I am one of those people who favor an inclusive MLB all-star game, with at least one representative from each team selected to participate.
And it all comes down to my Metsian DNA.
Many years during the late ’70s/early ’80s, I would sit glued to the game waiting to see if any of the token Mets players would get to make a cameo. All I asked for was 1/3 of an inning for Pat Zachry, or a late-game AB for John Stearns, but all too often our boys stayed on the bench.
Then came 1979. Stearns was joined on the NL roster by Lee Mazzilli, that switch-hitting amalgamation of Vinnie Barbarino and Arthur Fonzarelli.
Come the top of the 8th inning in the Kingdome, the AL was up by one run, and Maz finally made it into the game, pinch hitting for Gary Matthews. And before you could say “Sit on it!” the game was tied—home run down the left-field line off Jim Kern.
The game stayed tied until the top of the 9th, when Maz drew a bases-loaded walk off Ron Guidry to drive in what would prove to be the winning run.
It rankles me to this day that Dave Parker won the game’s MVP award over Maz. I mean, sure it was a nice throw, but without Carter’s tag, it’s nothing. Plus, he threw out Brian “The Incredible Hulk” Downing, who stole a total of 50 bases (and was caught 44 times) over the course of a 20-year career.
Is it too late to demand a recount?