Ripken wound up the AL MVP that year.

"The All-Star Game was never old hat for me," Ripken said. "There were years when I didn't have the best first half [of the season], when I was voted into the game on my popularity, or on my performance from past years. But I took it. Three days with the best players in the game is a wonderful experience."

In his last season (2001), Ripken struggled early but was determined to bow out an All-Star.

"I wanted one more chance to get into that locker room," he said. He made the team, hit a home run and won the game's MVP award.

"That meant the world to me," he said.

Can All-Star picks affect a team's mindset? The Orioles hope so. In 1970, they flooded the All-Star Game with seven players, a franchise record and one fourth of the AL's 28-man roster. The Orioles' Earl Weaver, who managed the team, also brought two more pitchers and a catcher to work batting practice.

The AL lost the game in 12 innings. The aftermath was another story. For the last three months, the Orioles romped, going 54-21 (.720) and winning the World Series. It's still the best half-season in team history.

"Did our Oriole numbers in that All-Star Game make a difference?" asked Boog Powell, the Birds' slugger and a AL starter in 1970. "All I know is that we kicked butt before the game and kicked even more of it after."

Powell himself went on a tear after the break and took AL MVP honors.

"You're always better for having been an All-Star, win or lose," said Powell, 71. "Rubbing elbows with the game's elite and finding out they're just like you is a wonderful feeling.

"My adrenaline was always pumping, and that has never changed. It's not cool to show it, but I guarantee you that if they put heart monitors on these guys next week, especially the ones playing their first All-Star Game, their chests will be going, ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump."

Give them 4 stars

The Orioles have four All-Star representatives for the 12th time in club history.

2013: Chris Davis (1B), Adam Jones (OF), J.J. Hardy (SS), Manny Machado (3B)

2005: Brian Roberts (2B), Miguel Tejada (SS), Melvin Mora (3B), B.J. Ryan (LHP)

1999: Harold Baines (OF), Mike Mussina (RHP), Cal Ripken (3B), B.J. Surhoff (OF)

1997: Roberto Alomar (2B), Brady Anderson (OF), Jimmy Key (LHP), Mike Mussina (RHP), Randy Myers (LHP), Cal Ripken (SS)

1972: Pat Dobson (RHP), Bobby Grich (SS-2B), Dave McNally (LHP), Jim Palmer (RHP), Brooks Robinson (3B)

1971: Don Buford (OF), Mike Cuellar (LHP), Jim Palmer (RHP), Boog Powell (1B), Brooks Robinson (3B), Frank Robinson (OF)

1970: Mike Cuellar (LHP), Dave Johnson (2B), Dave McNally (LHP), Jim Palmer (RHP), Boog Powell (1B), Brook Robinson (3B), Frank Robinson (OF)

1969: Paul Blair (OF), Dave Johnson (2B), Dave McNally (LHP), Boog Powell (1B), Brooks Robinson (3B), Frank Robinson (OF)

1966: Steve Barber (LHP), Andy Etchebarren (C), Brooks Robinson (3B), Frank Robinson (OF)

1962: Jim Gentile (1B), Milt Pappas (RHP), Brooks Robinson (3B), Hoyt Wilhelm (RHP)

1961: Jack Brandt (OF), Jim Gentile (1B), Brooks Robinson (3B), Hoyt Wilhelm (RHP)

1960: Chuck Estrada (RHP), Jim Gentile (1B), Ron Hansen (SS), Brooks Robinson (3B)

1959: Billy O'Dell (LHP), Gus Triandos (C), Jerry Walker (RHP), Hoyt Wilhelm (RHP), Gene Woodling (OF)