against Cleveland's ace in the second inning, then struck out swinging against Angels' southpaw Chuck Finley. In his final at-bat of the night, Dante doubled deep down the right field line against Rangers starter Roger Pavlik, who really didn't belong at the game.
Ellis Burks took his first at-bat immediately after the Bichette double and struck out, but a wild pitch allowed him to reach forceout. Burks would ruin a perfect eighth inning for White Sox closer by lacing a triple to deep right center field.
Eric Young did get an at bat as well after pinch-running for Craig Biggio earlier in the game, following Burks' two-out eighth inning triple with a groundout to first base.
Rockies fans had watched Colorado's Blake Street Bombers murder the ball for years, but until 1996, it had not happened on a field strewn with MLB's stars. They weren't cheated in