All Stars Past and Future by Bob Ryan

All-Star game –past-present-future..

The 1st All-Star game ….the 1933 All-Star Game

….Was started as a ONE-time event to elevate morale of the country

….to raise funds that went to a charity for disabled and needy major league players

….Twenty of the game’s thirty-six All-Stars including Ruth would later be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York. Both the game’s managers, five out of six coaches, and two out of the four umpires on the field that day would also be future Hall of Famers. ….Babe Ruth, fittingly, hit the 1st HR of All-Star history in the 3rd inning.

…AL won 4-2…game played at Comisky Field …the first of 6 All-Star games to be played in Chicago

 

As one glances at the goals of the game originally…they seem so altruistic…nothing to be gained by the players in the game….how far away we’ve come from that date 83 years ago…much of it now is about bonus $$$, days off, altering pitching rotations, overuse of players, “clicking away” so that ur boy will be a starter, players seem to complain that someone may get hurt, some try to get in and out of the game as quickly as possible and sneak quickly to the airport…ugh….

 

How about forgetting about that silly fan voting…heck all those 12 year kids are clicking their little hearts away so Johan so & so will be on the team…so that he can bat once, play in the field and never touch the ball…MLB is NOT growing interest in the game through on-line voting…I mean…do you see more kids or adults at games ?

 

Make it again as it was when it started…an exhibition….but only the BEST players were invited…surely the best players don’t need extrinsic motivation to play if chosen as an “All-Star”… Cut the rosters to 20 guys…let the Manager of the team (previous league champ) pick the roster (as they did years ago) and conform it any way that he wants to do ….who REALLY knows who the best players are? Fans or players/mgr ?

 

The game is clearly an exhibition…otherwise…how could two of the games end in ties (1961 & 2002)? Why add any real significance to exhibitions? Do we put the Globetrotters in the basketball HOF for winning…nope…they are exhibitions.

 

If players refuse to play…for any reason other than injury….they would be required to make a donation to the MLB pension fund…I believe that is the landing place for the money generated by the All-Star game.

 

Drop the silly “every team must have a rep” clause….originally, no one ever saw the stars of the other league so it was a treat to see those stars. With the current TV exposure all these players are seen frequently on the tube by the fans. We don’t need that any longer. Things change…further…. do you really think fans in any city will watch the game just to see that one guy pinch-hit …probably in an insignificant moment? Are you intending to watch just to see Aledmys Diaz play?

 

Let the starters play….I mean, really play…more than 1 AB and 3 innings in the field….every field starter should play at least 5 innings(isn’t that considered a “game” by regulation?), pitchers must have a minimum of 3 batters & a max of 3 innings.

 

A wild thought to develop more interest for kids….years…maybe decades ago…the Cards sponsored a promotion that allowed kids to walk through the dugout as the players were sitting there…I forget what it was called…wouldn’t that be something at the All-Star game…it could be arranged to be 2 hours prior to the game and each kid would receive some souvenir signed by an all-star at the end of the “walk-through”. Could you imagine how overwhelming that’d be for kids? Sure there would have to be parameters and lots of preparation…certain # of kids, certain length of time, logistics of in & out…but it could be done. This would NOT be admission for the game….just for this walk-through.

 

MLB says whoever wins this exhibition gets an advantage in the World Series…how ridiculous! Drop that rule NOW! Why not have the interleague competition determine which team will host the Series? Or..if that doesn’t suit you..how about the team with the overall best record has the World Series advantage….anything but who wins the All-Star exhibition.

 

Let the HR derby be for guys who DIDN’T make the All-Star game… the top 5 HR hitters of this year with the top HR hitter of the host team automatically qualifying. These players are NOT in the All-Star game…clear cut… Let each player represent a charity of his choice…everyone must have a different charity. Winner awards winning prize $$ to the charity there..on the spot.

 

Now…probably I’m too idealistic…too naïve about big business…too out of touch with the greed of sports…..too old fashioned…but really….do YOU have any interest in the All-Star game as it is now? These suggestions are aimed at improving the game which now is only a step…a small step….above watching a tee-ball game to me.

