Tag Archives: Veteran’s Stadium

Philography: Tony Taylor

My Philography series of mini-bios highlighting the careers of the most interesting and important individuals throughout Philadelphia Phillies history continues with this 23rd entry.

Links to the previous 22 entries, which include such notables as Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Richie AshburnDick AllenJim BunningLarry BowaDarren Daulton and many more can be found below.

In 2002, Tony Taylor became the 24th person overall and the first-ever Hispanic player to be honored with a place on the Phillies Wall of Fame. He has since been joined by Juan Samuel (2008) and Bobby Abreu (2019) as Hispanic players honored among the franchise immortals.

Sports columnist Milton Richman, who became the sports editor at UPI and was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame with the Taylor Spink Award in 1981, said of Taylor back in 1975: “Tony Taylor has a special way with people. It doesn’t matter who they are, other ballplayers, fans, or the press. He’s to the Phillies what Ernie Banks was to the Cubs.

That “special way” – his friendliness, positive personality, and willingness to share a knowledge of and passion for the game that he loves – is what has always endeared Taylor to Phillies fans, especially those who got to enjoy his years as a player with the team during two stints and a long-time association with the club as a coach and goodwill ambassador.

Taylor played for 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, 15 of those in a Phillies uniform from 1960-71 and then from 1974-76. Though his career ended more than four decades ago, Taylor is still 12th on the Phillies all-time hits, 16th in steals, and 17th in runs scored on the franchise leader boards. Only four men – Schmidt, Ashburn, Bowa, and Jimmy Rollins – have played more games in a Phillies uniform.

Born Antonio Nemesio Taylor Sánchez on December 19, 1935 in Central Alava in the Matanzas province on the island of Cuba, Taylor was raised there and began playing baseball as a young boy. He would eventually get to enjoy the game alongside his younger brother, Jorge.

Central Alava was “a quiet place,” Taylor said in 1970 per a more detailed bio piece on him by Rory Costello and Jose Ramirez for SABR. “Nothing to do but play ball or swim in the river. As a boy I went to school and worked in my cousin’s butcher shop. I liked chemistry. If I didn’t go into baseball, I would have become a chemist for a sugar company.

During the mid-late 1950’s, Taylor turned professional. He was officially a member of the San Francisco Giants beginning in 1954, and played the next few years in both the Cuban professional league and in the U.S. minor leagues, building a reputation as a slick-fielding shortstop.

After playing with Dallas in the Texas League during the 1957 season, the Chicago Cubs selected Taylor from the Giants in the December Rule 5 minor league draft. He was then immediately installed as the Cub’s starting second baseman and leadoff hitter at just age 22.

Taylor’s glove proved far more advanced than his bat during his rookie 1958 season in the Windy City. But that glove was good enough to keep him in the starting lineup. The following year, Taylor’s offensive production took a step forward. His average jumped 55 points to the .280 mark and his slugging percentage rose nearly 80 points, with Taylor nearly doubling his number of extra-base hits.

He opened the 1960 season still as the starter at second base with the Cubs, but that wouldn’t last long. On May 13, 1960, Taylor was dealt to the Phillies along with catcher Cal Neeman, with the Phils sending their starting first baseman, Ed Bouchee and young starting pitcher Don Cardwell to Chicago.

Taylor quickly became a fan favorite at Connie Mack Stadium. He hit .310 over his first 56 games as new manager Gene Mauch‘s starting second baseman with 16 extra-base hits , 17 RBIs, 31 runs scored, and a dozen stolen bases. That performance earned Taylor his lone career National League All-Star nod.

The young Phillies won just 59 games in that 1960 season, finishing in last place in the National League. But over the next few seasons they slowly built a contender under Mauch.

A core group of players that included outfielders Johnny Callison, Tony Gonzalez, and Wes Covington, catcher Clay Dalrymple, shortstop Bobby Wine, and pitchers Chris Short and Art Mahaffey all grew up together during the early 1960’s with the Phillies.

