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Midsummer Classic electrifies Selig

Midsummer Classic electrifies Selig

SAN FRANCISCO -- For Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, Ichiro Suzuki's game-turning inside-the-park home run on Tuesday night will be one of those special All-Star moments that will live on in the memories of baseball fans.

The centerpiece of Ichiro's three-hit night was the inside-the-park home run, coming in the fifth inning. It gave the AL its first lead of the game and led to a 5-4 AL victory.

"There were so many wonderful moments tonight," Selig said after the game, "but Ichiro Suzuki put on a wonderful performance. Oh my goodness, the first inside-the-park home run ever hit in an All-Star Game -- it was remarkable. It was terrific. It will be one of those things that people will always remember, absolutely, no question."

The Mariners center fielder was named Most Valuable Player of the 2007 All-Star Game, and understandably so. The Commissioner was also particularly impressed by the three-hit performance of Mets shortstop Jose Reyes.

"Reyes put on a terrific performance, as he always does," Selig said. "Oh, he's a player, there's no doubt about it. I'll tell you, we have very good young talent in baseball. You could certainly see that tonight."

The outcome did not erase the lingering questions regarding the competitive balance between the two leagues. The National League has not won an All-Star Game since 1996, but the commissioner said that this was largely a cyclical phenomenon.

"Look, the American League went through that, too," Selig said. "I remember poor Lee MacPhail when he was president of the American League, couldn't win a game until they finally won one in 1983. I think they had lost 11 in a row. But these things run in cycles.

"But listen: This was a 5-4 game with the winning runs on base in the ninth inning. It was a very competitive game. It was a very good game, a very good game, competitive right to the last pitch."

Selig said that the total experience of the 2007 All-Star festivities was a tribute to San Francisco and the Giants organization.

"It's been a great three days here in San Francisco," the Commissioner said. "It's been very exciting, and they've just done a wonderful job."

Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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