Monday, July 12, 2010

The Only All-Star Game at Shea Stadium

I asked my readers on facebook for an idea of what to write about as a feature for the All-Star Break. Something not related to the 2010 Mets, but still of interest. Last year, I posted something short about Gary Cohen called "Gary Cohen, Hockey Announcer". You get the idea. My friend Coop suggested that I write about the 1964 All-Star Game at Shea. Perfect.

So what do I know about it? From my Mets History classes, I know that the 1964 All-Star Game was played at Shea Stadium as part of the ballpark's first season, along with the 1964-65 World's Fair that was taking place next door. Ron Hunt was the first Met to start an All-Star Game (remember, it was only the 3rd year of the team's existence, and well, the Mets rosters of the 1960's overall were not filled by good players). I found out today that Casey Stengel was a coach for Walter Alston's NL squad.

I've never seen a highlight from this game. I've never seen a replay. Remember that it took place in a time in which there wasn't video tape of every game like there is now. Replays of live events from that era are pretty rare. MLB Network recently showed the 1965 All-Star Game. I wish that I could include a video clip of Ron Hunt getting hit by a pitch in the 1964 game (after all, that's one thing he was famous for as a Met). But that didn't happen. Hunt did go 1 for 3 with a strikeout playing second base.

Johnny Callison, Outfielder then with the Phillies hit what's know known as a "walk-off homerun". I highly doubt that Lindsey Nelson or Buddy Blattner used that term on the NBC telecast. Callison won the Game's MVP Award for his performance that day in front of 50,850 at Shea.

Red Sox ace Dick Radatz was on the mound and had already thrown two hitless innings. Willie Mays, in a tough at-bat, got the walk and then stole second. Orlando Cepeda followed with a soft looper to right field scoring Mays due to a bad Joe Pepitone throw to the plate. Two quick outs and a walk later, Johnny Callison hammered a fast ball into the right field stands scoring three runs, giving the Nationals their sixth win in seven games and finally evening up the series.
The winning HR went out towards the Subway in RF. Soon-to-be Hall of Fame Umpire Doug Harvey was officiating down the LF line.

Not much else has been written to tell the story. Nothing with pictures or video that I could find. Shea never hosted another All-Star Game for whatever reason. Citi Field is likely to receive the next game assigned (2013 I believe).

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