50 Years Ago: Tony Perez Homer Wins 1967 All-Star Game
Fifty years ago today, Tony Perez hit the game-winning home run in the 38th All-Star Game in Anaheim Stadium off Catfish Hunter for the National League's 2-1 victory on July 11, 1967.
Perez, 25, in his third full season with the Reds, was named the All-Star Game MVP.
The Big Dog rode the bench until the 10th inning, when manager Walt Alston told him to replace Phillies third baseman Dick Allen. Perez struck out against Hunter in the 12th, then belted the game-winner to deep left field with one out in the top of the 15th.
In an oddity, all three runs came on solo homers by third basemen: Dick Allen off the Angels' Dean Chance in the second; the Orioles' Brooks Robinson off the Cubs' Fergie Jenkins in the seventh; and Perez. It was the longest game in All-Star history, a mark tied in 2008.
I was a teenager watching the game at home on NBC Television with announcers Curt Gowdy, Pee Wee Reese and Sandy Koufax(who had retired after the 1966 season). It seemed like forever to see the other two Reds, Pete Rose and Tommy Helms, get into the game.
Finally in the 13th inning, Rose flied out to center pinch-hitting for pitcher Mike Cuellar in the 13th, and replaced Bill Mazeroski at second base. Helms waited until the 15th , when he lined into a double play hitting for pitcher Don Drysdale.
Hunter of the old Kansas City Athletics (the teamed moved to Oakland in 1968) threw the final five innings to take the loss. Orioles manager Hank Bauer used four pitchers in the first 10 innings (Chance, Gary Peters, and future Reds Jim McGlothlin and Al Downing). Piitchers Jim Lonborg (Red Sox), Stever Hargan (Indians) and Joe Horlen (White Sox) did not play.
Drysdale, who pitched the 13th and 14th, was the winner. Tom Seaver pitched the 15th and got the save. Here's a link to the 1967 All-Star Game box score.
Perez was the first of five All-Star Game MVPs from the Big Red Machine: Perez (1967), Joe Morgan (1972), George Foster (1976), Ken Griffey Sr. (1980) and Dave Concepcion (1982).
Perez was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 2000, along with Big Red Machine manager Sparky Anderson and announcer Marty Brennaman.
The 1967 All-Stars included 21 future Hall of Famers: Perez, Seaver, Drysdale, Jenkins, Mazeroski, Hunter, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Joe Torre, Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Rod Carew, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Al Kaline and Carl Yastrzemski.