By Phil Hecken
On July 17, 1979, the Major League All-Star Game was played in the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington. Although it was the 50th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars, it was not the 50th anniversary of the first game, which was played in 1933. That’s because, for a time, the Leagues played two All-Star games during the same season. Of course, there was a special ball used for this game, and the National League defeated the American League 7-6.
Occurring during the height of the wild and crazy uniforms of the ’70s and ’80s, lets take a look back at some of the photos from that game, and note some of the unusual, classic, and downright disturbing(ly beautiful) uniforms sported at this gathering.
The American League, as host, posed for their official portrait wearing mostly the full white (official) home uniforms, although there were a few notable exceptions, most notably the Angels (with four players), the A’s, and White Sox with one representative each wearing “alternate” or “batting practice” jerseys. Of special note in this photograph is Reggie Jackson, who is seated in the second row, wearing a Seattle Mariners uniform! (It should be noted that this and other uniform anomalies such as Pete Rose’s BP jersey from this game have been covered in past UW columns, so apologies in advance if some of what follows is not new to some of you.)
The National League All-Stars, on the other hand, offered quite and array of alternate and colorful uniforms in their official portrait. (A complete list of the NL All-Stars is available here.) Lots of blue away uniforms (why was this a good idea for any team whose base color was not blue? yecch), plus alternate/BP tops on the Phillies — but not ALL the Phillies (notice the standard jersey on Steve Carlton and Bob Boone, but not Larry Bowa, Pete Rose or Mike Schmidt); and the Padres (alt for Dave Winfield, standard for Gaylord Perry). In fact, only the Reds reps, as well as the Dodgers and Mets (plus the Braves) even wore gray tops back then. My, how times have changed.
The biggest question/mystery of all involved, however, belongs to Pete Rose, who wore his batting practice jersey in every part of the All-Star extravaganza, from the warmups and stretching, to batting practice (all perfectly acceptable), to the game itself. What gives? Did he forget to pack his gamer or what? Other Phillies who wore their BP jerseys for the team portrait, like Mike Schmidt, wore their official uniform tops during the game. In this shot of Carl Yastrzemski, you can clearly see Bob Boone in regular garb behind the dish. Was Rose just trying to make a statement?
For some reason, pics of this game are rather difficult to find, so we’ll just go through a quick rundown of some interesting shots from the game and the pre-game festivities.
** Yaz’ teammates Fred Lynn (who’d later hit the first ever grand slam in All-Star Game history, interestingly enough, at the 50th anniversary game in 1983), and Jim Rice both were selected to the team. Here’s another shot of Jim Ed.
** Speaking of strangely attired creatures seeking attention, Morganna checked to see if George Brett had a roll of quarters in his pocket. Notice the security guard by the dugout in the background — is he about to take Morganna to jail?
** One time stolen base king Lou Brock sported the Cardinals blue aways (sorry — that’s just not a good look for a team whose main color is, ya know, Cardinal red) … and who thought TV numbers were ever a good look for a baseball uni?
** Looks like Reggie Jackson‘s uniform arrived in time for the game … Mr. October’s teammate (and BBF) Graig Nettles looked resplendent in their Yankee pins — amazing how much their uni has changed in 30 years, huh.
** The Express got the start for the AL (his only start ever in the midsummer classic) … His other All-Star appearances were: 1973, 1981, 1985, and 1989 (his final appearance and only All-Star win). Pretty amazing for a guy with 300+ wins, 5K+ strikeouts, and a first ballot HOF career.
** One of the most underrated players of all time, Joaquin Andujar sported the ‘tequila sunrise’ Astros’ uni of the “so awful it’s great” uniform era.
** Dave Winfield, in Padre mustard and brown, scores a run — notice the National League dugout in the background — gotta love the orange sanitaries the Giants wore with their black stirrups in 1979.
** And speaking of Padres mustard and brown, there’s Gaylord Perry with Pete Rose.
** Have a good game fellas — Thanks for playing.
** The Mets weren’t very good in 1979. But they did have Lee Mazilli (who was selected to the ASG along with injured teammate, John Stearns, who did not play) … but Maz came up huge in the game, tying it at 6-6 with a home run in the eighth inning, allowing for Dave Parker’s later heroics … Love the visible “NY” sticker on the Mets batting helmet — when I was a kid, I always naively assumed they actually painted those things on.
