This was the fifth All-Star Game to be played in Chicago, and the third to be hosted by the White Sox at Comiskey Park (the other two being hosted by the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field). This would be the last time that the All-Star Game would be hosted in the stadium where the annual exhibition began. When the White Sox next hosted the All-Star Game in 2003, they had moved across the street to their new home at U.S. Cellular Field.
The game was the first American League win since 1971, and only their second win since 1963. The 13 runs scored by the American League set a new record for one team in All-Star Game history, and was the most runs scored by a single team in All-Star competition since the 11 runs scored by the American League in 1954. The ten run margin of victory was the largest since 12-0 American League victory in 1946.
The game is perhaps best remembered for Fred Lynn's third inning grand slam. As of the 2013 playing, it is the only grand slam in All-Star Game history.
George Maloney was the last home plate umpire to work an All-Star game wearing the outside chest protector long favored by umpires in the American League. Maloney was one of only three active umpires in 1983 still using the outside protector. He and Russ Goetz retired following the 1983 season. Jerry Neudecker, the last outside protector holdout, retired after the 1985 season.
The first inning gave notice that this would be one of the sloppiest All-Star games in history. Steve Sax led off the game by reaching on an error by AL starting pitcher Dave Stieb. Sax stole second and scored when next batter Tim Raines grounded to Stieb and Stieb threw wildly past Rod Carew at first. Raines reached third, but couldn't score as Stieb struck out the side; Andre Dawson, Dale Murphy, and Mike Schmidt all fanned.
The AL tied it in their half of the first on a sacrifice fly by George Brett and took the lead in the second on another sac fly by Robin Yount. The Giants' Atlee Hammaker came in to pitch for the NL in the bottom of the third and promptly had one of the worst innings by a pitcher in All-Star Game history. Jim Rice led off with a solo homer, followed by a Brett triple. Dave Winfield singled home Brett. Manny Trillo singled, and Carew drove home Winfield with a two-out single. Hammaker then intentionally walked right-handed hitter Yount to face Fred Lynn, a left-handed hitter. Lynn made the NL pay for the move with the only grand slam hit in All-Star game history. When the dust cleared, the AL had a 9-1 lead and Hammaker had given up six hits and seven runs in an inning, all All-Star game records that still stands.
The NL gamely fought back on RBI singles by Murphy in the fourth and Sax in the fifth, but that was all they would get. In the seventh, Lou Whitaker had an RBI triple and Willie Wilson an RBI double for the AL. The AL capped off the scoring when Brett scored on a fly ball hit by Whitaker that Pedro Guerrero dropped and Rickey Henderson drove in Cecil Cooper with a groundout.