Monday, July 11, 2011

1971 All Star Game Broadcast

As the 2011 All Star Game approaches, I thought it would be fun to take a look back 40 years ago to the broadcast of one of the more memorable All Star Games - the 1971 Midsummer Classic.

The game was broadcast by NBC

The broadcasters were Curt Gowdy and Tony Kubek, along with Lindsey Nelson down on the field

Quite a contrast in terms of sports coats from three years ago!

The game was played in Tiger Stadium, which was decked out for the occasion:

Talk about some amazing lineups. The NL was managed by Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson

who had the following Hall of Famers in his starting lineup

On the American League side, Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver

had the following Hall of Famers in his starting lineup:

That's 10 Hall of Famers just in the starting lineup! They were joined by 10 other Hall of Famers on the bench, for a total of 20 (22 if you include the managers).

Earl Weaver and Sparky Anderson wore microphones as they exchanged lineup cards and went over the ground rules with the umpire. You can see the umpires microphone below:

Vida Blue started for the American League

and one of the first batters he faced was Hank Aaron, who received The Gillette Award for being the top vote getter for the All Star Game

Also in the top of the 1st, the eventual 1971 AL MVP faced the eventual 1971 NL MVP Joe Torre

Dock Ellis was the starter for the National League

and really seemed to enjoy wearing his unusual Pirates batting helmet as he was wearing it during the pregame interview as well as his at bat

which in itself is somewhat odd as you would figure with all the talent on the bench and in the bullpen that you would pinch hit for the pitchers spot.

The great thing about this game is that all the scoring was done from Home Runs from 6 different Hall of Famers.

Johnny Bench was the first to homer in the top of the 2nd (with Willie Stargell on 1st)

As you can see in this picture of Bench rounding 3rd, the bases were painted red, white, and blue:

Next came Hank Aaron in the top of the 3rd

This was actually Hank Aaron's first extra base hit in All Star competition.

The AL struck back in the bottom of the 3rd, with Reggie Jackson's famous home run off the light tower on the roof (with Luis Aparicio on 1st)

which was followed later in the inning by Frank Robinson (with Rod Carew on 1st)

In the bottom of the 6th, Harmon Killebrew homered (with Al Kaline on 1st)

with the final HR coming from Roberto Clemente in the top of the 8th

Not only were all the HRs hit by HOFs, even the guys who were on base at the time were all HOFs as well!

Speaking of Hall of Famers, there were also a number of HOFs who appeared in ads during the broadcast.

Whitey Ford was eating Product 19

Tom Seaver and his wife Nancy were filling up the car at Philips 66

Johnny Bench was talking about Gillette razors

and Don Drysdale was talking about a Chrysler promotion to win 2 tickets to the 1971 World Series

Surprisingly, there was only one beer ad during the whole game. It was an ad for Schlitz

One other interesting thing that caught my eye was that Norm Cash did not wear a batting helmet.

When it was all said and done, Brooks Robinson caught the final out

and the American League had finally won a game after 8 consecutive losses.

Unfortunately for the AL, this would be their only victory of the 1970's, as they would lose 11 games in a row and would not win again until 1983.

Watching this game was a treat as this is what an All Star Game should be. 20 future Hall of Famers led by 2 Hall of Fame managers putting on a great show.


The Angels In Order said...

That ad that Drysdale did was shot at Anaheim Stadium.

Keith said...

Notice the mistake on the Aparicio lower third. He was no longer part of the White Sox.

Jim from Downingtown said...

The local sports radio station was discussing the 1971 All-Stars last night. Even the RESERVES on those teams were awesome!

toppcat said...

Jon-These are fabulous posts-what a blast! Somebody should do a career retrospective of Lindsey Nelson's sport jackets. As a longtime Mets fan, I recall many heinous ones back in the day!

One is even in the hall of fame:

Fleerfan said...

Keith - great catch on the Aparicio mistake. I completely missed it when doing the screen capture.

Commishbob said...

What memories in this post for me. Those lineups were just silly good. Thanks so much for the work you put into this post. Great stuff.

fatcats88 said...

Norm Cash was wearing a batting helment. In the late 60's and early 70's there was an insert for your hat that was a legal batting helment.

Anonymous said...

Mays, Aaron, Stargell, McCovey, it OK to intentionally walk everybody?

Kitchola said...

Nice going on the '71 AS game...great to read everyone's post! Just an FYI...there were a total of 21 players (not 20) that were on the NL/AL rosters (Tom Seaver & Steve Carlton were the only 2 of 21 not to participate). Yes, the 2 managers are now HOF'ers, but so is one of the coaches...Walter Alston. That makes a total of 24! It's a good bet that Pete Rose would have made it 25.

McC said...

Wondering whether the pic of Clemente 'homering' might not be the one on which he hit his clout. My faulty memory wants to burst through its errors and say that it recalls Clemente leaving his feet on the pitch on which he launched his blast. It could be, ahem, yes, wrong... What a great telecast this was! The '70 and '71 games, as consecutive years' spectacles, are tough to beat!