"Well," Ryne Sandberg said with something of a straight face, "I was definitely looking to hit a home run in that situation."
That was the name of the game Monday as Sandberg, the Chicago Cubs' second baseman, lifted the National League to a 4-1 victory over the American League in the home run hitting contest that featured the workout day activities preceding tonight's All-Star game.
Sandberg, who hit 30 home runs last season and leads the National League with 24 this year, was the last batter with the score tied, 1-1, and delivered three home runs to the delight of a capacity crowd at Wrigley Field.
"I've got a good swing right now, and I've learned to look for a pitch I can drive in certain situations, but I don't fit in with guys like (Jose) Canseco and (Cecil) Fielder as far as power (goes)," Sandberg said.
Maybe not, but Fielder and Canseco were unable to hit homers for the AL, and Darryl Strawberry and Bobby Bonilla could not connect for the NL.
Only Matt Williams of the San Francisco Giants and Mark McGwire of the Oakland Athletics hit home runs before Sandberg, who later smiled and said, "The home run is the biggest thrill in baseball for me."