Flashback Friday: Orioles All-Stars in the pre-"Vote Orange" days
July 5, 2013
The Orioles sent only one player to the All-Star Game for six straight seasons from 2006 through 2011 and for 10 of 11 seasons from 2001 through 2011. Thanks to improved play on the field and the Vote Orange campaign, that won't be a problem - or even close to it - in 2013. It's starting to feel like the early '70s.
Long before online voting was even a possibility, the O's sent at least six players to the Midseason Classic for four consecutive seasons from 1969 through 1972. The peak came in 1970 when seven O's got the nod: Mike Cuellar (LHP), Dave Johnson (2B), Dave McNally (LHP), Jim Palmer (RHP), Boog Powell (1B), Brook Robinson (3B), and Frank Robinson (OF). Earl Weaver managed the A.L. squad, with former Oriole Little Louie Aparicio batting leadoff and starting at short.
Fans at Riverfront Stadium, which opened just a couple of weeks prior to the game, got a preview of the Orioles stars who would hand the hometown Cincinnati Reds a loss in the World Series come October. However, the National League emerged victorious on July 14, 1970, in 12 innings. The N.L. scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the contest and then finished things off with a walk-off single by the Cubs' Jim Hickman in the 12th. Gentleman Jim was making what would turn out to be the lone All-Star apperance of his 13-year career.
Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox took home the MVP hardware on the strength of his record-tying four hits despite playing for the losing side. Brooks Robinson finished 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI. Meanwhile, Palmer got the start and pitched three shutout innings striking out three, walking one and allowing one hit.
The 1970 All-Star game is best remembered for Pete Rose barreling over catcher Ray Fosse at home plate to score the winning run. Fosse suffered a separated shoulder on the play. (Read a 2012 story about that play at Fox Sports.)
Back to that Vote Orange reference I made earlier in this post. The 1970 All-Star Game featured the restoration of fan voting for position players for the first time since 1957. It had been eliminated following a ballot-stuffing controversy in '57 that put seven Cincinnatti Reds players into the starting lineup.