Krukow got to hear the stories every year beginning in 1977, when Bruce Sutter brought back T-shirts and other paraphernalia and told Krukow and his teammates how awesome the All-Star experience was. When Krukow finally got there in 1986, his goal was to take the mound and pitch for the 20 family members and friends who came to the Astrodome.
"I was in the bullpen and [bullpen coach] Mike Roarke says, 'You've got the ninth,'" Krukow said. "I had so much adrenaline, I threw my first warm-up [pitch] 95 mph. I hadn't thrown 95 in 10 years.
"Jody Davis was catching the ninth, and I put the first two pitches in his glove, right on the outside corner. Ball one. Ball two. I got a little panicked. But then Cal Ripken Jr. hit one right back to me and I snagged it, and I was fine."
Krukow's one lament was that when the NL took its team photo, the result came out so blurry that no one was recognizable. But the picture of the day rests firmly in his mind.
"My experience was so vivid," says Krukow, a Giants broadcaster for the past two decades. "It's like it happened yesterday. The realization was as great as the anticipation."