All-Star Game SP matchup brings back World Series memories
New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

All-Star Game SP matchup brings back Diamondbacks-Yankees World Series memories

The last MLB All-Star Game to take place in Seattle was in 2001.

A pair of flamethrowers with a final combined tally of 12 Cy Young awards started that night's contest in Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Roger Clemens of the New York Yankees.

Now, 22 years later, the Midsummer Classic is returning to the Emerald City and the two starting pitchers, again, represent the Diamondbacks and Yankees.

While Gerrit Cole is the first member of the Evil Empire to take the bump to begin an All-Star Game since Clemens, there's been one Arizona arm to have the honor since Johnson in 2001 -- Curt Schilling in 2002.

Baseball fans are typically thought of to be some of the more superstitious beings on the planet, so perhaps followers in the Bronx and the desert will feel good about their pennant chances with a pair of aces like Cole and Zac Gallen.

When the "Big Unit" and "Rocket" squared off in July over two decades ago, it was a precursor to what was to come in the Fall Classic.

Despite playing in only their fourth season, the Diamondbacks advanced to the 2001 World Series, and though the loaded Seattle Mariners had a historic regular season that year, the Yankees made it to their fourth consecutive championship. Arizona won one of the most dramatic Fall Classics of all time, with Luis Gonzalez lifting the Snakes to a crown with a walk-off single over the nearly untouchable Mariano Rivera in Game 7.

The 2023 D-backs (52-39) are tied for the NL West lead with the Los Angeles Dodgers (51-38) at the break. The Yankees (49-42) are in fourth place in the AL East and sit eight games behind the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays (58-35).

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