McCarver scored the game-winning run in the 1966 All-Star Game.
The Tuesday night All-Star Game was played in quickfire fashion before more than 40,000 fans in St. Louis’ new stadium. Joe Torre was in the National League dugout. And after a low-scoring contest decided by one run, the Most Valuable Player award went to a guy who failed to drive in a run.
Try 1966, when St. Louis hosted the fourth of five All-Star games to be played in the city (1940, 1948, 1957, 1966, and 2009) before 49,936 fans at the new Busch Memorial Stadium. Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson was named MVP after going 3-for-4 with a triple and a run in the two-hour, nineteen-minute game, won 2-1 by the National League.
That’s where they similarities end.
Robinson played the entire game, unheard of in modern All-Star history, and recorded four putouts and four assists in the field. On the base paths, he twice advanced on wild pitches – first to score a second-inning run off Sandy Koufax and again in the 10th inning to move into scoring position against Gaylord Perry.
After leading off extra innings with a single and reaching second base with no outs, Robinson went no farther. Norm Cash flew out to center for the inning’s first out, Bobby Richardson popped up for the second out, and Jim Fregosi struck out to end the top half of the inning.
The National League won the game in the bottom of the inning when a Maury Wills single off Pete Richert scored Tim McCarver from second base.
The Cardinals’ McCarver replaced the Braves’ Torre at catcher in the top of the eighth inning and finished 1-for-1 at the plate. One year later McCarver would go 2-for-2 in the second of his two career All-Star Game appearances, leaving him with a perfect 1.000 batting average at the Midsummer Classic.
While the home-town hero scored the winning run for the National League in 1966, McCarver admits that the MVP award that day ended up where it belonged, in Robinson’s hands.
“I didn’t play long enough to deserve that,” says McCarver “Brooks was all over the place, sucking up everything at third base. He was something. Great player and a great guy, too.”
Image source: Flickr