The Padres' Tony Gwynn and the Orioles' Cal Ripken Jr. had already announced they were retiring at the end of the 2001 season. So Commissioner Bud Selig picked the Midsummer Classic to honor both with the Commissioners' Historic Achievement Award, which was created in 1998 to honor any player whose body of work is of historical significance.
While the injured Gwynn was a "special guest member" of the National League team, Ripken was voted into the American League starting lineup at third base and homered in the third inning off Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park for the first run in the AL's 4-1 win. Ripken, at the age of 40, became the oldest player to homer in an All-Star Game. Later, Ripken would also become the first AL player named the Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Game for the second time.
The two rosters included 22 first-time All-Stars, including eight rookies. The lineups included players from seven countries.
The AL scored a fifth straight win in the 72nd All-Star Game to cut the NL's edge in the series to 40-31-1. The game opened with both starting pitchers working two scoreless innings before Ripken's homer off reliever Park snapped the scoreless tie. NL starter Randy Johnson of Arizona allowed a hit with three strikeouts. AL starter Roger Clemens of the Yankees had a strikeout in two scoreless innings.
The AL made it 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth against Mike Hampton of the Colorado Rockies. First baseman John Olerud of the host Seattle Mariners opened the inning by reaching second on a fielding error by second baseman Jeff Kent of the San Francisco Giants. Olerud scored on a two-out single by Texas catcher Ivan Rodriguez.
The NL got on the board in the top of the sixth. Kent opened the inning with a double off Toronto's Paul Quantrill, moved to third on a one-out single by Houston center fielder Lance Berkman and scored on a sacrifice fly hit by Padres first baseman Ryan Klesko off the Yankees' Mike Stanton.
But the AL responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth when Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and White Sox left fielder Magglio Ordonez greeted Jon Lieber of the Chicago Cubs with back-to-back homers.
There were only 11 hits in the game with nine AL pitchers holding the NL to three hits. Ordonez was the lone player to have two hits in the game.
The Padres were represented by Klesko, third baseman Phil Nevin, Gwynn, manager Bruce Bochy (as a National League coach) and trainer Todd Hutcheson at the All-Star Game. Klesko was 0-for-1 plus the sacrifice fly that produced the National League's only run. Nevin was also 0-for-1.
Luis Gonzalez of the Arizona Diamondbacks won the Home Run Derby on the eve of the All-Star Game.