The 2002 All-Star Game was no different. Barry Bonds, the best power hitter to ever play the sport (it’s not up for debate), took an at-bat in the first inning. He got hold of a pitch and sent it out to deep center field, where Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter was about to make a legendary All-Star Game play.
Torii Hunter Robs Barry Bonds’ 2002 ASG Home Run
The Twins’ outfielder wasn’t going to give up on the play, despite most fly Barry Bonds fly balls traveling over the wall. Hunter managed to reach over the wall and rob Bonds of the round-tripper and an early RBI. In short, it was pure awesomeness.
Just about everyone in attendance at the 2002 MLB All-Star Game at Miller Park in Milwaukee was hoping to see Bonds go yard. Everyone except the American League team, that is. Torii Hunter decided to keep things level early on in the game with his Hall-of-Fame-status denial of a home run.
Even the National League slugger couldn’t be too upset about that one. He ran after Hunter in the outfield and lifted him over his shoulder before he walked back to the ASG dugout with a smile on his face, showing respect to the elite outfielder’s web gem.
Even Torii admitted after his playing career that was his favorite memory across his 19-year MLB career:
“It was special for me. I grew up watching him. For him to pick me up and put me over his shoulder, I thought that was a very special moment,” Hunter told Fanatics View in 2017.
While the San Francisco Giants star and seven-time MVP is Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader, this was one he couldn’t get past the Minnesota Twins star, who equally collected impressive accolades on the defensive side, including a remarkable nine Gold Glove awards as a centerfielder.
I wonder how many home runs Bonds would have hit in the Home Run Derby if Hunter was in the outfield rather than a plethora of children.