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Melvin recalls Jackson's mammoth All-Star homer

Melvin recalls Jackson's mammoth All-Star homer

Melvin recalls Jackson's mammoth All-Star homer
ARLINGTON -- A 9-year-old Bob Melvin watched intently as Reggie Jackson delivered what almost certainly is the longest home run ever hit in an All-Star Game.

It was July 13, 1971 at Tiger Stadium in Detroit, and Jackson stepped to the plate against Pirates hurler Dock Ellis, ultimately launching a slider to right-center field that cleared the roof and slammed into an electrical transformer over 400 feet from home plate and was seen to still be rising.

"That certainly stands out to me," Melvin, now 50, said this week, when recalling his favorite memories from baseball's Midsummer Classic.

Fast forward 31 years later, and Melvin found himself present for his very first All-Star Game -- as a coach on manager Bob Brenly's staff for the National League in 2002.

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"That's the one that ended in a tie, so you can't help but remember that," he said.

Nor does Melvin forget the times he's been awarded the opportunity to relay news of an All-Star nod to a player who has never been before. While managing the D-backs in 2007, he did just that, telling second baseman Orlando Hudson he would be making the trip for the first time.

"It's always nice to be able to tell someone that they're on the All-Star team," he said. "When you have multiple guys, it's that much more rewarding. You like to see the look on the face of the guys who have not been to an All-Star Game before. I remember telling Orlando Hudson the first time he made it, and that was a big thing for him."

Melvin will again pack his bags for the All-Star Game this year, after being personally selected by American League manager Ron Washington to join his coaching staff for the game in Kansas City.

The 2012 All-Star Game will be played at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Tuesday, July 10. Come to MLB.com for extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.

The 83rd All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/asg.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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