Remembering Mets History (1973) Tom Seaver & Willie Mays In His 24th & Final All Star Game Represent the Mets In Kansas City

Tuesday July 24th, 1973: 
The 1973 All Star Game was played at Royals Stadium in Kansas City. The Stadium was brand new, having opened up that season. The Royals previously played at KC's Municipal Stadium. It was part of the new Truman Sports Complex that also is home to the NFL Kansas City Chiefs Arrowhead Stadium. 

The stadium was part of the 1970's cookie cutter stadiums. The outfield was lined with spewing fountains, as Kansas City is known as "the City of Fountains" boasting the most fountains in any city besides Rome, Italia. Royals' stadium one of best of that era, still stands today as Kauffman Stadium, named after the Royals first owner.

It was the 40th Anniversary of the first MLB All Star game held back in 1933. Some of the players from that game were in attendance, Carl Hubbell, Joe Cronin, Dick Bartell, Jimmie Dykes, Lefty Gomez, Lefty Grove & Charlie Gehringer.

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 his final All-Star Game. Mays had been in the past 23 All Star Games & this would be his 24th, a record no one has ever surpassed. The only other Mets player to make that years' All Star game was that year's Cy Award Young winner, Tom Seaver.

40,000 fans came out to watch 18 future Hall of Famers; including managers Dick Williams of the Oakland A's & Sparky Anderson of the Cincinnati Reds. Also in the Hall is that night's home plate umpire Nestor Chylack. 

The starting pitchers were the Oakland A's Catfish Hunter for the AL vs. the St. Louis Cardinals Rick Wise for the NL.

In the bottom of the 2nd, Oakland's Reggie Jackson doubled & the home town KC Royal, Amos Otis singled driving in the American Leagues lone run of the night. 

The N.L. answered in the 3rd, after the Twins' Bert Blyleven walked the Reds duo of Pete Rose & Joe Morgan. Next, Cesar Cedeno & Hank Aaron both singled, making it 2-1 NL.

In the 4th, The Reds Johnny Bench led off with a HR off the Angels' Bill Singer  for a 3-1 NL lead.

In the 5th, Joe Morgan doubled Ten the Giants' Bobby Bonds also homered off Singer, the two run shot made it 5-1. 

In the 6th inning, the Angels Nolan Ryan, who had thrown his first no hitter earlier that season, in Royals Stadium, walked the Cubs Ron Santo & then allowed 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 got a nice ovation of appreciation from the crowd. Mays struck out against AL pitcher Sparky Lyle.

In the 8th, he was replaced in the lineup by his Mets team-mate Tom Seaver. Seaver was making his seventh straight All Star Game. He got the Indians' Ed Brinkman to ground out, but then walked Cookie Rojas. 

Seaver got another home town hero, John Mayberry to ground out, advancing Rojas. But Seaver ended the inning getting Reggie Jackson to ground out.

The National League beat up the American League 7-1. The AL had won the 1972 All Star Game  but the NL had won the previous eight years. This win started a new NL win streak of 12 in a row, making it 19 of 20 from 1963 to 1983.

That year Willie Mays would play in his fourth & final World Series as well. It would happen in the Bay Area where he spent the majority of his Amazing career. The Mets lost that World Series to the Oakland A's in seven games.


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