In 1962 the club finished 81-80, their first winning season in nearly a decade. The following year they upped it to 87 wins and a fourth-place finish. Then two big moves set the Phillies up to become legitimate contenders.

A big trade with Detroit in December 1963 brought in the veteran ace starting pitcher that the team needed in right-hander Jim Bunning. And a 22-year-old Dick Allen was handed the starting third base job as a rookie.

The addition of that big arm and bat to the maturing, talented, tight-knit core proved to be an exciting and winning mix and they led the National League for much of that summer. On Father’s Day, Bunning tossed the first Perfect Game in Phillies history as the Phillies downed the Mets by 6-0. An incredible play at second base by Taylor with one out in the bottom of the 8th inning helped make that historic gem at Shea Stadium possible.

Holding a 6 1/2 game lead with just a dozen left on the schedule, the Phillies organization printed up tickets for their first World Series appearance since 1950.

As even Phillies fans who weren’t around to experience the disaster are well aware, that Fall Classic appearance wasn’t meant to be. The team suffered through an infamous collapse, losing 10 straight games and 13 of 15. Though they won their final two games, the 1964 Phillies would finish a tantalizing one game out, in second place.

That group would never win a pennant, but they were a winning ball club. The Phillies enjoyed a winning record for six consecutive seasons from 1962 through 1967. Taylor was a starter during that entire period. As the 1960’s came to a close, that winning core began to age and was traded away, the club’s performance deteriorated on the field, and Taylor slid over to third base. In 1969 the Phillies would win just 69 games.

During spring training in 1970, the SABR bio describes what Taylor called “the biggest moment in my whole life.” His mother and sister, and his sister’s husband and children, arrived in Miami from Cuba. Taylor had been trying to get them out since 1962. “They led a difficult life. They did not believe in the Communists and were not given food and clothing. They had to buy things in the black market.

In that 1970 season the Phillies played their final year at old Connie Mack Stadium. The former Shibe Park had been the club’s home since 1938, and had been the home of the American League’s Philadelphia Athletics from 1909-54. But the brand new Veteran’s Stadium was being built in South Philadelphia and would become the Phillies new home for the 1971 season.

Taylor spent that final year at Connie Mack serving as a utility player at age 34 on a rebuilding Phillies ball club, with youngsters Denny Doyle and Bowa taking over the starting roles in the middle infield.

On a Sunday afternoon in that final summer at the old ballpark, Taylor enjoyed a moment that would live on in Phillies history. It was August 2 and there were just over 10,000 fans at the start. Most were no longer there as the Phillies came to bat in the bottom of the 9th inning, trailing the San Francisco Giants by 6-3.

Larry Hisle led off with a double off Giants starter Ron Bryant and Doc Edwards followed with a base hit, moving Hisle to third base. When pinch-hitter Terry Harmon worked Bryant for a walk, the bases were suddenly loaded.

Giants skipper Charlie Fox went to his bullpen, calling in southpaw Mike Davison as Taylor stepped to the plate. In his 13th big-league season, Taylor had just 60 career home runs at that point. This moment would produce number 61 as Taylor blasted the first-ever walkoff grand slam in Philadelphia Phillies franchise history.

Taylor would open the first 1971 season at The Vet still with the Phillies, but would not finish the year with the team. On June 12 he was dealt to the contending Detroit Tigers for a pair of minor league prospects, neither of whom would ever reach the big-leagues. He would serve as the backup to Dick McAuliffe at second base with Detroit over the next three years.

It was with those Tigers where he would make his lone playoff appearances, starting and playing the full Games 2-5 in Detroit’s heartbreaking loss to the eventual World Series champion Oakland A’s. Taylor was just 2-15 in that 1972 ALCS, and went 0-4, striking out twice, in the decisive 2-1 victory for Oakland. In fact, he flew out to center field against Vida Blue for the final out with the tying run on base in the bottom of the 9th inning for the final game at Tiger Stadium.

