As next Tuesday's All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium approaches, we're moving through the Stew's Most Memorable Memory Tournament: All-Star Edition. (Click on the link for winners of the previous matchups.)
Continuing the action, here's a faceoff apiece from the Gene Budig and Ban Johnson Regionals. Cast your votes below each matchup. Polling for both closes around 12 p.m. CT on Thursday. If you're trying to follow along, don't worry. We'll be unveiling an updated bracket as soon as all 32 of our All-Star moments are revealed.
Gene Budig Regional Matchup4. Fans lose privilege to vote after stuffing box with Reds
When: July 9, 1957
Where: Sportsman's Park, St. Louis
What happened?: Marty Brennaman loves Cincinnati Reds fans, but they were very naughty in '57, stuffing the ballot box so that everyone in their starting lineup — except for first baseman George Crowe — was named to start for the NL. (Strange that Crowe was left out of the scheme — by the stats, he more than deserved an All-Star bid, at least as a reserve. Oh, here might be a reason one can see.) So outraged was commish Ford Frick that he ejected Gus Bell and Wally Post from the team and took away all fans' voting ability starting the next season. Now that's a baseball commissioner with some authority. As for the '57 game, the AL took it, 6-5, with Minnie Minoso of the White Sox making a long-running catch of a ball off the bat of Gil Hodges to end it. Crowe probably would have gotten the ball over the wall, too.
-- Vs. --5. Johnny Callison's game-ending homer signals "Year of the Philles" — or not
When: July 7, 1964
Where: Shea Stadium, New York
What happened?: In the same summer that New York had the World's Fair in Flushing (aliens landed there, if you believe the movies), Callison hit a two-out, three-run homer against Boston's Dick "The Monster" Radatz to cap a four-run ninth for the NL in its 7-4 victory. It was the sixth win for the NL in seven games and it evened the series, finally, at 17-17-1. Callison was so geeked by the moment that he said, "That homer was the greatest thrill of my life, but I remember thinking that it was only the beginning. It was going to be the Phillies' year. We had everything going our way. Everything." Well, not quite. The Wheez Kids ended up blowing a 6 1/2-game lead in the NL with 12 games to go.
UPDATE: Reds fans take it fair and square (we think) with 66 percent of the vote.
Ban Johnson Regional Matchup3. Reggie Jackson hits coolest homer in All-Star History
When: July 13, 1971
Where: Tiger Stadium, Detroit
What happened?: The National League long had established its dominance in the Midsummer Classic; the NL boys had won eight in a row, culminating with an extra-inning victory the season before, punctuated by Pete Rose's heavy-duty bowling over of Ray Fosse with the game-winning run. In '71, the Senior Circuit jumped ahead 3-0 but, with Luis Aparicio aboard in the third, Oakland's Reggie Jackson launched a monstrous, 520-foot homer against Pittsburgh's Dock Ellis that hit the light tower atop the roof in right field. The AL took the lead that inning and, after both sides combined for six home runs — all by future Hall of Famers — it won for the first time since '62.
6. Torii Hunter robs Barry Bonds of homer, gets big hug; ‘02
When: July 9, 2002
Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee
What Happened?: The "All-Star Tie of 2002" might never have happened were it not for Torii Hunter. Barry Bonds led off the third with a long drive to deep right-center; it appeared to be heading over the fence, but Hunter, the game's premier athlete at his position, leaped high and caught the ball to keep it from going out. Gold Glove beats home-run record. Bonds, in an unprecedented public show of playfulness, intercepted Hunter and, after an embrace, hoisted him up in celebration. The concern over the bad news from '02 — stories of rampant steroid abuse, plus the recent death of All-Star hero Ted Williams — was soothed a bit. Until both sides ran out of pitchers.
UPDATE: Reggie's memorable HR lives on with 58 percent of the vote.
- Gene Budig
- Johnny Callison