Inside-the-park home runs are a fairly rare occurrence in today’s game, but when it comes to the annual MLB All-Star Game, they’re nearly unheard of. When you’re dealing with the best fielders in the game, most would-be in-the-park HRs are cut short. In fact, since the All-Star Game’s introduction in 1933, only one player has managed to pull off the rare feat.
On July 10, 2007, the All-Star Game took place at AT&T Park in San Fransisco. With the National League up 1-0 in the fifth inning, Brian Roberts was walked by pitcher Chris Young. Next, Ichiro Suzuki took the plate and smashed a fly ball to the right field. The NL’s Ken Griffey Jr. attempted to field the ball, but it bounced off a sign and out of his reach, allowing Roberts to score and Ichiro to complete an in-the-park homer. The American League ended up winning 5-4, and Ichiro was honored with the MVP award.
Suzuki’s cleats were just as rare as his record-breaking homer. At the time, Ichiro was the only player in the entire league to wear Asics cleats. It’s become something of a tradition for Ichiro, who’s been wearing the brand’s cleats since 1995. Although his exclusive models have not been available to the public, Asics Japan has compiled a comprehensive timeline of his cleats throughout the years.