Earlier today I learned about the fiasco of the 2002 MLB All-Star Game ending in a tie because both teams had run out of pitchers.

My understanding from reading a few different articles is that the National League was on the verge of disqualification because they wouldn't be able to field a full team for the top of the 12th inning.

I'm trying to figure out if my understanding on that is correct. Presumably, they would've been without a pitcher, but given the National League had used Vincent Padilla in the top of the 11th then why couldn't they use him as well for the top of the 12th? Same goes for the American League and Freddy Garcia. Was there some sort of rule in place in 2002 which prohibited pitchers from playing in more than 2 innings?

1 Answer 1


There was no rule preventing a pitcher from pitching more than two innings, or various other possibilities, for example a position player switching positions with the pitcher.

But... the All-Star Game is a meaningless game. Can you imagine what would happen if MLB insisted that Padilla went back out there for another innings, and he then reported back to his team with an injury? It would effectively have meant the end of the All-Star Game as teams would have found any excuse whatsoever to prevent their players playing, as they wouldn't want to take any chance that their players could end up being overplayed and injured.

  • Even more so, in that, by definition, the ASG teams are supposed to be the best players from the teams.
    – CGCampbell
    Apr 7, 2021 at 15:22

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