 

Some other All-Star facts that caught my eye…

…St Louis has hosted 5 All-Star games–

1940 Cards hosted in Sportsman Park III (I didn’t know that there were 3 Sportsman Parks? Did you? NL 4 AL 0

1948 Browns hosted in Sportsman Park III –AL 5 NL 2

1957 Cards hosted in Busch I—AL 6 NL 5

1966 Cards hosted in Busch II—NL 2 AL 1 (10 inn)

2009 Cards hosted in Busch III—AL 4 NL 3

Here’s a look @ some special moments…some of these names bring back memories…

…in 2nd All Star game (1934) Carl Hubbell struck out in succession 5 of the all-time great players. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons & Joe Cronin were all “rung up” by Hubbell

1935 All-Star game..only 4 substitutes (including pitchers) were used!

1936 saw the 1st rookie to ever play in the All-Star game-Joe DiMaggio

1941 saw Ted Williams blast an historic 3-run, walk off HR to push AL to 7-5 win

1943 had two notable memories…Stan the Man played in his 1st of 24 straight All-Star games but most post-game talk centered around NYY Mgr Joe McCarthy, who had been criticized for being partial in picking 5 of his players, held ALL of them out of the game …you see …there was criticism back then…even before ESPN… AL wins 5-3.

1945 no game…due to war (common sense prevails since many high caliber MLB players were serving their country instead of hitting fastballs)

1949 historic All-Star game @ Ebbets Field…4 African-American players participate—Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe (btw….all were Dodgers while the game was @ their home field) and AL player—Larry Doby

1950…many consider the best All-Star game ever saw Ralph Kiner tie the game @ 3-3 with a 9th inning HR for the NL and Red Schoendienst launched the tie-breaking blast in the 14th as NL prevails 4-3.

1959-62 Two All-Star games…too much…a short life span for this concept

1962 1st time an MVP was named—it was Maury Wills (NL-LA Dodger SS)

1965 Johnny Callison (Phils) hits a 3 run- walk-off HR for 7-4 NL victory

1966 @ the Lou…it was 105 degrees…that was the story-line..NL wins 2-1 in 10 innings

1967 Tony Perez (cin)HR ends the longest All-Star game in 15th inning NL wins 2-1

1968 NL scores a run in 1st inning and make it stand up for 1-0 victory

1970 Pete Rose barrels over Ray Fosse in 12th inning at home plate for a 5-4 NL win in Cincinnati. Fosse never is the same player again.

1972 Cookie Rojas (KC) hits 2-run HR in 8th to give AL 3-2 lead but NL scores 1 in the 9th and 1 in the 10th to win the game.

1979 Lee Mazzilli (NYM)hits a game tying HR in 8th and draws a bases loaded walk to win it for the NL 7-6

1980 Dodger Stadium hosts its only all-star game NL wins 4-2

1982 only All-Star game played outside USA as Montreal hosts, NL wins 11th straight

1983 Comiskey hosts game to celebrate 50th anniversary of All-Star game AL finally wins

1984 19 year old Dwight Gooden (NYM) appears as NL wins 3-1…that’s right 19 !

1987 only runs of the game are in 13th as Tim Raines drives home both runs in 2-0 NL win

1988-93 AL puts their a 6 game winning streak together

1994 Moises Alou hits a walk-off 2B in 10th inning as NL wins 8-7

1995 NL has just 3 hits…all HR in 3-2 NL win

1997 AL begins a 12-0-1 streak in All-Star games

2002 ends in 7-7 tie..reportedly… this tie game (teams run out of pitchers) leads the leagues to make the winner the host of the world series…you figure it out?

2008 Michael Young (Tx) delivers sac fly to give AL4-3 win in 15 innings.

2009 AL wins 4-3 as Marianno Rivera nails down his 4th World Series save

2010 Brian McCann(Atl) hits a 3-run 2B for all NL runs in 3-1 win

2014 Adam Wainwright is questioned after the game after he admits to “letting” Derek Jeter get a juicy pitch in the 1st inning (that helped AL win) since he was retiring. This puts the entire world series home field reward for winning the All-Star game idea in real jeopardy.

2015 Mike Trout hits a game-opening HR..become 1st player to win back-back MVP

2016 History lesson over….how about other stuff other than All-Star baseball?

 

Odds & Ends…

….currently Mike Matheny has the 3rd highest career managerial % of all Cardinal managers. His .579% (at start of the year) was only behind Billy Southworth (7 seasons-.622) and Bill McKechnie .594 in just 2 seasons)…and I stand corrected….Matheny is NOT the 1st NL manger to take over a World Championship team….after the 1964 season, Johnny Keane…who had been rumored to be fired in September…resigned after beating the NYY in 7 games…Red Schoendienst took over and was sub .500 in 1965.

