For the 1973 Mid Summer Classic All Star Game, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn increased the player limit to add the Mets Willie Mays to the roster.
Although he was not selected on the ballot voting, Kuhn felt it the best interest of baseball that Mays participate in the game to give the fans a final thrill in seeing Mays in an All Star Game. Mays had been in the past 24 All Star Games & this would be his 25th, a record no one has ever surpassed. The only other Mets player to make that years All Star game was Cy Young winner; Tom Seaver.
The 1973 All Star Game was played at Royals Stadium in Kansas City. It was the 40th Anniversary of the first All Star game back in 1933. Some of the players from that game were in attendance such as; Carl Hubbell, Joe Cronin, Dick Bartell, Jimmie Dykes, Lefty Gomez, Lefty Grove & Charlie Gehringer.
40,000 fans came out to watch 18 future Hall of Famers; including managers Dock Williams (A's) & Sparky Anderson (Reds) as well as umpire Nestor Chylack. The National League beat up the American League 7-1.
The starting pitchers were the Oakland A's Catfish Hunter vs. the St. Louis Cardinals Rick Wise. The starting N.L. players were Hank Aaron at first, Joe Morgan at second, Chris Speier at short & Ron Santo at third. The outfield consisted of Pete Rose, Ceasar Cedeno & Billy Williams with Johnny Bench catching.
The A.L. had John Mayberry at first, Rod Carew at second, Bert Campaneris at short & Brooks Robinson at third. The outfield had Reggie Jackson, Bobby Murcer & Amos Otis with Carlton Fisk catching.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Reggie Jackson doubled & Amos Otis singled driving in the AL's lone run. The N.L. answered in the 3rd, after Bert Blyleven walked Rose & Morgan, Cedeno & Hank Aaron both singled, making it 2-1 NL.
In the 4th Johnny Bench hit a HR off the Dodgers Bill Singer & in the 5th the Giants; Bobby Bonds hit one off Singer as well. In the 6th inning, Nolan Ryan surrendered a walk to & then a HR to Willie Davis making it 7-1.
In the top of the 8th inning, Willie Mays got his at bat & made his final All Star appearance. He struck out against pitcher Sparky Lyle.
In the 8th, he was replaced in the lineup by Tom Seaver, who pitched a scoreless, hitless 8th.
Seaver walked the hometown Kansas City hero; Cookie Rojas but also go Ed Brinkman, John Mayberry & Reggie Jackson to all ground out.