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The New York All-Star Game MVPs: Derek Jeter And Jon Matlack

The first year that the All-Star Game awarded an MVP was 1962. Originally called the Arch Ward Memorial Award to honor the man who dreamed up the All-Star Game and then renamed the Commissioner's Trophy in 1970, the award was finally changed to the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award in 2002 (though that game famously ended in a tie, so no MVP was named). And in all those years, there have been only two New York players who have won an All-Star Game MVP: Jon Matlack of the New York Mets in 1975 and Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees in 2000. There have been future and former New Yorkers who have won, though, such as Willie Mays (1963, 1968), Johnny Callison (1964), Bobby Bonds (1973), George Foster (1976), Gary Carter (1981, 1984), Julio Franco (1990), Mike Piazza (1996) and Alfonso Soriano (2004) among others, but only one while wearing the pinstripes and one donning the Mets' blue and orange. Here's a look at the two games in which a Yankee and a Met came home with the award.

The year 2000 was Derek Jeter's year. Statistically, it wasn't quite as good as his previous season, but every time the he turned around somebody was handing him an MVP trophy. He batted .339 with a .416 OBP, slugged .481, racked up 201 hits, scored 119 runs, hit 31 doubles, four triples and 15 home runs, drove in 73 runs and stole 22 bases, and he had a WAR of 4.4 and OPS+ of 128 (did those stats even exist in 2000?). He won the World Series MVP as his Yankees defeated the Mets. And in the middle of all that he was named the All-Star Game MVP, as well. The game was played in Atlanta that year (though it was originally supposed to take place in the Marlins' home field, but MLB pulled the rug out from underneath Florida because they wanted the Midsummer Classic in a new ballpark). The Yankees had defeated the Braves in the previous year's World Series, and it was Yankee and Brave players who starred in the game. Though one Met who was voted in as a starter was conspicuously absent that night: Mike Piazza had recently been clocked in the head by the now-we-know-why-he-was-so-enraged Roger Clemens and missed the game.

Atlanta first baseman Andres Galarraga, who had missed the previous season while battling cancer, got the biggest applause of the night, and he went one for two in the game. Hometown hero Chipper Jones made his case for the MVP award if his National Leaguers would have won, with a three-for-three evening, including a home run. But Jeter was ultimately the hero. After striking out in his two previous All-Star Game at-bats in 1998 and '99, the Yankee shortstop (who wasn't voted in as a starter, but replaced Seattle's Alex Rodriguez who was out with of an injury), batting second, doubled to left off of Arizona's Randy Johnson in the first inning (David Wells of the Blue Jays started for the American League). The AL got on the board first in the third inning, when, after a one-out Roberto Alomar walk, Jeter singled to center off Kevin Brown, and he eventually came around to score on a bases-loaded Carl Everett walk (Alomar had previously been forced out at third on a Bernie Williams grounder). In the bottom of the inning, Jones tied the game with his homer.

But in the fourth, it was Derek Jeter time again. With the bases loaded, Jeter cracked a first-pitch Al Leiter cutter into center, bringing home two runs, which would make the Met hurler the losing pitcher in the game (James Baldwin of the White Sox picked up the win). "He does it every time I face him," the Yankee said of Leiter. "I try to lay off it. I didn't hit it well. I just hit it in the right place." Jeter was taken out of the game after that, but the AL would never relinquish the lead. Andruw Jones' RBI single in the fifth made things closer but the AL tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth to put the game away. Mariano Rivera, appearing in his second All-Star Game, pitched the ninth, allowing two hits and an unearned run (his lifetime All-Star Game ERA stands at 0.00), and the AL won the game, 6-3. Jeter was named MVP, as his Midsummer Classic greatness began that night. He has a lifetime .435 average (.480 OBP, .609 slugging), with 10 hits in 11 games, a home run and three RBIs.

The first New York MVP was awarded to Met pitcher Jon Matlack (though he had to share it with Bill Madlock of the Chicago Cubs) in the 1975 game. The All-Star extravaganza took place in County Stadium, home of the Milwaukee Brewers, which was the second time the contest was played there, though in the previous game, in 1955, the Milwaukee Braves were the host team. 1975 was the last All-Star Game for Hank Aaron, who was the DH for the Brewers at the time, and the first time that honorary captains were named for the game (Mickey Mantle for the AL, Stan Musial for the NL). Matlack burst onto the scene in 1972, winning the Rookie of the Year Award, after posting a 15-10 record with a 2.32 ERA, and, unbeknownst to Matlack himself (and everybody else), his WAR that season was 6.7 and he had a 1.17 WHIP. The next season he would help the Mets capture the NL pennant (and was also hit in the forehead with a Marty Perez line drive on May 8 of that year, suffering a hairline fracture of his skull, but he was back on the mound 11 days later). He made the first of two All-Star Game appearances in 1974, pitching a scoreless inning, and in '75, he went 16-12, with a 3.38 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 1.8 WAR.

The AL starting lineup was filled with nothing but Oakland A's (Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Bert Campaneris, Gene Tenace, Vida Blue) and Yankees (Bobby Bonds, Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles) with the exception of the Minnesota Twins' Rod Carew at second base. The NL's lineup mainly consisted of Reds and Dodgers, though Pirate Jerry Reuss was their starting pitcher. The NL scored first, when Dodger teammates Steve Garvey and Jimmy Wynn led off the second inning with back-to-back homers off of Blue. They plated another run the following inning when Johnny Bench singled in Lou Brock. The AL tied the game, though, when Tom Seaver came in to pitch the sixth inning. After Rudi and Tenace reached base, pinch hitter Carl Yastrezmski blasted a three-run homer.

Matlack replaced Seaver the following inning, and struck out Carew, gave up a single to yet another Oakland player, Claudell Washington, who was promptly picked off first, and struck out White Sox shortstop Bucky Dent. Matlack remained on the mound for another inning, getting Nettles to hit into a fielder's choice and whiffing Tenace and Fred Lynn. In the top of the ninth, Yankee Catfish Hunter (tagged with the loss), after pitching the seventh and eighth innings, let the first two batters get on and was relieved by Goose Gossage of the White Sox. The future Hall of Famer loaded the bases, and Madlock singled in two runs, which proved to be the game-winners. Pete Rose added a sacrifice fly, Padre hurler Randy Jones pitched a flawless bottom of the ninth and the NL won, 6-3. Matlack was the winning pitcher, and his two shutout innings, along with four strikeouts, and Madlock's last-inning heroics earned them a share of the MVP.