By Michael Spencer

(CBS4) – In 2008 former Rockies Aaron Cook had an All-Star game pitching performance for the ages at old Yankee Stadium.

“The atmosphere was amazing. To be able to pitch at Yankee Stadium and be in that old rundown clubhouse with all the history that was in that stadium definitely meant a lot,” said Cook, recalling that night.

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With the game tied 3-3, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, who was managing the National League that night, called on Cook to take to the mound, making him just the third Rockies pitcher to make an appearance in the MLB All-Star Game.

Aaron Cook of the Colorado Rockies pitches during the 79th MLB All-Star Game at the Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2008.

Aaron Cook of the Colorado Rockies pitches during the 79th MLB All-Star Game at the Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2008. (credit: Marc Levine/MLB via Getty Images)

“One of the most memorable parts for me was coming in from the bullpen, and looking up at the clock, and it said ’12:05.’ We had already past midnight, I know my kids were probably already asleep up in the stand, but I remember all that adrenaline. It was definitely an experience that ranks right up there with the rest of them.”

Cook quickly found himself in a jam. The first two batters reached base safely thanks to back-to-back errors by second baseman Dan Uggla. Hurdle then made his way to the mound, where the NL decided to walk the next batter, meaning a bases loaded no-out situation for Cook, with the winning run just 90 feet away.

“We have that meeting on the mound, and I’m like, ‘this probably isn’t going to work out too good,’ but Russell Martin was catching and he said, ‘just get me some ground balls, we’ll get out of this.’”

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Cook did just that, holding the American League scoreless for the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings. Thanks in large part to an assist from Pirates centerfielder Nate McLouth, who gunned down Dioner Navarro at home plate for the second out of the 11th inning.

“I was trying to control my adrenaline, and not do anything too stupid on the mound,” Cook says of his emotions following that play.

“The more I talk about it and think about it, it’s probably the highlight of my career, pitching in that All-Star Game.”

Cook’s three inning performance still holds as the longest performance by a Rockies pitcher in the All-Star Game, and there was some talk that if the National League had won the game, he might have been named the MVP.

“I didn’t have a concept of that at the time,” said Cook. “Some people brought it up later on, and that would have been awesome, but never really sunk it until later like, ‘Hey I did my job, represented my team well, and even though I did give up hits, I was able to get out of this pretty ugly situation.’”

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An ugly situation that turned into a memorable performance for Cook and Rockies fans.

Michael Spencer