In the COVID Summer of 2020, Major League Baseball’s abbreviated 60-game season in the best we’ll get! No All-Star game this year! I’ve been a lifelong baseball fan, and have been to two of the mid-summer classics. I particularly remember the 1965 All-Star game played in my hometowns of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota:
Monday July 13th marked the 55th Anniversary of the one and only MLB All-Star Game played at the old Met Stadium in Bloomington, Minn. (Two more All-Star games have been held in the Twin Cities – 1985 in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome and 2014 at the Twins’s current home – beautiful Target Field.)
In July of 1965, I was 12, going on 13, when, to celebrate my upcoming birthday on the 20th, my mom and I went to the Met at 6 a.m. to get into line for standing-room tickets to the AL-NL showdown. We were the second pair of people in line and, when the gates finally opened, claimed two great spots next to posts in the shade of the grandstand behind home plate. It was a hot, sunny, humid day! In the 3rd inning, a guy who couldn’t take the sun traded me his seat for my spot.
With Willie Mays on third in the top of the seventh, a high bouncing chopper by Ron Santo of the Cubs scored the “Say Hey” kid, giving the National League an eventual 6-5 win.
The Twins’ Harmon Killebrew hit a big 2-run homer in the 4th. Juan Marichal was the MVP with 3 shutout innings. Sandy Koufax was the winner. Mays, Willie Stargell, Joe Torre and Dick McAuliffe also hit home-runs. A day I’ll never forget! Check the ticket prices! Standing room seats were just $2. The Reserved Grandstand seat 17 rows back from home plate was just $4! (I had Hall of Famer and Baltimore Orioles great Brooks Robinson sign the tickets when I met him in 1991!) Great 1965 all-star game memories! P.S. 55 years ago sure seems a lot like yesterday in my mind!
– Paul Johnson