The 83rd All-Star Game is at Kauffman Stadium on July 10. Leading up to that game, The Star is looking back at a Midsummer Classic game every day. July 24, 1973
National League 7, American League 1
Royals Stadium in Kansas City
Kauffman Stadium was a new-born baby in 1973, going by the name Royals Stadium.
The American League had three Royals, and two started -- Amos Otis in center field and John Mayberry at first base, replacing injured Dick Allen. Cookie Rojas, the Royals' second baseman, got in the game, too.
The Royals provided the bulk of a lackluster AL offense, getting three of the five total hits. Otis, the first player voted into the All-Star starting lineup in the team's five-year history, had two singles and a stolen base in two at-bats. Mayberry smacked a double and walked. Rojas drew a walk in his only plate appearance.
"Famous Amos - man, he was a good player," Brooks Robinson told The Star in 1993. "He was kind of casual about everything, but he could play. It just kind of looked like he was cruising all the time."
Red catcher Johnny Bench hit a towering home run down the left-field line, the ball landing about 10 rows from the top. Sparky Anderson, who was managing the NL, remembered telling coach Gene Mauch: "You know what? I think we've got a pretty good squad."
Indeed. In addition to Bench, there was Hank Aaron, Joe Morgan, Billy Williams and Pete Rose.
Bobby Bonds of the Giants had not been voted to the starting lineup by the fans, but Anderson got him in the game quickly as a replacement for Williams in right field.
"Bobby Bonds was having such a great year, and he wasn't even chosen. And I chose him. I said, 'There ain't no way in the world this man ain't going to be there,' " Anderson told The Star in 1993.
Even though he was in the top 10 in the NL in seven offensive categories, Bonds found himself the odd man out because of the other outfielders chosen: Williams, Rose and Cesar Cedeno.
Yet it was Bonds who broke open the game in the fifth, with a two-run homer against the Angels' Bill Singer. Bonds also turned an ordinary single into a double with a mad dash and was chosen MVP as the NL won 7-1.
"He was having the best season at that time of any player in the National League all-round," Anderson recalled in that earlier interview. "I said, 'This young man is going there,' and he backed me up with the show that he put on."
Willie Davis also ripped a two-run homer. Aaron and Cedeno had run-scoring singles. For the American League, Otis' first hit drove in Reggie Jackson for a short-lived 1-0 lead in the second.
"Right now I'm more than a little mad," Jackson said afterward in the clubhouse. "I may have come to have fun, but I didn't come to get embarrassed. And that's exactly what they did - they came down here and embarrassed us."
It wasn’t a great day for Kansas City. Rain forced the cancellation of batting practice and the boo birds were in full voice.
Joe McGuff, sports editor of The Star, wrote: "The game itself was a bore, but the fans managed to find a few sources of diversion: They booed the members of the Oakland Athletics, they booed the congratulatory message from President Nixon and they accorded standing ovations to Henry Aaron and Willie Mays, all of which may constitute a significant commentary on the state of baseball and the nation."
May 27, 2012 5:45 PM