in collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
In one of the most dramatic moments in All-Star history, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds crashes into Cleveland Indians to score the winning run in the 12th inning. Rose scored the winning run on a hit by Jim Hickman of the Chicago Cubs, as the National League beats the American League 5-4 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox was named MVP with a record-tying four hits.
The All-Star Game goes primetime as Riverfront Stadium hosts baseball’s mid-summer classic. The 1969 All-Star Game in Washington was slated to start at night but a rainout forced it to be rescheduled the next day. There 1942 All-Star contest at the Polo Grounds was held at night as were the games in 1943 and 1944. However, since the end of the war, the All-Star Game was played during the day. The game was played at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, a stadium that had opened just two weeks earlier.
Gil Hodges of the New York Mets led the way for the National League, while Earl Weaver of the Baltimore Orioles was the manager for the American League. Each manager chose one a starter from their own team, as Tom Seaver of the Mets toed the rubber for the National League and Jim Palmer of the Orioles stated for the American League. The All-Star Game was notable in that it was the first All-Star Game sine 1957 that featured a fan vote. The fans’ vote was taken away after a ballot stuffing scandal 3 years earlier.
President Richard Nixon threw out the ceremonial first pitch, while Tom Seaver and Jim Palmer were unhittable. Both pitchers allowed just one hit in three innings on the mound. Sudden Sam McDowell of the Cleveland Indians allowed three walks but continued to hold the NL in check by also allowing just one hit over his three innings on the mound. Jim Merrit of the Reds pitched two innings and allowed one hit as the hurlers were in command for the first half of the game.
Gaylord Perry of the San Francisco Giants came on to pitch for the National League in the sixth inning and gave up the first run of the game, as Carl Yastrzemski singled home Ray Fosse. In the seventh inning, the scored a second run against Gaylord Perry when Brooks Robinson scored on a sac-fly by Fosse. The seventh inning became a battle of siblings when Gaylord’s brother Jim Perry of the Minnesota Twins took the mound in the bottom of the seventh. Like his brother, Jim got into loaded the bases with no outs but escaped a big inning when Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants hit into a double play that scored Mets shortstop Buddy Harrelson.
In the eighth inning, the American League extended their lead to 4-1 as Yastrzemski and Willie Horton of the Detroit Tigers scored on a triple by Brooks Robinson off Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals. Catfish Hunter of the Oakland A’s came on to finish the game in the ninth inning but found immediate trouble as Giants catcher Dick Dietz hit a home run. Hunter gave up hits to Buddy Harrelson and Joe Morgan of the Houston Astros, before being pulled for Fritz Peterson of the New York Yankees. McCovey singled home, Harrelson. Peterson was replaced by his Yankees teammate Mel Stottlemyre. Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit a sac-fly that scored Morgan with the tying run as the game went to extra innings tied 4-4.
Claude Osteen of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitched three scoreless innings for the National League. After Stottlemyre pitched the tenth, Clyde Wright of the California Angels handled the 11th for the American League. Wright remained on the mound in the 12th and retired the first two batters. Pete Rose came up with two outs and singled to start the game-winning rally. Billy Grabarkewitz of the Dodgers followed with a single sending Jim Hickman of the Cubs to the plate. Hickman singled to center, Amos Otis of the Kansas City Royals picked up the ball and threw home. At home plate, Ray Fosse was awaiting the throw When Pete Rose crashed into him scoring the game-winning run in the most dramatic finish in All-Star history.
Ray Fosse was later revealed to have a fractured collar bone and a separated shoulder that limited him to 42 games over the second half of the season. The injury would plague Fosse the remainder of his career.