Jul 11, 2016

Remembering Mets History: (1966) Mets Second Baseman Ron Hunt Helps NL Win the All Star Game

1966 MLB All Star Game: Busch Stadium- St. Louis Missouri: Back in the day, many All Star Games were actually played in the day. This was the case for the 1966 Mid Summer Classic, played on a hot humid, 105 degree St. Louis day.

The managers were Walter Alston from the World Champion, Los Angeles Dodgers & Italian American, Sam Mele  from the A.L. Champion Minnesota Twins. Curt Gowdy & Pee Wee Reese called the game for NBC Sports. The game consisted of twenty Hall of Famers who were either playing or coaching in the game, with the NL boasting 14 of those HOF members.

The starting pitchers were the Detroit Tigers; Denny McLain, who would be the last pitcher to win 30 games, a feat he would accomplish in 1968. And for the NL, the greatest pitcher of that era; the Dodgers Sandy Koufax.

Starting lineups

American LeagueNational League

PlayerTeamPosition          PlayerTeamPosition

Dick McAuliffeTigersSS
Willie MaysGiantsCF

Al KalineTigersCF
Roberto ClementePiratesRF

Frank RobinsonOriolesLF
Hank AaronBravesLF

Tony OlivaTwinsRF
Willie McCoveyGiants1B

Brooks RobinsonOrioles3B
Ron SantoCubs3B

George ScottRed Sox1B
Joe TorreBravesC

Bill FreehanTigersC
Jim LefebvreDodgers2B

Bobby KnoopAngels2B
Leo CárdenasRedsSS

Denny McLainTigersP
Sandy KoufaxDodgersP

In the 2nd inning, Baltimore's Brooks Robinson (the games MVP with three of the AL's six hits) would hit a triple to left field & score on a wild pitch thrown by Koufax.

It would be all the runs the AL would score against pitchers; Koufax (3 innings) Jim Bunning (2 innings) Juan Marichal (3 innings) & Gaylord Perry (2 innings).

In the 4th inning, Willie Mays & Roberto Clemente singled, with Mays being driven in by the Cubs Ron Santo. The score stayed tied as AL pitchers  Mel Stottlemyre & Sonny Siebert held down the fort.

In the 6th inning, the lone representative for the New York Mets, Ron Hunt came into the game to play second base replacing Jim Lefebvre. This was Hunts second All Star Game as a Mets Player, he got the start in the 1964 Game played at the new Shea Stadium.

Hunt began his career with the Mets in 1963 coming in second place in the Rookie of the Year voting to a guy named Pete Rose. Hunt spent four years (1963-1966) with the Mets batting .282 in 459 games.

Trivia: Hunt was hit by pitches 243 times in his career (6th all time).

Hunt grounded out in his first at bat in the 7th inning. Then in the 10th he was crucial on helping the NL win the 2-1 squeaker. The Cardinals Tim McCarver led off with a single off Pete Richert. Hunt then laid down a sac bunt, getting McCarver to second. The Dodgers Maury Wills then singled to right field, scoring McCarver with the walk off run. Exciting indeed!!

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