Baseball legends part of San Diego’s All-Star past

All-Star Game

Tony Gwynn during the 1992 MLB All-Star Game.

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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres will host the 87th MLB All-Star Game at Petco Park on July 12, but it won’t be the first time America’s Finest City has hosted the mid-summer classic.

Eleven years after opening, San Diego Stadium in Mission Valley hosted the city’s first ever All-Star Game.

On July 11, 1978, owner Ray Kroc threw out the first pitch in front of 51,549 fans at the 49th MLB All-Star Game. Pitcher Rollie Fingers and outfielder Dave Winfield took the field representing the Padres. Fingers threw two shut-out innings. Winfield went one for two and scored a run. The National League won 7-3.

More: 1978 MLB All-Star Roster

The game returned in 1992 and was played in the same stadium, though it was renamed Jack Murphy Stadium. Hoover High School alum Ted Williams threw out the first pitch.

Five padres were on the team, including Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Despite Mr. Padre’s best efforts, a young star on the rise – Ken Griffey Jr. – stole the show and earned MVP. The American League won 13-6.

The Padres have had 94 All-Star selections in franchise history and have had two managers lead an NL squad - Dick Williams in 1985 and Bruce Bochy in 1999.  Gwynn, who owns the most All-Star selections in Padres history with 15 selections, scored the winning run of the 1994 Midsummer Classic in the bottom of the 10th inning.

More: 1992 MLB All-Star Roster

Now, 24 years later, San Diego is back in the spotlight. Baseball fans will watch the best players in the world suit up for the first time at Petco Park.

You can watch the pre-game special on FOX 5 beginning at 2 p.m. followed by the MLB All-Star Game at 4:30 p.m.

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