In December 1973, Taylor returned to the Phillies, signing as a free agent at age 38. He would close out his playing career as a utility player and pinch-hitter over three final seasons in Philadelphia as the club finally returned to contending status in the mid-1970’s. This was when I saw Taylor play in person, in that twilight of his career.

Per the SABR bio, a July 1974 AP account included the following: “All Tony Taylor has to do is stick his head out of the Phillies’ dugout and the fans go wild.” This feeling too was mutual. “I love those people,” said Taylor of the Veterans Stadium fans. “If a guy gives one hundred per cent they cheer for you. They know baseball, and they know whether a player is playing hard or not.”

During an early 1976 slugfest at Wrigley Field, Schmidt drilled home runs in four consecutive at-bats during an 18-16 victory for the Phillies over the host Cubs. Per Larry Shenk, the Phillies Hall of Famer and all-time greatest player used one of Taylor’s bats to blast what proved to the the final game-winner in the top of the 10th inning.

As the 1976 Phillies captured the club’s first National League East Division crown, Taylor missed much of the season’s first three months injured, returning for the stretch run. Between games of a doubleheader in Montreal after the Phillies had clinched the division, Allen gave manager Danny Ozark an ultimatum – include Taylor on the postseason roster or Allen wouldn’t play. The skipper forged a compromise, naming Taylor as a coach for the NLCS in which the Phillies were swept out by Cincinnati’s Big Red Machine.

Following that season, Taylor formally retired as a player and became the Phillies first base coach from 1977 through 1979. Over the winter in 1978-79, Taylor managed the Águilas del Zulia club to a spot in the Venezuelan Winter League finals.

During the 1980 and 1981 seasons, Taylor served as a roving infield instructor. He won the first of three career World Series rings as a member of the organization when the Phillies captured the first championship in franchise history in that 1980 season.

Through most of the 1980’s he bounced around the organization, serving as a minor league manager and a roving instructor. Per the SABR bio, his personal life suffered a setback during this period when Taylor went through a divorce from wife Nilda during this period. He then returned to the big club in the role of first base coach with the 1988 and 1989 Phillies.

Taylor moved on to become a coach with the San Francisco Giants and the expansion Florida Marlins during the 1990’s. In 1999, the Marlins brought him back to the big-leagues where he served in the role of first base and infield coach. During this period he earned a second World Series ring when the Marlins captured the 1997 title. He would get a third when the Fish again won the championship in 2003.

In April 2004, Taylor was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame. Following one final season as the Marlins bullpen coach in 2004, Taylor officially and finally retired from baseball. Since that time he has enjoyed his retirement living in Miami, a home for many in the Cuban-American community.

This past August, Taylor attended the Phillies Wall of Fame ceremony at Citizens Bank Park when his friend Abreu was inducted. While in Philly for those Alumni Weekend celebrations, Taylor suffered a series of strokes.

Per a report by Matt Breen in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the 83-year-old Taylor wanted to return to Miami, and was transported from Jefferson Hospital to the airport. The Phillies paid for a team of nurses to accompany him and his second wife, Clara, on a private flight home.

The Phillies have done great,” Clara said per Breen. “They were wonderful. He’s doing therapy and progressing really slow but hopefully well.” Numerous former Phillies teammates and club officials, including owner John Middleton, stayed in close touch on his return home. “It was overwhelming…He’s aware of everyone who has been calling,” said Clara per Breen.

That caring and concern from the Phillies organization and fan base is a reflection on the decades of good will built up between themselves and Tony Taylor. Here is to hoping that he is able to recover and continue to enjoy life, again returning one day to walk out onto the field in Philadelphia and continue this long-time genuine love affair.

