Dodger Stadium was originally scheduled to host the All-Star Game on Tuesday night, but a pandemic interfered and postponed those plans to 2022. To tide us over in the first year MLB canceled its All-Star Game since 1945, let’s relive these 10 memorable Dodgers performances in the midsummer classic.
1) Steve Garvey (1978)
This was the second of Garvey’s two All-Star MVP awards. Down 3-0 early in San Diego, Garvey tied the game with a two-run single in the third inning, then tripled to start a go-ahead, four-run rally in the seventh. Garvey joined Willie Mays as, at that point, the only two-time All-Star Game MVPs, and posted the highest Win Probability Added (.536) by any Dodger in an All-Star Game, perhaps spurred on by the pregame festivities:
2) Mike Piazza (1996)
Piazza hit all of zero home runs in the Home Run Derby in both 1993 and 1994, but hit one in the actual All-Star Game in both 1995 in Texas and in 1996 in Philadelphia, near his hometown. By 1996, Piazza was an established star, starting in his third consecutive All-Star Game and making the midsummer classic for the fourth time in four full seasons.
He also doubled home a run to win game MVP honors, just the third catcher to do so, after Gary Carter (twice) and Terry Steinbach.
Blake Harris captured this game well last week.
3) Fernando Valenzuela (1986)
Though we didn’t know it at the time, this was the last of six All-Star Games for Valenzuela, who was just 25 years old. Dwight Gooden started and pitched three innings, clearing the way for Valenzuela, a reversal of their order just two years earlier, when Valenzuela and Gooden combined to strike out six consecutive hitters in relief.
In the 1986 game, in Houston, Valenzuela shined alone, allowing only a single in his three innings. He struck out his first five batters faced — Don Mattingly, Cal Ripken Jr., Jesse Barfield, Lou Whitaker, and pitcher Teddy Higuera. Five consecutive strikeouts tied the All-Star record held by Carl Hubbell, who in 1934 fanned Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin in succession.
4) Maury Wills (1962)
This was Maury Wills at the peak of his powers, in his MVP season in which he would break a 68-year-old record by stealing 104 bases. Wills also entered the first of two All-Star Games that year in the sixth inning as a pinch runner for Stan Musial. Wills stole second base and scored the first run of the game, then two innings later singled and scored an insurance run in a 3-1 NL win. Wills won the fist All-Star Game MVP award.
Also notable for Wills: in 1966, he drove home Tim McCarver with a walk-off single in the 10th inning in St. Louis.
5) Duke Snider (1954)
The National League lost this game in Cleveland, 11-9, but Snider left his imprint all over this game. Snider batted third for the National League and started in center field, then moved over to right field in the fourth inning when a young Willie Mays entered the game.
Snider singled and scored in the fourth, did the same in the fifth, then doubled in the seventh inning. He remains the only Dodger to get three hits in an All-Star Game.
6) Don Drysdale (1967)
In picked 1967 to represent Drysdale here, but in reality his entire All-Star body of work needs to be appreciated. In four of his starts he allowed a total of one unearned run in 12 innings, and had two more two-inning scoreless stints in relief. The 1967 game was the latter, when Drysdale pitched scoreless relief in the 13th and 14th innings in Anaheim to keep the game tied, then got the win when Tony Perez homered in the top of the 15th.
In Drysdale’s eight All-Star Games, including five starts, he was 2-1 with a save, allowing four total runs (three earned) in 19⅓ innings, a 1.40 ERA with 19 strikeouts and four walks. In pitching WPA, Drysdale has four of the top five Dodgers All-Star Game performances and five of the top seven.
7) Don Sutton (1977)
This is another career appreciation of sorts, with Sutton pitching eight scoreless innings in his four career All-Star Games, all with the Dodgers. The last of those came in 1977, when Sutton started for the National League and got the win with three scoreless innings. Sutton allowed only a single and a walk, and struck out four, earning MVP honors for the game at Yankee Stadium.
Sutton’s performance came against an AL lineup that featured five future Hall of Famers — Rod Carew, George Brett, Carl Yastrzemski, Reggie Jackson, and Carlton Fisk.
8) Steve Garvey (1974)
Garvey was made for the midsummer classic. Elected a starter seven times in a row in eight games overall as Dodger (1974-81), Garvey played in 10 All-Star Games and hit .393/.433/.821 with two homers, two triples, two doubles, seven RBI and seven runs scored. This was the first time Garvey was elected to the National League starting lineup, winning the write-in vote at first base. Garvey singled and scored the game’s first run on a double by teammate Ron Cey, then doubled home the tying run in the fourth. The NL won 7-2, and Garvey was the second Dodger to win All-Star Game MVP honors.
9) Mickey Owen (1942)
The Dodgers catcher is most known for a passed ball on what would have been a game-ending strikeout that would have tied the 1941 World Series at two games apiece, but Owen was also a four-time All-Star. In the 1942 game at the Polo Grounds in New York, Owen pinch hit to lead off the eighth inning and homered to left, giving the NL their only run of the game. It was the first home run hit by a Dodger in an All-Star Game.
10) Jeff Shaw (1998)
There wasn’t much memorable about Shaw’s All-Star Game. He allowed a run on three hits in the eighth inning in a 13-8 American League win at Coors Field. But it was the circumstances that make this memorable. Shaw was acquired from the Reds three days before this game, so the very first time he wore a Dodgers uniform came in the midsummer classic. Maybe giving up Paul Konerko was worth it after all for this lasting memory.