Baseball Fans Fit to Be Tied

Baseball spent all day dazzling fans with a rock concert, fireworks and 3 1/2 hours of All-Star competition.

In a matter of minutes, all the fun was gone.

The sellout crowd that entered Miller Park in a festive mood departed in disgust, angered that commissioner Bud Selig called off the All-Star game in his own back yard just before midnight Tuesday.

"We paid six times the normal price and it ends in a tie?" said Paul Larson of Milwaukee.

A chorus of boos rained down on the field, along with cups and bottles, after the former Brewers owner ended the game after 11 innings with the score 7-7. It was the first time a midsummer classic has been stopped since rain shortened the 1961 All-Star game.

Some fans didn't mind.

"To me, an 11-inning game, the best players in the game ... you can't ask for much more," said John Floros of Ripon. "I'm actually disappointed in the reaction."

But most left angry, chanting "Bud must go!" and "Let them play!" before exiting the park.

"This is terrible. These guys are going on strike and they're doing this now?" Tim Dugan of Chicago said. "We've been ripped off."

With the prospect of a strike looming over baseball, the All-Star game offered the possibility of one final big bash before the rancor at the bargaining table dominates the sport.

"You've got to enjoy the moment for the moment," said Jerry Holt, who flew in from New York for the game.

Outside the park, Nickelback treated fans to a concert while tailgaters fired up brats on the grill. Vendor Jaron Jackson sold colorful $3 beads at a steady clip.

"They have this feeling that this could be it for a while," he said.

Scalper prices ranged from $500 to $1,000 or more, but obstructed view seats were available at $125 each until less than two hours before the opening pitch.

Mitch Kinstler of Chicago said people "would want to have a heart attack" if he told them how much he paid for his seats on the first level between home plate and first base.

"When you come to one of these, you might as well get good seats," he said.

Security was tighter than last year's All-Star game at Seattle's Safeco Field because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The large international media presence made the game more susceptible to a terrorist, said Kevin Hallinan, senior vice president of security for major league baseball.

Cars were randomly checked in the parking lot and fans and their bags were searched upon entering, but lines generally moved briskly. Hallinan said authorities had not received any threats.

Once inside the park, fans could have their pictures taken with one of the 10-foot racing sausages or head to right field to try to snag batting practice balls from Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki.

A pregame ceremony marking baseball's most memorable moments featured a fireworks show under the Miller Park roof and appearances by several stars from Cal Ripken to Willie Mays, who embraced godson Barry Bonds near first base.

The loudest applause was reserved for Hank Aaron. The former Milwaukee Braves and Brewers great received a nearly two-minute standing ovation amid a blinding surge of flash bulbs.