 

PHILOGRAPHY SERIES

Click on the “date” in order to read the Philography piece. Click on the individual name to view their stats page at Baseball Reference

10.17.2014 – Greg Luzinski

10.24.2014 – Mitch Williams

10.31.2014 – Chris Short

11.07.2014 – Von Hayes

11.14.2014 – Placido Polanco

11.21.2014 – Jim Konstanty

11.28.2014 – Dick Allen

12.06.2014 – Dick Ruthven

12.12.2014 – Grover Cleveland  Alexander

12.20.2014 – Darren Daulton

12.13.2015 – Larry Bowa

1.09.2016 – Sherry Magee

1.26.2016 – Kevin Stocker

2.10.2016 – Granny Hamner

2.15.2016 – Edith Houghton

12.27.2016 – Bob Boone

1.19.2017 – Mike Lieberthal

2.02.2017 – Red Dooin

11.29.2018 – Richie Ashburn

2.03.2019 – Jim Bunning

2.10.2019 – Mike Schmidt

12.09.19Steve Carlton

Fangraphs ranks Citizens Bank Park poorly for "walkability"

Citizens Bank Park isn’t an easy place to walk to for fans
(Photo: Matthew Veasey)
If you’ve ever been to Citizens Bank Park you know that it is a gorgeous ballpark. Tremendous sight lines, a 360-degree open main concourse that allows you to have a view of the action as you walk around nearly the entirety, and some of the best ballpark food in the game.
I wax nostalgic at times for Veteran’s Stadium. After all, it was there that I was introduced at age nine to the Phillies and Major League Baseball when the glittering new facility first opened near my South Philly home back in 1971.
But even that nostalgia isn’t enough to overcome the truth, one that I recognized the very first time that I stepped foot in the new place for an exhibition game against the Cleveland Indians prior to the start of the 2004 regular season. Citizens Bank Park is better than The Vet ever was in every way imaginable.
Back in 2012 for a piece at Bleacher Report, Kyle Yahn describe it perfectly when he said: “There is not a bad seat in the entire stadium. Whether in the nosebleeds or right behind home plate, the fans are always right on top of the action” and “The food at Citizens Bank Park is incredible.
One concession made by the powers-that-be in the Phillies ownership group and with the city of Philadelphia was the actual location of the ballpark itself.
In the pre-planning stages, there were discussions regarding and even plans drawn up regarding the possibilities of moving the new ballpark out of South Philly to locations either near Penn’s Landing along the Delaware River or adjacent to the Center City area.
Those locations would have been in walking distance of restaurants, shops, and clubs already in place. And new such spots certainly would have opened up to service ballpark patrons for Phillies games, concerts, and other events.
However, traffic and parking infrastructure was already in place at what had become known as the Sports Complex. The Vet, the Spectrum, and JFK Stadium had stood for years in the location along Pattison Avenue just east of Broad Street.
As the now Wells Fargo CenterLincoln Financial Field, and Citizens Bank Park were planned, the final decision was made to keep each of the major sports facilities right there. As they sprouted up, the older facilities were torn down. Finally, a food and drink entertainment facility known as “Xfinity Live” was also opened up in the area.
The distance from the Sports Complex to any of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods, including to those downtown shops and restaurants, is the main reason that Fangraphs just placed Citizens Bank Park at 24th of the 30 facilities in Major League Baseball in their “Walkability” rankings.
This was a major drop from just five years ago, when Citizens Bank Park ranked 14th in that same index. This time around, CBP was given a ‘Walk Score’ of just 38. This placed it in a tier called ‘Car-Dependent’, meaning that most errands from the immediate ballpark area would require a car.

Carson Cistulli put together the rankings for Fangraphs utilizing information from the “Walk Score” site. His main purpose was to find, as he stated:

“…which ballparks, by virtue of their location, might best lend themselves to human scale…because they are based on proximity to shops and cafes and other services relevant to daily life.“

The overwhelming majority of fans who make their way to Citizens Bank Park and any of the other venues at the Sports Complex do so either via car or by taking public transportation. There is an extensively used Septa ‘Broad Street Line’ subway stop right at the location, and a pair of entrances/exits for I-95 within a short drive.

