All-Star Game: Midsummer classic's S.F. history

30th all-star game » NL 5, AL 4 (10 innings) on Tuesday, July 11, 1961.

A roll call of baseball immortals led the National League to a come-from-behind victory in The City’s first All-Star Game.

Trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the 10th, home run king Hank Aaron led off with a single and scored when Willie Mays followed with a double. Giants great Orlando Cepeda then drew a walk, and Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente drove in Mays with a game-winning single. All four of those players, plus losing pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm, have since been enshrined in Cooperstown.

The heroics were necessary courtesy of an “only in San Francisco” moment in the top of the ninth. The National League led 3-2 when a strong gust of wind knocked San Francisco pitcher Stu Miller off the mound, causing him to balk in the tying run.

Eighteen future Hall of Famers were featured in the game, including Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Harmon Killebrew and Mickey Mantle for the American League and Sandy Koufax, Eddie Mathews, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson for the National League. Roger Maris hit fourth for the American League and went 1-for-4. He would go on to hit 61 home runs and break Babe Ruth’s single-season record of 60 that year.

55th all-star game » NL 3, AL 1

Tuesday, July 10, 1984: Many of the world’s best hitters were left shaking their heads in this edition of the Midsummer Classic, as there were 21 strikeouts and all 10 pitchers to appear in the game fanned at least one batter.

Most impressive was the performance of National League phenoms Fernando Valenzuela (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Dwight Gooden (New York Mets). The duo combined to strike out six consecutive batters over the fourth and fifth innings, with the 19-year-old Gooden showing off the form that would eventually lead to his claiming the National League Rookie of the Year award.

Montreal catcher Gary Carter was named MVP of the game after catching both Valenzuela and Gooden and hitting a homer in the bottom of the second inning to break a 1-1 tie.

The game ended on a fitting note when San Diego’s Goose Gossage struck out the A’s Rickey Henderson with a runner on base.

Fourteen current Hall of Famers played in the game, led by George Brett (Kansas City Royals), Rod Carew (California Angels) and Cal Ripken Jr. (Baltimore Orioles) for the American League and Tony Gwynn (San Diego Padres), Mike Schmidt (Philadelphia Phillies) and Ozzie Smith (St. Louis Cardinals) for the National League.

Giants representatives Chili Davis and Bob Brenly each made outs after entering the game as pinch hitters. Henderson (0-for-2) and Bill Caudill represented the A’s, with Caudill striking out the side in the seventh inning in his lone All-Star appearance.


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melliser@examiner.com

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