Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.The 1979 All-Star Game followed a common script.The American League led. And the National League won.In fact, the lead changed hands or the game was tied six times as the National League scored single runs in the
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
The 1979 All-Star Game followed a common script.
The American League led. And the National League won.
In fact, the lead changed hands or the game was tied six times as the National League scored single runs in the top of the eighth and ninth to score a 7-6 victory on July 17 at the Kingdome in Seattle.
The win was the eighth straight by the National League. The 16th win in 17 All-Star Games boosted the National League's edge in the series - which was dominated by the American League in the early years -- to 31-18-1.
There were several other notable sidelights to the 1979 All-Star Game.
Dave Winfield was the first Padre to be voted into the National League starting lineup by the fans and played all nine innings in center and right and had a double in five at-bats with a run scored and a RBI. Winfield finished the first half with a .331 batting average, 22 homers and 72 RBIs in 95 games with a 1.028 OPS.
Left-handed pitcher Randy Jones had been selected the National League starting pitcher in 1976.
And for the first time, the Padres had two players in the All-Star Game with Winfield being joined by right-handed pitcher Gaylord Perry, who had won the National League Cy Young Award the previous season.
Pete Rose of the Philadelphia Phillies entered the game as a pinch-hitter and played the last four innings at first base. Rose became the only player to appear in All-Star Games at five different positions - first, second, third, left and right - plus pinch-hitter in All-Star Game history.
The only All-Star Game ever at the Kingdome was also the only All-Star Game started by future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan.
Even the selection of the game's Most Valuable Player was a little unusual. Pittsburgh right fielder Dave Parker was 1-for-3 with an RBI. But it was his arm that earned him the MVP award. Parker threw out two American League runners, including cutting down the go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth.
Ryan was not greeted warmly by the National League hitters, giving up two runs in the top of the first after he struck out the game's first two hitters. Dodgers' first baseman Steve Garvey started the rally by drawing a two-out walk. Third baseman Mike Schmidt of the Phillies drove home Garvey with a triple to center and left fielder George Foster of the Reds lined a run-scoring double down the right-field foul line. Winfield lined out to right for the final out.
The American League quickly grabbed the lead, however, when then scored three runs in the bottom of the first off another future Hall of Fame pitcher, Steve Carlton of the Phillies.
The rally started when Kansas City third baseman George Brett drew a one-out walk.
California Angels left fielder Don Baylor drove Brett home with a double down the left-field foul line and scored on a two-run homer by Boston center fielder Fred Lynn.
But the National League tied the game against Ryan in the top of the third. Three singles by Phillies catcher Bob Boone, pinch-hitter Lou Brock of the Cardinals and Dodgers second baseman Davey Lopes loaded the bases with one out and Parker tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center.
Winfield gave the National League a 4-3 lead in the top of the fourth. Schmidt opened the inning with a double off Bob Stanley of the Red Sox, moved to third on a ground out and scored on Winfield's ground out to third.
The American League countered with two runs in the bottom of the third against Joaquin Andujar of the Houston Astros. Baylor singled with one out ahead of Andujar hitting Chicago White Sox center fielder Chet Lemon. Red Sox first baseman Carl Yastrzemski singled home Baylor to tie the game and Lemon scored from second on an error when Schmidt threw wildly to first on a two-out grounder by Kansas City catcher Darrell Porter.
Both teams scored in the sixth.
Winfield doubled off Mark Clear of the Angels with one out and raced home with the tying run on a single to left by Gary Carter.
But the American League regained the lead on three straight hits off Perry to open the bottom of the sixth. Yastrzemski opened the inning with a single. Porter doubled pinch-runner Rick Burleson of Boston to third and Burleson scored on an infield single by Mariners first baseman Bruce Bochte.
The National League again tied the game in the top of the eighth when pinch-hitter Lee Mazilli of the Mets opened the inning with a home run off Jim Kern of the Texas Rangers.
The game's pivotal play was made by Parker in the bottom of the eighth. Angels catcher Brian Downing opened the inning with a single against cubs reliever Bruce Sutter and was sacrificed to second. After Sutter intentionally walked Yankees right fielder Reggie Jackson, Yankees third baseman Graig Nettles lined a single to right.
As Downing headed home from second, Parker threw a perfect strike to Montreal catcher Carter, who tagged out Downing to end the inning and keep the game tied.
Wildness by Kern and Yankees reliever Ron Guidry led to the National League's winning run.
Reds second baseman Joe Morgan drew a one-out walk in the top of the ninth and moved to second on a balk by Kern, who then intentionally walked Parker. After Dodgers' third baseman drew a two-out walk to load the bases, Guidry replaced Kern - and walked Mazilli to force home the decisive run.
Sutter returned to the mound and worked his way out of a second threatening inning to get the win. In two innings, Sutter allowed two hits and two walks but struck out three and didn't allow a run.