But the game is perhaps most remembered for the play of Dave Parker (seen here in the 1977 game wearing a Padres helmet) in the outfield, as he had two assists on putouts at third base and at the plate. With Parker receiving the MVP award for this game, and teammate Willie Stargell winning the National League MVP, NLCS MVP, and World Series MVP, all four possible MVP awards for the season were won by members of the Pittsburgh Pirates. (You can read more about UW favorite Dave Parker here, in one of Paul’s ESPN columns . Also, I’m pretty sure UW Pittsburgh Correspondent Doug Keklak has done a guest column with screen caps of the 1979 World Series between the Pirates and the Orioles, which was one of the more colorful ever … classic 1979). If you didn’t Douggie, we need to talk.
Remembering Nick Adenhart: The Los Angeles of Anaheim continue their remembrances for Nick Adenhart, and will wear this patch in his memory … meanwhile, the hit and run driver is a repeat DUI offender and has been charged with murder … One golfer, Anthony Kim, gained a new persepctive on life by learning of Adenhart’s passing — and it didn’t hurt that he fired a record-setting 11 birdies at the Masters … Not to in any way make light of the Adenhart murder, but Who knew Scott Boras had tear ducts? … The makeshift memorial outside of the stadium continues to grow … Here’s a look at the wall banner at the stadium … Throughout the sporting world, teams observed a few solemn moments of silence for their fallen comrade … And, from yesterday’s comments, UW Prexy Paul Lukas posted some screen caps from last night’s game. … Here’s another look at the jersey patch during the Angels’ moment of silence (here’s a closeup) — with Adenhart’s jersey hanging in the dugout … Fans in the stands remembered Adenhart as well.
Remembering The Fallen Oakland Officers: The Oakland A’s remember the four police officers killed by one man last month — and did something VERY disturbing if it’s not being done in remembrance of the officers — The A’s in black hose with yellow sanitaries with their home whites! … Here’s a look at the badge the officers wore — and the A’s wore Police Officer caps in pre-game prior to switching over to their regular lids for the game … Oakland Police placed four Oakland PD caps on the pitcher’s mound along with four baseballs in memory of the fallen officers … Here, Jason Giambi and Eric Chavez present a plaque to acting Oakland acting chief of police Howard Jordan in a pregame ceremony honoring fellow officers who were killed by a by a wanted parolee March 21, Sgts. Mark Dunakin, Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai and officer John Hege.
This and That: In ‘news you may have missed,’ Mississippi State will unveil its new Adidas football uniforms at a 1 p.m. event at the on-campus Barnes & Noble bookstore on April 15 … Quote of the month has to go to the author of this article, Greg Wyshynski, on the Rangers new digital adverts, who writes: “As NHL fans, we live in perpetual fear that we’re going to wake up one morning and discover our favorite team’s uniforms are covered with the Pepsi swirl and the McDonald’s arches and the Pillsbury Doughboy and the Cialis pitched-tent and about three dozen other commercial symbols. Which would suck, because they would all really detract from that spiffy Reebok logo…” … HOLY SHIT that’s a huge swoosh on the T-Wolves Randy Foye … Are you a chick? Do you need help in choosing a hockey team on which to bandwagon for the playoffs? You’re in luck! — and it’s the Sharks … It’s never to early to begin the MLB Power Rankings is it? Didn’t they used to wait like, at least a full week before doing that? … Doesn’t this just look right? … Some Detroit Tigers fans, sensing the team is already a lost cause for 2009, show up to games in full uniform — when asked “Why,” they simply respond “Why not” … The Reno Aces (a D-Back affiliate), are almost ready to begin play in what is described as “a new-car-smell moment, a bunch of baseball players in a new city and a new stadium.” … Did you know the Columbus Blue Jackets
were a professional hockey team were named for the uniforms made for Union soldiers in Columbus? Neither did I (oh and, they’re going to the playoffs or something too) … Some dude thinks he’s cool by ranking the NFL uniforms (I’ll wait until the fall to do that), but he prefaces the article with this: “You will just have to take my word that I am a heterosexual when I say have lots of strong opinions on the uniforms and logos of all sports.” — what the hell is that supposed to mean? — There’s a spot at the bottom for comments, so, feel free to let him know about his choices … Real men wear girdles — well, NBA players anyway … Could one third of the triple crown be trotting out of Pimlico? First the Colts, now this? … Some news about the Broncos 50th ‘Anniversary’ logo — “original six”? WTF … the Indians broke out their beautiful cream alts yesterday … the Blue Red Sawks broke out the Friday blue tops, socks & ‘soxy caps’ last night in Anaheim — yep, they wore BLUE socks — maybe next Friday they’ll break out these spiffy tops … the sleeves on the Jays jerseys are looking busy this year — but I like that red maple leaf for some reason … and of course, there’s always a reason to root for the Braves.