Ashburn Alley along the CBP outfield is an open-air food court and kids entertainment area.
But walking to a neighborhood or downtown restaurant, bar, or shop outside of the Sports Complex is a bit of a hike. Center City is roughly six miles to the north. You would have to walk over three miles to reach the clubs and shops along South Street. And those types of sites along Penn’s Landing are at least five miles away.
Fortunately, Citizens Bank Park has enough of a variety of restaurants and other eating establishments inside to satisfy the need of any fan. And if it’s a sports bar-clubbing-party vibe that you want, you can walk right across Pattison Avenue to Xfinity Live.
When I was a pre-teen and teenager, my friends and I frequently hiked up to Veteran’s Stadium to take in a game. It was only about a mile-and-a-half or so from our homes along the 2nd Street neighborhood of South Philly. Folks from that area can and do still take that walk today.
While our gorgeous South Philly ballpark might not rank high in “walkability” by some measures, while you won’t find folks walking to or from the park from places outside of South Philly, it has everything that any baseball fan could possibly want.
Whether the Phillies are doing well or playing poorly, Citizens Bank Park is one of the most beautiful places to watch a game in all of baseball. With some of the best food and nicest amenities available, don’t let a poor ‘walkability’ score ever keep you away.
Originally published at Phillies Nation as “Citizens Bank Park finishes 24th on Fangraphs ‘Walk Score’ Index

Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Bunning Passes Away

Jim Bunning was one of baseball’s all-time greatest pitchers. The former Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies star passed away today at age 85.
In 1996, Bunning was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. He won 224 games during his big league career, and was the first to win more than 100 games in the National and American Leagues. The right-hander was also the first to strikeout over 1,000 batters in both.
He also pitched a no-hitter in both leagues. With the Phillies in 1964, he tossed the seventh Perfect Game in Major League Baseball history. It came at Shea Stadium against the host New York Mets. He was the father of seven children at the time.

Heaven got its No 1 starter today. Our lives & the nation are better off because of your love & dedication to family.

Bunning was born on August 23, 1931 in Southgate, Kentucky. He attended high school in Cincinnati and was a star multi-sport athlete. He then attended Xavier University.

BUNNING WITH THE TIGERS

As Ralph Berger wrote for SABR, the Detroit Tigers wanted Bunning. Therefore, the club made a unique arrangement with his parents. The Tigers allowed Bunning to finish his schooling while pitching in the minors.
In May of his freshman year, Detroit Tigers scout Bruce Connatser told Jim’s father that the Tigers were interested in signing Jim. The parents had no objection to his playing professional baseball, but they wanted him to finish college. The Tigers agreed to let Jim finish the spring semester before reporting for baseball – meaning he would miss spring training for the next three years. The club also agreed that his first minor-league team would be Richmond, Indiana, of the Class D Indiana-Ohio League, less than an hour from home. The Tigers gave Bunning a $4,000 signing bonus and a $150-a-month salary. With the bonus, he bought an engagement ring for Mary Theis, his childhood sweetheart. Now that he was under contract to a professional baseball team, his basketball scholarship at Xavier was canceled, and his parents paid for the balance of his college education.
Bunning would go 118-87 over parts of nine seasons with Detroit. He tossed his first career no-hitter in 1958 against the Boston Red Sox. Bunning won 17 games for a 101-win Tigers in 1961. That club finished second in the American League pennant race.

