Relive Rocket's Houston ASG gem in '86

May 21st, 2020

HOUSTON -- In an era when pitching, speed and defense defined the game -- and in a ballpark where those facets were meant to thrive -- the 1986 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at the Astrodome featured nearly as many stolen bases as extra-base hits.

In the second of two All-Star games to take place in the Astrodome, five future Hall of Famers on each team started a game in which the American League won, 3-2, over the National League, which had won 13 of the previous 14 Midsummer Classics. The game was dominated by pitching, with a local boy leading the charge.

of the Red Sox, making the start in his hometown of Houston in the first of his 11 All-Star Game appearances, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after throwing three perfect innings.

of the Tigers hit a two-run homer in the second inning off of the Mets, and the AL pitching staff kept the NL off the board until the eighth. Astros pitcher , who would win the NL Cy Young Award that year, gave up a solo homer to of the Royals in the seventh inning for a 3-0 AL lead.

of the Dodgers turned in a memorable pitching performance himself in the NL's defeat, striking out five consecutive batters to match Carl Hubbell's All-Star Game record, set 52 years prior. Valenzuela struck out , , Jesse Barfield, Whitaker and Teddy Higuera in succession.

NL pitchers, led by Valenzuela, of the Mets and a 21-year-old Gooden, struck out 12 batters, tying the All-Star Game record set in 1934 by the NL, which was subsequently tied by the NL in '56 and the AL in '59 (and later again by the AL in '99).