Streakin: Forgotten NL All-Star Moments (1972-82)

The annual Major League Baseball All-Star Game is tonight at Citi Field in New York. The National League is looking to extend a three-game winning streak and once again claim home field advantage for the World Series.

But the National League’s winning streak in the Mid-Summer Classic pales in comparison to the senior circuit’s 11-game winning streak from 1972 to 1982. Let’s take a look at some of the moments during that streak that may be easily forgettable.

1972: Cincinnati’s Joe Morgan delivered the walk-off single in the bottom of 10th inning of the 4-3 win in Atlanta. But if not for an RBI fielder’s choice by Houston’s Lee May in the bottom of the ninth, the AL would have won their second straight All-Star Game. The AL entered the bottom of the ninth leading 3-2 with the White Sox’s Wilbur Wood on the mound trying to seal the victory.

1974: Dodgers Steve Garvey earned game MVP honors despite not being listed on the ballot. He was added to the starting lineup by a write-in vote and finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored in the 7-2 win in Pittsburgh.

1975: For the first time in All-Star Game history, honorary captains were named for each league. Former Yankee Mickey Mantle represented the AL squad, while Cardinals great Stan Musial represented the NL. The NL broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth inning with a two-run single by Cub Bill Madlock and a sacrifice fly by Red Pete Rose for a 6-3 triumph.

1976: Five Reds (Bench, Morgan, Rose, Dave Concepcion and George Foster) elected by the fans and two Cincinnati reserves (Tony Perez, Ken Griffey) combined for seven hits and four RBI in a 7-1 triumph in Philadelphia.

1977: Fans may remember Morgan’s lead off home run off of Baltimore’s Jim Palmer at Yankee Stadium. But a two-run home run by Philadelphia’s Greg Luzinski later in the inning gave the NL a 4-0 lead. Even with an AL comeback attempt, the senior circuit held on for a 7-5 victory.

1979: Despite his phenomenal career, this was the only All-Star Game start for California’s Nolan Ryan. This was the second of five Mid-Summer Classic appearances for Ryan.

1980: Griffey’s fifth inning home run off of Yankee Tommy John was not only the NL’s first run, it was also their first hit. The NL went on to win, 4-2, at Dodger Stadium as Griffey earned MVP honors. His son, Ken Griffey Jr., won the All-Star Game MVP Award in 1992.

1981: Future Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt of Philadelphia hit a game winning, two-run home run in the eighth inning off of another future Hall of Famer, Milwaukee’s Rollie Fingers. The NL won, 5-4, in Cleveland.

1982: With the All-Star Game in Montreal, two Expos were responsible for the final run of the game in the NL’s 4-1 win. After Al Oliver doubled, he scored on a Gary Carter single in the sixth inning.

After the AL ended an 11-game losing streak with a 13-3 win in 1983 at Comiskey Park in Chicago, the NL quickly responded with three All-Star wins in the next four years.

Enjoy tonight’s game!

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