Jul 14, 2013

New York Met Lee Mazzilli Was the Hero of the 1979 MLB All Star Game

The 1979 MLB All Star Game was held at the Seattle Kingdome, packed with 59,000 fans and millions of TV viewers.

The last place New York Mets had two players representing the team; catcher John Stearns & their new young star; Lee Mazzilli. Lee came into the All Star Game batting .320 with nine HRs & 47 RBIs through the first half of the season.

The N.L. banged out two runs in the 1st inning off the California Angels pitcher; Nolan Ryan. Philadelphia's Mike Schmidt tripled & drove in Steve Garvey for the first run of the game. The Reds George Foster then doubled & brought in Schmidt.

The A.L. responded quickly, with three runs off the Phillie's Hall of Famer; Steve Carlton. Kansas City's George Brett drew a walk & California's Don Baylor drove him in with a double. The big blow was the Boston Red Sox; Fred Lynn's two run HR.

In the 2nd inning, Pittsburgh's Dave Parker hit a sac fly that tied the game. The A.L regained the lead, in the bottom of the 3rd. First up, the Angels Don Baylor singled & reached second base, on Astros pitcher; Joaquin Andujar's wild pitch.

Then Red Sox Hall of Famer; Carl Yastrzemski drove in Baylor with a base hit. Then Milwaukee's Darrell Porter reached n an error, allowing to Chet Lemon to score, after he had been hit by a pitch earlier.

The AL led 5-4 going into the 6th inning, as San Diego Padres star, Dave Winfield doubled off Angel's pitcher, Mark Clear. Then the Montreal's Gary Carter singled to tie up the game. 

But in the bottom of the inning, Seattle's home town hero; Bruce Botche singled off Hall of Famer, Gaylord Perry driving in Boston short stop; Rick Burleson with the go ahead run.
The A.L. brought in Cleveland Indians relief ace Jim Kern, for the 7th & 8th innings. In the top of the 8th, N.L. manager Tommy Lasorda; put in the New York Mets Lee Mazzilli to pinch hit for Gary Matthews. 

In his first All Star at bat, Lee Mazzilli hit a long HR down the left field line to tie up the game. The score stayed tied going to the top of the 9th inning. Jim Kern soon tired out, as he walked Joe Morgan, Dave Parker, & the Dodgers Ron Cey to load the bases. The A.L. manager Bob Lemon brings in Ron Guidry to face Lee Mazzilli.

Guidry then walked Mazzilli on five pitches, in what would be the All Star games winning run scored from third base. The Chicago Cubs, Bruce Sutter then shuts the door in the 9th and the N.L. wins it's eighth straight All Star game. New York's Lee Mazzilli was the unlikley hero, drove in the tying & winning runs.

1 comment:

Larry Loving Late 70's said...

The most rewarding moment for Mets fans in the post-Seaver,pre-Doubleday/Wilpon era.I never liked the minimum one-player-per-team rule for the All-Star Game,but it gives the most depressed fans some equity,to show the nation that despite a bad team we have a player who's worthy of this big platform and a chance at glory.That argument was on display for me to enjoy and forget the "cons" side -that the best player on the worst team is not All-Star caliber.But I have always believed Mazzilli would've been chosen sans the qouta,simply because he had emerged as one of the best outfielders in the NL.And besides,what were the chances he was going to escape the notice of,or not get the benefit of the doubt from the Godfatherly Tommy LaSorda?