Then & now: Kansas City MLB blowout brings us back to ’73
Back in 1973, the first time the MLB All-Star Game was in Kansas City, there was no Home Run Derby, Futures Game or Legends & Celebrity Softball Game. But it was quite the spectacle.
Hank Aaron played and so did Willie Mays, in his final and record-tying 24th All-Star Game (the other record holder for 24 is Stan Musial). Most players don’t even play 24 years in the big leagues, never mind making the All-Star roster for nearly a quarter century.
Both games, ironically enough, were blow-outs, with the 1973 Game resulting in a 7-1 National League win and the National League winning again in 2012, 8-0 — which reminds me of a classic quote from Yogi Berra: “It’s deja vu all over again.”
With this in mind, here are a few iconic shots from the MLB All-Star Game, both 39 years ago and this past Tuesday.
Back in 1973, it was called Royals Stadium with no seats in the outfield and a very ground-breaking-for-its-time digital screen in centerfield. Wow, times have changed!
Now in 2012, the stadium is called Kauffman Stadium, aptly named after its owner, Ewig Kauffman. At maximum capacity the stadium seats around the same number of fans as it did 39 years ago, but now includes seats in the outfield and a much more modern digital screen in center.
Here we have two of the biggest legends in baseball history posing together before the game in 1973. This would be Mays’s last All-Star Game, but that would not slow down the “Say Hey Kid” from getting in the action. Aaron would drive in a run supporting the National Leagues lopsided win.
Chipper Jones, at 40 years young, played in his eighth and final All-Star Game on Tuesday, receiving a standing ovation before stepping to bat. He promptly connected with a 95 mph fastball, hitting it to the right side and legging out a single, giving him a night of perfection. “At 40 years old, legging out an infield hit in the All-Star game,” Jones said. “That’s exactly the way I scripted it.”