BUNNING WITH THE PHILLIES

In December of 1963, Bunning was traded by the Tigers along with catcher Gus Triandos. Detroit received star outfielder Don Demeter and a young pitcher named Jack Hamilton.
The righty would put together an 89-73 mark over six seasons in Philadelphia. He won 19 games for the Phillies ill-fated 1964 team. That club collapsed down the stretch, finishing in second place.
He was a 5x AL all-star with Detroit and a 2x NL all-star with the Phillies. Furthermore, he was the 1967 National League Cy Young Award runner-up. The award voted that year to Mike McCormick of the San Francisco Giants.
He led the American League in strikeouts in both 1959 and 1960. His 253 punch-outs in 1967 led all of baseball. Bunning recorded 2,855 strikeouts over the course of his career.
In December of 1967, Bunning was dealt by the Phillies to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Coming to the Phils were pitcher Woodie Fryman, infielder Don Money, and two others.

RETURN TO PHILADELPHIA

Bunning pitched during the 1968 and 1969 seasons with the Pirates and Dodgers. He then returned to the Phillies as a free agent in December 1969.
Bunning pitched in relief in the penultimate game at Connie Mack Stadium (formerly Shibe Park) on September 30, 1970.
On Saturday, April 10, 1971 he drew the starting assignment. It was the first Phillies game in the history of Veteran’s Stadium. Bunning got the win in a 4-1 Phillies victory over the Montreal Expos.
That 1971 season would prove the final in Bunning’s big league career. He was elected to the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1984.

BUNNING’S POLITICAL CAREER

Moving into politics, he was elected to the Fort Thomas, Kentucky city council in 1977.
In 1983, Bunning lost as the Republican candidate for Governor. But he remained a major player in Kentucky politics.
In 1986, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He served as a U.S. congressman through 1999.
Bunning was then elected to the U.S. Senate from Kentucky. A noted conservative, he served as a Senator until 2011.
Bunning suffered a stroke in October of 2016. His death came as a result of complications due to the effects.

MEMORIALS AND FAMILY

Per Fox19 in Cincinnati, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell released the following statement.
“Senator Jim Bunning led a long and storied life. From his days in the major leagues to his years as my colleague in the Senate — and the many points in between, from the City Council to the House of Representatives — Jim rarely shied away from a new adventure. This Hall of Famer will long be remembered for many things. A perfect game, a larger-than-life personality, a passion for Kentucky, and a loving family. Elaine and I offer our sincere condolences to Mary and the entire Bunning family.”
Here in Philadelphia, he is a baseball immortal. His retired number 14 is displayed at Citizens Bank Park. Richie Ashburn (1), Mike Schmidt (20), Steve Carlton (32) and Robin Roberts (36) also have retired numbers.
Bunning is survived by the former Mary Catherine Theis. The couple was married for 65 years. Per Wikipedia, the couple had five daughters and four sons. They also had 35 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren as of 2013.

