Former Astros great reflects on his first All-Star Game
As everyone knows by now, the MLB All-Star Game has been canceled. It was to be the first Mid-Summer Classic to take place at Dodger Stadium since 1980. The L.A. based Fox production crew was certain to relish the opportunity to produce the action, merely cutting over unto the 110 freeway nearby. The storylines were to be rich, especially with our Astros returning to fertile ground where they claimed the 2017 World Series crown. The reaction from the capacity crowd was sure to be a storyline when members of H-Town appeared between the lines. We'll now have to wait to see the Dodger Stadium backdrop on September 12th & 13th, during a brief two-game series during the Astros upcoming regular season.
On Tuesday, I had an opportunity to speak to former pitcher, manager & broadcaster, Larry Dierker. We started going down memory lane with past All-Star Games in the air. His first ASG appearance occurred a mere three days after Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon.
SportsMap: What do you remember about your first All-Star Game?
Larry Dierker: That day (July 23rd, 1969) we got to visit the White House and meet Richard Nixon. He knew a lot about the game. He even knew the standings, the starting lineups, and all about the individual players.
SM: What was the atmosphere like inside R.F.K. Stadium?
LD: Well, prior to the game, Willie Mays hit 10-straight homers in a row during batting practice. The standing ovation went for over 5 minutes. By the time (Steve) Carlton took the mound for us, it had already been a special night.
SM: What about the actual game? What stood out for you?
LD: I came in during the 8th inning. I gave up a jam shot single to Boog Powell and then retired Reggie Smith on a pop up. We had the contest in hand, and then we won 9-3.
In all probability, the Dodgers will capture the 2022 ASG bid. No harm, no foul. And for the baseball enthusiast longing for MLB contests, the countdown is on!