The game was held on July 15, 2003 at U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 7-6, thus awarding an AL team (which was eventually the New York Yankees) home-field advantage in the 2003 World Series. This game was the first All-Star Game to award home-field advantage in the World Series to the winning league, a rule that stemmed from a controversial 7-7 tie in the previous year's edition. In the days leading up to the game, Fox advertised it with the tagline: "This time it counts." Subsequent editions altered the slogan to "This one counts" to reflect the new method of determining the World Series' home-field advantage.
The lead would stand until the fifth inning, when Todd Helton gave the NL the lead with a two-run homer off Shigetoshi Hasegawa. The National League would go on to score three more runs that inning, on the strength of a two-run double from Andruw Jones and an RBI single from Albert Pujols, giving the NL a 5-1 lead.
In the eighth came Éric Gagné, who did not blow any saves in the 2003 regular season. The All-Star Game would prove to be the one blemish on his record for the year. Staked to a 6-4 lead, Gagne gave up a one-out double to Garret Anderson, who was replaced by pinch-runner Melvin Mora. Vernon Wells singled Mora home to make it a one-run game. Then Hank Blalock hit a dramatic, two-out go-ahead home run to put the AL up 7-6.
Keith Foulke came in the ninth to try to earn the save. Foulke closed the door and set the side down 1-2-3. Garret Anderson, who batted 3-4 with a double, home run and 2 RBI, was awarded the game's MVP honors, a night after winning the 2003 Home Run Derby.
For the first time since 1978 (Reds: Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and George Foster) an all-star team had the first three hitters from the same regular season team (Cardinals: Renteria, Edmonds, and Pujols).
From 1997-July 1998, Jason Schmidt and Esteban Loaiza were teammates in Pittsburgh.
This was Eric Gagné's only blown save of 2003, as he went a perfect 55 for 55 in save opportunities in the regular season.
This was the first All-Star Game in which one of the managers was not the manager of the team he had taken to the World Series the year before. NL manager Dusty Baker had led the San Francisco Giants to the NL pennant in 2002, but during the offseason had left the Giants to become manager of the Chicago Cubs. Baker, and not his San Francisco replacement, Felipe Alou, still managed the team.