All-Star Game: Bringing baseball history to S.F.

Wherever Ted Spencer goes, he brings a little history with him.

The vice president and chief curator of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., has worked at the museum for 25 years, overseeing the collection of memorabilia and helping to figure out how it should be presented. Named after Ted Williams, Spencer has attended and helped set up every All-Star Game FanFest, beginning in 1991 in Toronto.

“I can’t tell you how much I enjoy going,” Spencer said. “I think for us personally what’s really neat is we get a real sense of the personality of the fans in that city.”

» On San Francisco: “It’s a wonderful city and I’m dying to get out there. I don’t know when I’ve looked forward to an All-Star trip as much as this one.”

» On how FanFest has evolved: “It’s much more polished. The Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball have worked well together over the years looking at ways we can keep adding things to the whole program so that we can get something for everybody. It’s very entertaining, it’s informative and it’s educational. I can’t say enough about it.”

» On the five cases of general traveling Hall of Fame memorabilia: “We have separated out a collection of things that can travel. And we have a core collection that goes from city to city. It’s the usual suspects. It’s the things that people expect to see if they come to a Hall of Fame exhibit. So you’ve got a chronological display of artifacts, mostly uniforms, but you’ve got your caps, your spikes and gloves through five major cases.”

» On the San Francisco-specific display cases at FanFest: “[The first] is not necessarily the people you would expect but the story we try to tell here at Cooperstown is that baseball allows anybody on any given day to do something that will allow them to live forever. That’s why you’re seeing things from Mike Benjamin and people like that. Matt Williams, Ernest Riles, Kevin Mitchell. You don’t think of them as Hall of Famers, but they were in the right place at the right time.

“But then we have another separate case in which we have an item or two from what you’d recognize as San Francisco Giant Hall of Famers — Mays, McCovey, Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal and Orlando Cepeda.”

» On memorabilia from Barry Bonds’ pursuit of Hank Aaron: “We’ll see what happens. We’ve got a Bonds bat in the exhibit from his big home run year. We’ve got someone in the front office who’s trying to stay in contact with Barry and his representatives. You know, we’ll see what happens.”

Q&A All-Star Game trivia

Q. When and where was the first All-Star Game played, and which league won?

A. It was played on July 6, 1933, at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The American League won 4-2.

Q. Who hit the first home run in All-Star Game history?

A. Babe Ruth in 1933.

Q. Willie Mays shares the record for most All-Star Game appearances with 24. With whom is he tied?

A. The St. Louis Cardinals’ Stan Musial.

Q. Who has the mosthits in All-Star Game history?

A. Willie Mays had 23 in 24 games for the NL.

Q. Who hit the first grand slam in All-Star Game history?

A. The California Angels’ Fred Lynn hit one on July 6, 1983, at Comiskey Park.

Q. Who is the only pitcher to win the All-Star Game MVP award and the Cy Young Award in the same season?

A. Roger Clemens, below, of Boston in 1986.

Q. Who is the only New York Yankees player to be named All-Star MVP?

A. Derek Jeter in 2000.

Q. Who set the record for most home runs hit in the Home Run Derby?

A. Bobby Abreu hit 41 in 2005 as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Q. What’s the latest an All-Star Game has gone without either team scoring?

A. It was 0-0 going into the 13th inning in the 1987 game at Oakland Coliseum. The NL won 2-0 on Tim Raines’ two-run triple in the top of the 13th.

Q. Morganna “the Kissing Bandit” Roberts ran onto the field during the first inning of the 1979 All-Star Game in Seattle. What surprised player did she smooch?

A. George Brett of Kansas City.


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