…ur hope should be on the upswing…the Cubs were 27-8 on May 14…here on Sat, 7/9 Chicago with game pending, the Cubs are 52-34…so they’ve been a 25-26 team for 2 months now…the entire pitching staff looks cooked …. If I were in their shoes I’d be very active in the trade market with the target being anyone who can get outs.

…Houston Astros hot streak has put them back in the AL Wild Card race..at this moment only one game behind Boston for 2nd spot

….I’m not surprised that Carp hurt his back…it seemed to me that each and every AB, he was rocking back & forth at the waist attempting to “loosen” up the back..so he’s had it awhile

…Carlos Martinez should look for some water company or resort area to be his sponsor as he dowses water on every HR hitter (ya know..splash yourself yada-yada)

…poor Oakland…the hapless Raiders who had the Las Vegas possibility undercut by hockey and now the A’s are in last place…apparently Billy-Ball has morphed to Bad-Ball

…Randall Grichuk’s swing seems shorter, his head more still…since he’s returned from the minors. I’m wondering why our Cardinal hitting coaches couldn’t get him to do that ?

..which 2 teams have the most wins in MLB—San Fran & Texas…kinda surprising?

…Pena vs Fryer…come on….it isn’t close…Bryan Pena has been horrible…Fryer ends up with a competitor (Pirates)…now Pena is talking reserves… clever…so he’ll stretch out his time that he can’t be “cut” from MLB while he’s in the reserves…he was porous behind the plate, his bat looked slow, c- arm, the only good thing about him was his smile and happy attitude…heck….I have that much… but I can’t play baseball either

…some great local news….how about Colleen Quigley? The Nerinx grad..daughter of Gaylerd Quigley, an avid runner his whole life and long time XC /track coach @ CBC & Nerinx, qualified for the Olympics in the womens Steeple Chase with a gutsy finish. She finished 3rd and the top 3 go!! Congrats all-around! Also I received info from a reader that Patrick McCaw, who played some of his younger days of his HS career @ CBC was drafted #38 in the NBA Draft! McCaw’s father is the Basketball Coach of Trinity HS

…so Brian Harper is hitting .258? what’s happened to this budding super-star?

….the Cards have a very favorable 2nd half schedule…after break, Cards have a 10 game homestand. Then in August, the Cards have 6 games vs Reds, 3 games vs Atlanta, 3 vs Brewers, 3 vs Phils and 3 vs Athletics…all those teams are shall we say, “having issues”

…hottest team in baseball is Cleveland…on May 31 their record dropped to 26-24. Now the Indians are 52-35..that’s a 26-11 mark for the last 6 weeks. Starting pitching has been outstanding….for the most part, they are barely known..I doubt that ANY of you (or me either) could spout out the rotation… so here they are: Corey Kluber 9-8, 3.61era with 122 k’s in 122 inn; Carlos Carrasco 5-2, 2.47 68 k’s in 69 inn; Danny Salazar 10-3, 2.75, 118 k’s in 104 inn; Josh Tomlin 9-2, 3.51 68 k/ in 100 inn; Trevor Bauer 7-3, 3.30, 91 k’s in 101 inn

…remember “scrabble”…no not the board game…Marc Rzepczynski… the LHP the Cards once owned…he has really been dominant this year against left-handed batters. Those LHB are .223/.289/.300 against him…His efficiency tails off a bit against RHP so that his ERA is 2.96…gee…that’d look pretty good for the Cards. Now….apparently his velocity has remained constant and the swinging-strikes level has also stayed at a good level. He’s on the A’s now….look for him to be moved to a contender.

…if Miami could make it to a Wild Card…Fernandez would be a tough one-game series

…the best medicine for the Cardinals was playing the Brewers in the final series prior to the break….the Birds should fly out on their vaca plane feeling good about the 2nd half

…ya know…I liked the back-back series with KC….so the thought occurred to me…why not…once a month…do the same thing with our division foes? Play an entire week against the same team. In the same way as the KC series, First @ one site, then the other site. A week of Pittsburgh …or Chicago Cubs…or Milwaukee…one series in 1 town..then fly to the other in the same week…that would really measure your total team strength against that opponent with 6 or 7 straight games against them. Another benefit…you wouldn’t being seeing Milwaukee on back-back weekends like this year.

…Tony better get going…AZ is in last place 38-49 and 2-8 in their last 10 games…the Shelby move has really backfired…you think the Cards are bad at home…AZ is 15-32 in home games in 2016..who’d go to the games…no matter the “give-aways”?

…speaking of going….C U after the All-Star game…

 

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