ANAHEIM CA - JULY 13: National League All-Star Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals National League All-Star Scott Rolen #27 of the Cincinnati Reds and National League All-Star Marlon Byrd #24 of the Chicago Cubs react after scoring in the seventh inning during the 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 13 2010 in Anaheim California. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
The National League's 13-year run of All-Star Game non-wins happened to coincide with my development as a baseball fan, and I was never really the league-jingoist type but I think that kind of environment does something to a child. My league always lost the All-Star Game; they mostly took a beating in interleague; thanks to the Yankees and the Red Sox they weren't especially popular among casual fans. If anyone defended my league it was because of something it didn't have.
Winning in 2010 didn't make up for all that implicit failure, but it felt pretty good—even better, in fact, because some Cardinals and erstwhile Cardinals helped make it happen. What better way to exaggerate the importance of a single team to an entire league than a run like the one the NL All-Stars had in the seventh inning, where, down 1-0, Scott Rolen and Matt Holliday singled back to back to put runners on first and third with one out?
After Chris Young fouled out and Marlon Byrd—Scott Cooper sighting—drew a walk to load the bases, Brian McCann, who had replaced starter Yadier Molina earlier in the game, doubled to right to score all three NL Central All-Stars and put the senior circuit up for good.
Then Adam Wainwright comes in to pitch the seventh inning, the last of the NL starters to see playing time, and earns two strikeouts to get around a first-and-third situation of his own and extinguish the AL's final threat.
It's the Scott Rolen appearance that really does it for me in this All-Star Game; watching him hit back-to-back with Holliday is like finally getting a chance to see the alternate-universe MV5 where they're paired up with Albert Pujols, James "San Francisco" Edmonds, and a J.D. Drew-derived cyborg on the most successful dynasty in baseball history.