Lynch: Field of dreams: The 1971 MLB All-Star Game

From SABR member Mike Lynch at The National Pastime Museum on April 30, 2015:

In the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, young Archie Graham (played by Frank Whaley) excitedly lists off the names of some all-time greats standing on a baseball diamond carved out of an Iowa cornfield. “Hey, that’s Smoky Joe Wood. And Mel Ott. And Gil Hodges!” he says of the ghostly ballplayers who would soon become his teammates and opponents in a mythical game captained by “Shoeless Joe” Jackson.

Had I (or young Archie) been at Tiger Stadium on July 13, 1971, I would have been beside myself as well, and probably run out of breath before naming the all-time greats in uniform for the 42nd All-Star Game between the American and National leagues.

The NL boasted 15 future Hall of Fame players and coaches and would have had 16 had Pete Rose never gambled on baseball (or been caught). The AL roster featured 10 future HOFers, including a bench corps of Harmon Killebrew, Reggie Jackson, and Al Kaline. And the third-base umpire that day was Doug Harvey, who would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

The senior circuit’s starting lineup hit 3,081 career home runs, and the first seven hitters accounted for 3,052 of those, an average of 436 per man. Three of them—Hank Aaron (755), Willie Mays (660), and Willie McCovey (521) are members of the 500-homer club—and Willie Stargell (475) just missed. Starting third sacker Joe Torre would go on to win the NL MVP Award after winning the batting title and also leading the league in hits, RBIs, and total bases.

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Originally published: April 30, 2015. Last Updated: April 30, 2015.