Phillies MLB All-Star Games: 1996

There were many differences between the 1976 and 1996 MLB All-Star Games, which were held two decades apart at the same venue of Veteran’s Stadium in South Philadelphia.
For the host Phillies, the biggest difference was that the ’76 game had come while the team was emerging as a contender with a number of talented players throughout the roster. 
The team would win the NL East in that Bicentennial season for the first of three consecutive division crowns.
By contrast, the ’96 Phillies team was a losing squad in every way you could define such a team. 
They would finish 67-95 in last place in the NL East, and aside from the oasis provided by the 1993 ‘Macho Row’ NL champs, the franchise was in the midst of 14 out of 15 losing seasons.
My own life situation had changed drastically as well. Back in ’76, I had enjoyed many of the Bicentennial events in Philly as a 14-year old, and had watched that year’s All-Star Game on TV.
By ’96 and the 25th anniversary of Veteran’s Stadium, I was a grown man of 34, and was able to attend the MLB All-Star Game FanFest held at the new Pennsylvania Convention Center. It was a wonderful event
, with numerous displays and activities for all baseball fans.
Jul 26, 2015; Cooperstown, NY, USA; Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. waves to the crowd during the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies at Clark Sports Center. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
As for the game itself, there were a number of notable events prior to and during the game. 
First, as the American League team picture was being taken, a mishap resulted in Baltimore Orioles ‘Iron Man’ shortstop Cal Ripken Jr breaking his nose.
Typical of Ripken, who was still in the midst of his record consecutive games played streak that he had set the previous September and that would ultimately reach 2,632 games, he was patched up and played on.
During the pregame introductions, the 62,670 Phillies fans on hand in true Philly fashion playfully and lustily booed Toronto Blue Jays’ slugger Joe Carter, who had beaten the Phils with his famous walkoff home run in the 1993 World Series.
Jun 27, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Hall of Fame pitcher unning throws a first pitch prior to a game with the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
The honorary “first balls” were thrown out by the living Phillies Hall of Famers, led by pitcher Jim Bunning, who was elected that year. Joining Bunning were Robin RobertsSteve CarltonMike Schmidt, and Richie Ashburn.
This was also the 15th and final MLB All-Star Game for “The Wizard of Oz”, Saint Louis Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith
The crowd gave Smith a rousing ovation when he entered the game as a substitute in the middle innings, chanting “Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie” in respect for the future Hall of Famer, the best defender to ever play the position.
Only one Phillies player was selected for the National League team that season, closer Ricky Bottalico. ‘Ricky Bo’ had 20 Saves at the break, with a 49/19 K:BB ratio, and had allowed just 29 hits over 42.1 innings to that point in the season.
The NL starting lineup featured what may one day turn out to be as many as 6-7 Hall of Famers, one of whom would not be the leadoff hitter, center fielder Lance Johnson of the New York Mets.
Following Johnson in the order for the senior circuit were shortstop Barry Larkin of Cincinnati, left fielder Barry Bonds of San Francisco, and 1st baseman Fred McGriff of Atlanta.
Local native, catcher Mike Piazza of the Mets, hit 5th and was followed by right fielder Dante Bichette of the Colorado Rockies, Atlanta 3rd baseman Chipper Jones, and 2nd baseman Craig Biggio of Houston.
Apr 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinal former player Ozzie Smith waives to the fans before the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
The starting pitcher for NL manager Bobby Cox of the Braves was his own John Smoltz
Among the NL reserves was future 2009 Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez, who was just starting out on his own Hall of Fame career.
For AL skipper Mike Hargrove of the Cleveland Indians, two of his own were in the starting lineup, leadoff man and center fielder Kenny Lofton, and cleanup hitter and left fielder Albert Belle. He also had four future Hall of Famers to write in.
The AL starters also included Wade Boggs of the Yankees hitting 2nd, with 2nd baseman Roberto Alomar of the Orioles batting 3rd, and Mo Vaughn of Boston hitting 5th at 1st base. 
The man known as ‘Pudge’, catcher Ivan Rodriguez, was batting 6th. Ripken would bat 7th, while his Orioles teammate right fielder Brady Anderson hit in the 8-spot.
On the mound, the assignment to open for the American League went to Tribe starting pitcher Charles Nagy, who was in the midst of five consecutive seasons winning 15 or more games. 
Coming out of the AL bullpen would be a pair of future Phillies relievers in Jose Mesa and Roberto Hernandez.
Much as with the 1976 game at The Vet, the NL jumped on top early and never looked back. Johnson led off the bottom of the 1st with a double, moved to 3rd on a ground out, and scored the game’s first run on an RBI ground out by Bonds.
Piazza, an area native from Norristown, PA who had roamed the aisles and ramps at The Vet on numerous occasions as a kid, led off the bottom of the 2nd inning with a mammoth solo homer to left field.
Four batters later, Henry Rodriguez of the Montreal Expos, pinch-hitting for Smoltz, would score Jones with an RBI single and the NL had a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 3rd with Chuck Finley of the Angels on to pitch, Piazza laced an RBI double to right-center, scoring Larkin with a run that opened up a 4-0 lead for the National League.
Bottalico came on to pitch the top of the 5th inning, giving the Phillies fans something to cheer in the midst of a bleak summer. The Fightins’ closer struck out Rodriguez swinging to start off his appearance, then retired Ripken on a fly ball to left.
With two outs, Anderson grounded to new 3rd baseman Ken Caminiti, whose error put a runner on base. But Bottalico then got pinch-hitter Jay Buhner to line out to center field, ending his lone inning with no damage.
Pedro came on for the top of the 6th and allowed two hits, as well as a stolen base from Lofton, but got through his inning unscathed as well.
Caminiti made up for his error when he led off the bottom of the 6th with a solo homer. Bichette doubled one batter later, and would score on a Biggio ground out that upped the NL lead to what would prove to be the final 6-0 margin.
This would turn out to be the only MLB All-Star Game in history in which no batters were walked. In the end, the hometown kid Piazza would be named the Most Valuable Player off his 2-3 performance.
This would also mark the first MLB All-Star Game in which that award was presented by Bud Selig, who was then the Chairman of baseball’s Executive Committee. He would not be named the formal Commissioner until 1998.
That was the fourth and final time to date that Philadelphia has played host to the MLB All-Star Game. The city has hosted twice at Shibe Park, and twice at Veteran’s Stadium. Now, when will Citizens Bank Park get its chance to finally host the midsummer classic?

