And let the games begin ... As next Tuesday's All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium approaches, we're moving through the actual bracket portion of the Stew's Most Memorable Memory Tournament: All-Star Edition. (Click on the link for all the previous matchups.)
Continuing the action, here's a faceoff apiece from the Ban Johnson and Gene Budig regionals. Cast your votes below each matchup. Polling for both closes at 5 p.m. CT on Tuesday.
Ban Johnson matchup
When: July 11, 1989
Where: Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim
What Happened?: The country thought it had gotten to know Bo Jackson from him running through Nike commercials and over Brian Bosworth, but we didn't know diddley. Jackson, the two-sport megastar of the Los Angeles Raiders and Kansas City Royals, led off for the AL and manager Tony La Russa at the suggestion of pitching coach Dave Duncan: "I wouldn't want to face him leading off a game," Duncan said. Jackson, electrifying as usual, hit the first pitch from San Francisco's Rick Reuschel (sort of an anti-Bo) way back onto the batter's eye in center at the Big A. Bo would be named MVP and the AL would win the game — a rare cut of meat in those days. A surreal twist, for those watching NBC's broadcast: former president/baseball broadcaster Ronald Reagan helped Vin Scully call the action.
-- Vs. --
When: July 12, 1955
Where: County Stadium, Milwaukee
What Happened?: On the day of Arch Ward's funeral (he was the Chicago Tribune sports editor who originated the All-Star Game), Stan the Man provided a fitting ending to one of the best contests in the series' relatively young history. The NL had rallied late against Whitey Ford to tie the score after the AL jumped to a quick 5-0 lead and then, in the bottom of the 12th inning — it was just the second game to go into extras — Musial hit a first pitch by Boston's Frank Sullivan over the fence, snatching another win for the NL. The winning pitcher was Milwaukee's Gene Conley who, like Bo Jackson, was a two-sport athlete. He won a World Series with the Braves in '57 and three more NBA titles with the Boston Celtics.
UPDATE: Bo knows first-round matchups, winning 64% of the 2,793 votes.
Gene Budig Regional matchup
When: July 6, 1983
Where: Old Comiskey Park, Chicago
What happened?: Thunder from the All-Star baseball gods, that's what happened! Mired in an 11-game losing streak — something of which the NL now can identify — the AL decided the 50th Anniversary of the game was a good time to break out the spirit of Babe Ruth along with a can of whoop-ass with a partying and partisan South Side crowd watching. The AL took control in a memorable seven-run third inning, highlighted by Fred Lynn's line-drive, scoreboard-exploding slam against San Francisco's Atlee Hammaker. Not even Hammaker's Croix de Candlestick could protect him from Lynn and from Jim Rice, who also homered in the third — way to go, Gold Dust Twins. "We knew about the fireworks (at Comiskey Park)," the Yankees Dave Winfield said. "We wanted to see them, and we did." The AL won, 13-3.
-- Vs. --
When: July 11, 1967
Where: Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim
What happened?: Not quite the year of the pitcher (that was '68) but the Summer of Love's All-Star Game showcased some of the most dominant mound work in history. Juan Marichal, Bob Gibson, Fergie Jenkins, Don Drysdale, Tom Seaver — it was like Woodstock for pitchers. Philly's Richie Allen (not quite Dick — that came with the White Sox in the '70s) and Baltimore's Brooks Robinson traded solo homers, but otherwise it mostly was an arms race. The NL went scoreless from the third through the 14th until, in Catfish Hunter's fifth inning of relief (imagine if Justin Duchscherer has to go five at Yankee Stadium), Perez put the ball over the fence for a 2-1 lead. Carl Yastrzemski walked in the bottom of the 15th, but Seaver (nice closer, eh?) struck out Ken Berry to end the longest ASG in history.
UPDATE: Fred Lynn hits another granny, advancing with 59% of the 1,858 votes.
- Bo Jackson
- Gene Budig
- Ban Johnson
- Fred Lynn