The National League manager for the 1964 All-Star Game was the imperious Walter Alston of the Dodgers — and Alston had two of his own pitchers on the roster, starter Don Drydale and — in a reserve role — perhaps baseball’s greatest legend, Sandy Koufax*. Flash forward to the 2017 MLB All-Star game, the American League finally has a chance to even the series. An American League win would put the all-time MLB All-Star game count at a dead even 43-43-2. The last time the two leagues were even in the count was 1964.
A quick look at the 1964 All-Star game lineups gives tingles to the baseball fan who thinks of the game as America’s true pastime. Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays were in centerfield. Say hey! Roberto Clemente and Brooks Robinson took the field. Al Kaline, Whitey Ford, Juan Marichal, Hank Aaron, Willie Stargell, Bill Mazeroski were in uniform. The National League won 7-4 in what was — believe it or not — a day game! 50,000 plus fans attended at Shea Stadium in New York. Koufax didn’t pitch, though many of the New York fans came out expressly to see the famous Dodgers hurler. Koufax started to cement the NL lead the following year as the winning pitcher of the 1965 All-Star Game. Guys named Pete Rose and Bob Gibson played in that one. The 2017 MLB All-Star Game, the 88th and first one to take place in Florida, is — you guessed it — a night game. Tuesday 8pm on FOX.
*from the Baseball Hall of Fame: “[Koufax] won five straight NL ERA titles from 1962-66 and led the Dodgers to the NL pennant in 1963, 1965 and 1966, winning the World Series in 1963 and 1965.”