2008 was the last hurrah for the original (renovated) House That Ruth Built. The Yankees were building a new $1.5 billion home across the street, and hosting the All-Star Game was a way for all of baseball to say goodbye to the most historic building in American sports.
Over the course of two days, fans were treated to an amazing show. First, of course, was the unforgettable home run derby in which Josh Hamilton made Yankee Stadium look small. Does anyone even recall that Justin Morneau actually won the derby? I sure didn't before I checked. What I do remember is Hamilton hitting moonshot after moonshot deep into the rightfield bleachers. I never thought anyone would come close to hitting a ball completely out of the stadium, but I had my doubts that night. Apparently, Hamilton belted three longballs that traveled more than 500 feet. It really was magical to behold. (If anyone was there, tell us about it.)
24 hours later, the longest All-Star Game in history was played (the 1967 contest also went 15 innings). It was a see-saw affair; neither side scored until the fifth inning, and although the NL had a 2-0 lead in the seventh, the AL came back to tie it. Each side scored once in the eighth, and it soon went into extras. Six scoreless innings went by, with each club using four pitchers. In the bottom of the 15th, inconsistent Phillies closer Brad Lidge finally conceded a run, and the AL walked-off with a 4-3 victory.
The only Yankee representatives, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, combined to go 1-5, and Mariano Rivera pitched 1.2 scoreless frames. The Yanks missed the playoffs for the first time since 1993, but it wasn't about the players that year, it was about The Stadium, and it was bidden farewell in grandiose fashion.