Mets All-Star history: The 1970s

1970
7/14 Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati
NL 5-AL 4 (12 innings)

Coming off the Mets’ first World Championship, Gil Hodges was the NL skipper, unfortunately I do not have access at this time to see who besides the announced other NL managers that he selected as coaches to round out his staff. Joining him in Cincinnati was Bud Harrelson and Tom Seaver. Seaver was picked to start the All-Star Game, went the first three innings, allowed just one hit and struck out four. Harrelson would come in during the 7th inning, replacing Don Kessinger. Harrelson would go 2-for-3 and score two runs.

1971
7/13 Tiger Stadium, Detroit
AL 6-NL 4

With voting for All-Star Game starters returning to the fans the year before, Harrelson would be the first Met to be elected by the fans. Seaver would once again join Harrelson on the NL Roster. Harrelson would end up going 0-2 before being lifted in the 6th, and Seaver would not appear in the game.

1972
7/25 Atlanta Stadium, Atlanta
NL 4-AL 3 (10 innings)

Seaver was once again chosen for an All-Star Game in 1972. He would be joined by a Met making his first All-Star Game, and a fellow who would be selected for his 23rd All-Star Game. The newbie, Tug McGraw, the other guy, Willie Howard Mays. Due to a nagging injury, Roberto Clemente, one of the elected starters, ending up not starting, and so Mays set a record with his 18th ASG start. Mays played through the first 5 innings, but went 0-2 in the game. McGraw would come out of the pen and pitch two scoreless innings to notch the save, and Seaver again rode the pine.

1973
7/24 Royals Stadium, Kansas City
NL 7-AL 1

The iconic Willie Mays would be selected for his 24th, ironic, and final All-Star Game in 1973. While not starting one last time, he did pinch hit for Willie Stargell in the 8th, striking out in his final ASG at-bat. Seaver would also be selected to the game, this time he would see action, coming in to pitch a scoreless, and hitless 8th inning.

1974
7/23 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh
NL 7-AL 2

Due to getting fired following the 1964 Yankee defeat in the World Series, Yogi Berra did not manage in the 1965 All-Star Game, now the skipper of the 1973 NL Champions, Berra had his opportunity, and he brought along Bob Miller, Rube Walker and Joe Pignatano to round out his coaching staff. Also Tom McKenna was selected as the NL trainer (my records for medical and clubhouse appointments, as well as the ASG manager’s brining members of his team’s coaching staff to round out his ASG staff prior to the 2000s is a bit spotty). The players chosen to go to Pittsburgh with Berra were Jerry Grote and Jon Matlack. Grote would replace Johnny Bench in the top of the 9th, and would not get a plate appearance, while Matlack pitch a scoreless 6th inning.

1975
7/15 County Stadium, Milwaukee
NL 6-AL 3

After a one year absence, Seaver returned to the All-Star Game, and Matlack earned his second selection. Perhaps a bit rusty, Seaver would not put in a terrific performance, coming on in the 6th; Seaver gave up 3 runs on 2 hits and allowing the AL to tie the game at 3. Matlack would come on in the next inning, and would hold the fort for the next two innings. Allowing no more scoring and only 2 hits and striking out 4, and thanks to the NL grabbing the lead in the top of the 9th, Matlack would earn the victory, and a share of the MVP trophy with the Cubs’ Bill Madlock.

1976
7/13 Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia
NL 7-AL 1

The nation was in midst of its bicentennial, and the NL was celebrating its centennial, and no better spot to do both than in Philadelphia. Seaver would be selected for the All-Star Game as a Met for the final time, and Matlack would be making his final trip to the Mid-Summer’s Classic. They would be joined by Dave Kingman, who was elected as a starting outfielder. Kingman started in right field, and would go 0-2 with one strikeout. Seaver would revert back to form after 1975’s disaster with two innings of work, giving up a run on 2 hits, and 1 strikeout. Matlack would not enter the game.

1977
7/19 Yankee Stadium, New York
NL 7-AL 5

Due to the game being held in New York City, Willie Mays, representing the Mets as he was a part of Joe Torre’s coaching staff, was trotted out to be the NL’s Honorary Captain. Also Met coaching staff member Denny Somers was brought in as part of the NL’s extended coaching staff. The lone Met player representative was John Stearns who would come in to catch the bottom of the 9th. Obviously representing the Reds, Seaver was selected for the NL’s pitching staff, and pitched 2 innings, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs (2 earned), walked 1 and struck out 2.

1978
7/11 San Diego Stadium, San Diego
NL 7-AL 3

Pat Zachry was named the lone Met representative, and he would not appear in the game.

1979
7/17 Kingdome, Seattle
NL 7-AL 6

This would represent the first time the Mets would have an All-Star Game representative be a replacement for a previously selected All-Star. Stearns was tabbed to replace Bench, who oddly enough was replacing Ted Simmons! Stearns would wind up not getting into the game. However, the Met originally supposed to be the only Met on the roster, Lee Mazzilli would get into the game. And what an appearance Maz would make. Pinch-hitting for Gary Matthews in the 8th, Mazzilli homered off of Jim Kern to tie the game at 6-6. He would stay in the game in center field, and would draw a walk in the 8th that would bring home the winning run in the top of the 9th off of the Yankees’ Ron Guidry.

2 comments for “Mets All-Star history: The 1970s

  1. July 12, 2013 at 9:49 am

    It seems weird to read these and recall there was a time where it was common for players to be elected to the team and not play in the game. The honor was being selected. This freed the managers to play guys for as long as they saw fit, which would probably be a good strategy now that “it counts!”

    Also helps explain to those who weren’t around why Mets fans are so bitter about Mazzilli not getting the MVP in ’79. The lone representative in ’78 didn’t even get into the game.

  2. Jim OMalley
    July 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Those were the days!

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