Getty Images MLB All-Star Party

July 16, 2008 | By Micah Warren | Sport

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A general view of the atmosphere at the Getty Images and Johnnie Walker party during the 2008 MLB All-Star week at Tao. (Andrew Walker/Getty Images)

Getty Images hosted a wonderful, star-studded MLB All-Star Party at Tao in New York City on Monday night. I’ll take you through the night and give you all of my observations from the great evening.

8:45 PM: Walking over to Tao from the Port Authority in Manhattan. For you out-of-towners, the Port Authority is on 42nd and 8th Ave, and Tao is on East 58th St. That’s a pretty long way to hike on a warm, muggy evening. Walking was a bad choice.

9:01 PM: The party is just opening up, but the line outside is pretty long already.

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Line at the door of Tao (Andrew Walker/Getty Images)

9:10 PM: I just discovered it’s open bar. I’m working and really won’t be able to take advantage of that. I probably shouldn’t have given that bartender a $10 tip for a single Heineken. That was definitely a mistake since I won’t be going back.

9:38 PM: I wandered out to the red carpet. We’ve all seen red carpet situations on television, but have you ever actually been on one? Those lights are extremely bright and awfully hot. Think the sun, but not quite.

9:55 PM: Good job on the music, Tao. This is a very nice mix, but did I miss something? Are you not allowed to play songs in their entirety in clubs anymore? Am I the last person to realize this? Maybe I’m just old.

9:58 PM: The food that keeps coming around is wonderful. If you want to throw a blowout party in New York City, I think Tao is your place. This is great!

10:12 PM: Now it’s seriously filling up in here. I’m downstairs in the front bar area and it’s starting to get tough to move.

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NEW YORK – JULY 14: Shaquille O’Neal attends the Getty Images, Johnnie Walker and Steiner Sports party during the 2008 MLB All-Star Week at Tao on July 14, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)

10:18 PM: Hey, it’s Shaq! Shaquille O’Neal just came in. There is simply no hiding this man in any situation. He is a magnet for attention. And, I might add, a very sharp dresser.

10:27 PM: Shaq just walked by from the same direction. Either he has a twin brother or he’s doing laps around the club.

10:29 PM: The woman next to me asks who that is. “That’s Shaquille O’Neal,” I said. “I don’t know, I don’t think it is,” she replies. Who else would it be? There aren’t many celebrities who you just can’t mistake for someone else. Shaq is one of them. I saw his outline in a dark club and it took me two seconds to realize, that’s Shaq.

10:45 PM: Tao is officially jumping. The music volume has increased quite a bit.

10:54 PM: Shaq is taking pictures with anyone that asks. He is a very, very patient person and seems happy to oblige.

11:07 PM: A former Major League Baseball player (who I won’t name) and his two female friends are standing uncomfortably close to my chair. They are pretty much in my lap. It’s not like they are anxious for my company, but more excited about the convenience the shelf over my chair provides. Sure, put your drink over my head. Go for it.

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NEW YORK – JULY 14: Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Rich ‘Goose’ Gossage attends the Getty Images and Johnnie Walker 2008 All-Star Game party at Tao on July 14, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

11:19 PM: “Goose” Gossage just walked in. He’s looking friendly and relaxed as usual (at least in the times I’ve come across him). New York City loves Mariano Rivera, and rightfully so. But, Gossage was Mariano before there was Mariano.

11:30 PM: The party is even busier now, and the music made another volume increase.

11:43 PM: Yes, I’ve noticed several people staring at me with the “what is he writing about” look on their faces.

11:48 PM: These Getty Images photographers are covering everything. They have tons of shots of the people, the cocktails, and I think I even saw one of them get a shot of a bar menu. They are certainly busting it tonight.

12:10 AM: I was just told that Tim Russert’s son Luke is here. Can’t be easy for him right now, I feel terrible for him.

12:25 AM: Here comes Shaq again. This man traded fame and fortune for privacy when he was drafted in 1992. He can’t stand up without the entire party taking notice.

12:20 AM: I certainly don’t need to be worried about someone stealing my iPhone. I think everyone at this party has one.

12:33 AM: I do believe I just saw Jack “BlackJack” McDowell heading upstairs. He was an excellent pitcher for the White Sox not too long ago.

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NEW YORK – JULY 14: Major League Baseball Hall of Famers Wade Boggs (L) and Rich ‘Goose’ Gossage attends the Getty Images and Johnnie Walker 2008 All-Star Game party at Tao on July 14, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

12:43 AM: Goose Gossage is just hanging in the corner relaxing and talking to some folks. He looks like he’s having a good time.

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NEW YORK – JULY 14: Shaquille O’Neal attends the Getty Images, Johnnie Walker and Steiner Sports party during the 2008 MLB All-Star Week at Tao on July 14, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by A H Walker/Getty Images)

12:48 AM: Looks like Shaq is leaving, and taking the whole place with him. Still plenty of people here, but people just kind of hang on to him as he moves. Think Earl Campbell dragging defenders up and down the field at the Houston Astrodome. People cling to him.

12:57 AM: The Mojito girl just tried to get me to take her last drink, but I wasn’t having it. I can’t really do Mojito’s.

1:05 AM: “Sweet Child O’Mine” just came on. Please play it to the end!

1:06 AM: Nope, that didn’t happen.

1:13 AM: It’s tough to look cool when the girl you are dancing with just suddenly decides to sit down and check her text messages without warning. Do you keep dancing? Do you sit down with her? This guy just did a little of both and it’s a little awkward. Don’t worry, I think I’m the only one that noticed.

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Professional athlete Melvin Fowler (R) poses with party goers at the 2008 MLB All-Star Week – Getty Images and Johnnie Walker Party at Tao on July 14, 2008 in New York City. (A H Walker/Getty Images)

1:16 AM: I feel bad for the single guys at this party. You know how to ensure that a regular guy won’t get a phone number at a party? Fill the party with a bunch of athletes and celebrities.

1:26 AM: Luke Russert just walked by me and headed over to the bar. He looks just like his father.

1:36 AM: This woman who was headed up the stairs wants to stay at the party, but I think the bouncers have other ideas. Her husband agreed that it was bedtime. I will say that was the biggest confrontation of the night and it was nothing. This is a very, very well-behaved party. Not that people aren’t cutting loose and having fun, but no one is crossing that line.

1:44 AM: I just helped a woman confirm that she actually met a baseball player. It’s late in the evening so conversations get a little more difficult after a few cocktails. She said he plays for Minnesota, but that he’s not from there originally. Yeah, I would kind of figure that. She said his name was John, but I didn’t find any pitcher named John on the Twins’ roster. After showing me the picture, she meant Joe. As in, Joe Nathan, the elite closer. That took much longer than it should have.

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Pitcher Joe Nathan attends the 2008 MLB All-Star Week – Getty Images and Johnnie Walker Party at Tao on July 14, 2008 in New York City (Picture by J. Kohen/WireImage)

1:56 AM: A very nice woman named Maria sits down next to me and introduces herself. She wanted to ask me the same question that others did all night: What are you writing? So I told her and she was excited to check it out. So, Maria, hopefully you actually logged on to check the blog.

2:15 AM: I get back to the Port Authority to realize I just missed the last bus back to Jersey. This is a great time to learn about the bus schedule. Taxi!

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