Though the National League had gotten its record to 16-17 by the time the next All-Star Game landed in National League New York, the team and the stadium were foreign to the exhibition. The Dodgers and the Giants left for California, and the National League in New York had to start anew. With the Metropolitans came the inaugural year of a promised fancy new stadium, and the powers that be in baseball decided to welcome it to the league by showcasing it to the nation during the 31st Annual All-Star Game.
The Al-Lopez-managed AL sent LAA RHP Dean Chance to the mound against the Dodgers’ Don Drysdale, who got the start for his own manager, Walter Alston. Drysdale would be charged with an unearned run in his first inning, when LAA SS Jim Fregosi singled to lead off, advanced on a passed ball, and scored on a MIN LF Harmon Killebrew single into left field. That would be it for either starter, as Drysdale pitched two perfect innings after that (three strikeouts overall) and Chance scattered a pair of hits and strikeouts in his three innings of work.
Philly’s Jim Bunning, pitching the 4th for the National League, allowed a pair of singles and a pair of strikeouts, keeping the score at 1-0 when the National League finally struck back. Kansas City’s John Wyatt, who pitched the AL 4th, got three outs on balls that never left the infield. Between them, however, CHC LF Billy Williams hit a home run to right-center to open the inning, and STL 3B Ken Boyer pulled a solo shot of his own to deep left with two outs to give the NL squad a 2-1 lead.
The Twins’ Camilo Pascual would pitch the next two frames for the American League, allowing a run in the fifth to push the score to 3-1 when PIT RF Roberto Clemente hit a two-out single and scored on STL SS Dick Groat‘s double to left center. PHI P Chris Short would come in to pitch the top of the sixth with a 2-run lead, but couldn’t hold it as he allowed three hits: one-out singles to NYY CF Mickey Mantle and Killebrew before, one out later, BAL 3B Brooks Robinson brought them both home with a game-tying triple.
Houston’s Turk Farrell, who pitched the seventh and eighth for the National League, put himself into hot water when he opened the seventh inning by hitting NYY C Elston Howard with a pitch before a pinch-hit double by KC RF Rocky Covalito put runners at second and third with no one out. Howard would score on a Fregosi sac fly to put the AL up 4-3, but Covalito would be stranded at second. After a 1-2-3 bottom half of the seventh by Boston’s Dick Radatz, Farrell would again run into trouble with a one-out walk to MIN 1B Bob Allison and a two-out single to NYY 2B Bobby Richardson, but kept the American League from adding any insurance runs.
Radatz would retire the side in the eighth as well, picking up a pair of strikeouts along the way. Fortunately for the NL, San Francisco’s Juan Marichal would pitch a quick and effective ninth, to send up his teammate, center fielder Willie Mays. Mays would become the first baserunner to reach against Radatz, drawing a leadoff walk before stealing second (the only steal for either team). Fellow Giant 1B Orlando Cepeda would drop a pop single into short right field to tie it and advance all the way to third – representing the winning run – on the ensuing throw home and error (the throw bounced over the head of Elston Howard). Ken Boyer became the first out, popping up to third. CIN C Johnny Edwards would be intentionally walked to set up a double play, a point which would become moot as ATL RF Hank Aaron would strike out pinch hitting for NYM 2B Ron Hunt. Down to their final out, the NL sent PHI RF Johnny Callison to the plate as their last hope. In the words of NYT Writer Leonard Koppett:
A little later, with two out and two on base, Callison ended the game with a home run off Dick Radatz. The huge relief specialist of the Boston Red Sox had the hero’s role in his grasp until the ninth started.
This comeback, which evened the All-Star Game series at 17 victories for each league with one tie, constituted the most exciting last-ditch rally in these games since the 1941 contest. In that one Ted Williams hit a three-run homer with two out in the ninth to give the American League a 7-5 triumph at Detroit.
- Leonard Koppett, July 8, 1964, National League Beats American, 7-4, on Homer in Ninth, NYT
And with that, Shea was welcomed into the Major Leagues with one of the most exciting back-and-forth All-Star Games to date, one which saw 4 lead changes and a 2-out walk-off home run.