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Saturday, September 3, 2011

1962 All-Star Game w/ Spahn & Matthews

One of my brushes with the famous was at the 1962 All-Star game. The game was great but our brush came after the game.

In 1962 my family had a chance to go to the All-Star game at Wrigley Field in Chicago. It was a different era when you did not have to pay big bucks and order way ahead of time. They sold tickets in pairs. So my father was fortunate to get 3 pairs of tickets. So we ventured to Chicago with Dad, Mom, brother Mark, cousins Kenny and David, and I. Six in the family Olds 88. We got there early and parked within sight of Wrigley Field.

When we got there, we parked in a private lot that seemed more like an ally. There were hardly any cars there. We road the L downtown just for the experience. I remember David sat in a seat facing backwards and had to move as he thought he was going to be sick.

The 1962 All-Star game featured a pretty solid National League set of outfield reserves. The National League non-starting outfielders were Frank Robinson of the Reds, Hank Aaron of Milwaukee Braves, Billy Williams of the Cubs, and Stan Musial of the Cards. So who started, Tommy Davis of Dodgers, Willie Mays of the Giants, and Roberto Clemente of the Pirates. The American League outfield had Roger Maris of the Yankees but was missing an injured Mickey Mantle.

So who did we get to see:
National League
Dick Groat- Pirates SS
Roberto Clemente- Pirates- OF
Frank Robinson- Reds- OF
Willie Mays- Giants- OF
Hank Aaron- Braves- OF
Orlando Cepeda- Giants- 1B
Ernie Banks- Cubs- 1B
Tommy Davis- Dodgers- OF
Stan Musial- Cards- OF
Billy Williams- Cubs-OF
Ken Boyer- Cards- 3B
Eddie Matthews- Braves- 3B
Del Crandall- Braves- C
John Roseboro- Dodgers- C
Bill Mazeeroski- Pirates- 2B
Bob Gibson- Cards- P
Johnny Padres- Dodgers- P

American League
Rich Rollins- Twins- 3B
Yogi Berra- Yanks- Of
Bobby Richardson- Yanks- 2B
Roger Maris- Yanks- OF
Rocky Colavito- Indians- OF
Jim Gentile- Indians- 1B
Earley Battey- Twins C
Elston Howard- Yanks- C
Luis Aparicio- Sox- SS
Tom Tresh- Yanks- SS

I did not keep a great scorecard so I am not sure which pitchers got in and which did not. But my count, there were about 25 future hall of famers in the game. At one time the outfield for the NL was Musial, Mays, and Clemente. Then it was Clemente, Aaron, and B.Williams. Not bad. But the NL lost 9-4.

After the game we made our way to our car and Mom had packed a picnic lunch for us to eat at the car as we waited for traffic to clear out. As we were eating food, others in our small lot came and went. But about 45 minutes after the game was over, the people parked in the car in front of us came out of the ballpark.

The people parked next to us were Warren Spahn and his wife, and Eddie Matthews. Nearly 50 years ago, I cannot remember if Matthews was by himself or he had his wife along too. But talk about a different era. The Spahn's car was a little nicer than our's but not a lot, just a family sedan. Mrs. Spahn had also packed some sandwiches which they grabbed and started to eat as they put their equipment in the trunk.

Even without ESPN, we all knew who they were. We did not get any pictures but I did get both their autographs on my program. (Time distorts memory, my brother is convinced the program is his. But I scribbled my name on it at some point and now possession is 9/10th of the law.)

We spent our summers in rural Hollandale, Wisconsin and drove to Chicago for the All-Star game. It was not lost on us that Eddie Matthews and Warren Spahn had also jumped in their car and drove down from Wisconsin. We paid $5 for a spot to park close to Wrigely Field, and the Spahn's paid $5 for a spot in the same lot. We ate sandwiches out of our trunk, and they ate sandwiches out of their trunk. A different time and certainly a simpler time.

Warren Spahn

Eddie Matthews

Baseball Alamac Description- Note our game is game #2

Box score and play by play


  1. What a great story! An awesome collection of All-Stars, and how cool about Spahn and Matthews parking next to you. A different era, indeed.

  2. Wow, Evan, awesome. Glad you got your name on the program!

  3. Still some investigation to be done on the program. He probably got an extra sandwich, as well.