No, not that kind of happy ending. Get your mind out of the gutter.
Chris Young makes the National League All-Star team, after all, thanks to an Internet fan vote, and some fine support from the Padres organization. So all’s well that ends well, good things happen to those who wait, and all that jazz. A wrong is righted. Blah, blah, blah.
Young is deserving, and with John Smoltz bowing out due to shoulder soreness, the also-deserving Roy Oswalt gets in too. Everything worked out perfectly. If only it were this easy every year.
In Jake Peavy, Trevor Hoffman and Young, San Diego has three men in the All-Star Game for the fourth time. As noted in a helpful Union-Tribune sidebar Friday, 1985 was a watershed year for Padres Mid-Summer Classic participation, with seven guys on the roster.
With that in mind, let’s revisit 1985. Tuesday, July 16, at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Padres pitcher La Marr Hoyt starts for the NL, pitches three scoreless innings, recording the win and taking home the Most Valuable Player trophy.
Tony Gwynn played left, hit leadoff, and went 0-1. Graig Nettles started at third base, and was hitless in two at bats. Steve Garvey went 1-3 as the starting first basemen, and drove in a run. Garry Templeton had a pinch single. Terry Kennedy had a single and an RBI in his two ABs, plus an error, starting behind the plate.
Rich Gossage pitched the ninth, striking out two. Former-Padre Ozzie Smith played the entire game at short for the NL, and Dave Winfield played right for the Americans. Final score: NL 6, AL 1.
I happen to have a 1985 ballot handy. Yes, I’m anal retentive, but check it out. Gillette was a big baseball sponsor in those days, and in fact, the punch card has Gillette written all over it. “Gillette All-Star Election” in red, white and blue printing, is up top, with a “Buy One Pack Your Next is Free” certificate taking up half of one side of the ballot.
Below a perforated dotted line is this: “I have enclosed a proof of purchase from one of the Gillette products listed below. Please send me a store redeemable coupon good on my next purchase. Free. You are eligible to receive two free coupons if you combine a blade/razor purchase with the purchase of a single Cricket lighter.”
Voting instructions include a note that wouldn’t apply today: “Any mass-produced or mass-punched ballots or ballots that are not stamped will be voided.” You had to be pretty well-motivated to stuff the box for your favorite player by mail back then.
Anyway. After voting one time only (the Democratic way), I punched a second ballot to keep for posterity. Here’s how I voted, NL, followed by AL: Jack Clark (1B, write-in), Tommy Herr (2B), Mike Schmidt (3B), Templeton (SS), Kennedy (C), Gwynn, Willie McGee, Dale Murphy (OF).
Eddie Murray (1B), Lou Whitaker (2B), George Brett (3B), Cal Ripken (SS), Lance Parrish (C), Tom Brunansky, Kirk Gibson, Rickey Henderson (OF).
I was shaving by 1985, but did not send in for the freebie. Gillette had me then, with the Good News razor, and still does. Marketing strategy that worked, that’s for sure. It never occurred to me to try anything else.
For more about the 1985 All-Star Game, http://www.baseball-almanac.com/asgbox/yr1985as.shtml“target=”_blank”>visit Baseball Almanac.
Oh, one more thing. I’d be remiss if I let the opportunity to trot out this old La Marr Hoyt-related trivia question slip by.
Question: Name the Cy Young Award winners who’ve done time.
Answer: Vida Blue, Dwight Gooden, Hoyt, Fergie Jenkins and Denny McLain.
Serious baseball bonus points if you get the MVPs who’ve been behind bars at one time or another. Email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll respond to each and every one.
— HOWARD COLE