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On This Date in Sports July 15, 1975: Matlack and Madlock

in collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com

 

It is an All-Star thriller in Milwaukee as the National League beats the American League 6-3 at County Stadium. For the first the All-Star Game MVP is shared by two players with similar surnames as Jon Matlack of the New York Mets gets the win and the MVP with two solid innings, while Bill Madlock of the Chicago Cubs drives home the winning runs in the ninth to share MVP honors. 

The mid-summer classic returns to Milwaukee for the first time in 20 years. When last it was at County Stadium in 1955, the hosts were the Milwaukee Braves of the National League. Now the host was the Milwaukee Brewers of the American League. County Stadium became the third team to have two All-Star Games with different hosts, joining Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis and Shibe Park in Philadelphia. It was the 25th and final All-Star appearance for Hank Aaron. His first All-Star Game was in 1955 with the Braves his final was with the Brewers in 1975 providing a unique bookend for his record 25 All-Star Games. 

Walter Alston of the Los Angeles Dodgers led the National League All-Stars, while Alvin Dark of the Oakland A’s was in charge of the American League squad.  Dark selected his own ace Vida Blue to start for the AL, while Jerry Reuss of the Pittsburgh Pirates made the start for the National League. Reuss was terrific, allowing three hits in three innings, while Blue gave up two runs in the second inning. Both runs came courtesy of the home run as Steve Garvey and Jimmy Wynn of the Los Angeles Dodgers went back-to-back. 

With Steve Busby of the Kansas City Royals on the mound in the third inning, Lou Brock of the St. Louis Cardinals had a leadoff single and caused havoc on the bases. First getting balked to second and then stealing third before coming home on a single off the bat Johnny Bench of the Cincinnati Reds. Don Sutton of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitched two escaping trouble in both fourth and fifth inning as the National League held a 3-0 lead as the sixth inning began. 

After Jim Kaat of the Chicago White Sox retired the NL in order, Tom Sever of the Mets took the mound looking to continue to shut down the American League. Joe Rudi of the A’s led off the inning with a single and was lifted for a pinch-runner. George Hendrick of the Cleveland Indians proceeded to steal second base. Seaver would strike out Craig Nettles of the New York Yankees. After issuing a walk to Gene Tenace of the A’s, Seaver retired Fred Lynn of the Boston Red Sox and appeared to be on the verge of escaping without allowing a run when Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski came up as a pinch hitter. Yaz proceeded to bring the crowd to its feet with a three-run blast that tied the All-Star Game 3-3.

After Carl Yastrzemski’s bomb, it became a battle of New York on the mound, as Catfish Hunter of the Yankees and Jon Matlack of the Mets did not allow a run in either the seventh or eighth inning. Hunter remained on the mound in the ninth as Reggie Smith of the Cardinals led off with a single. Al Oliver of the Pirates pinch hitting for Matlack laced a double to set the NL up with runners in scoring position with no outs. Goose Gossage of the Chicago White Sox came and hit Larry Bowa of the Philadelphia Phillies to load the bases. Bill Madlock of the Cubs came up and ripped a single scoring two runs to give the National League a 5-3 lead. Bowa would score a third run when Pete Rose of the Reds hit a sacrifice fly to make it 6-3. 

With a 6-3 lead, Randy Jones of the San Diego Padres came into pitch in the ninth inning and closed out the American League 1-2-3, with Rod Carew of the Minnesota Twins flying out to left to end the game.