Phillies MLB All-Star Games: 1976

The city of Philadelphia has played host to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game four times in the 83-year history of baseball’s midsummer classic.

In both 1943 and 1952 the game was held at Shibe Park, with the NL taking the first by a 5-3 score and the AL coming back with a 3-2 victory in the second game at the old ballpark at 22nd and Lehigh that would later be renamed as Connie Mack Stadium. The Phillies were listed as the official hosts of the 1952 game.

The last two times that the game was played in here in 1976 and 1996, Veteran’s Stadium was the scene of the festivities. Citizens Bank Park has yet to do the honors.

Let’s take a quick look back at that 1976 version of baseball’s Midsummer Classic which played out in front of 63,974 fans including the President of the United States at The Vet during the celebration of America’s Bicentennial in the summer of 1976.

It was a great time for both the city and for the team to be hosting the game. Of course, Philadelphia is one of the most important historic cities in the United States, and thus having one of the American pastime’s showcase events here as the nation was celebrating its 200th birthday was almost a no-brainer.

For the Phillies part, the team had begun emerging over the previous two seasons as legitimate contenders in the National League after nearly a decade of futility.

With the opening of Veteran’s Stadium in 1971, the trade for Steve Carlton in 1972, and an influx of homegrown talent the team was primed to make a run at the NL East Division crown that summer. In fact, they would capture that crown, and the next two in succession as well.

As a nod to this emerging talent base, the Phillies placed five players on that 1976 NL All-Star squad, with left fielder Greg Luzinski elected by the fans as the starter in left field.

Joining ‘The Bull’ on the NL roster were 3/4 of the team’s starting infield: second baseman Dave Cash, shortstop Larry Bowa, and third baseman Mike Schmidt.

Catcher Bob Boone was chosen as a reserve on the NL team, and Phillies manager Danny Ozark served as a coach.

Only the National League manager Sparky Anderson from Cincinnati’s ‘Big Red Machine’, the defending World Series champions who would go on to win another that October, had placed more players on the squad.

The Reds had seven NL All-Stars, including future Phillies Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez.

Appearing as reserves with the NL squad were former Phillies pitcher Woody Fryman, then of the Montreal Expos, former and future Phillies pitcher Dick Ruthven then of the Atlanta Braves, future Phillies first baseman Al Oliver, and outfielder Bake McBride, who would be traded to the Phillies the following June.

Rose, Ruthven, and McBride would all go on to become key contributors to the Phillies 1980 World Series championship squad. But that’s a story for another day.

Luzinski was slotted into the fifth spot in Anderson’s starting lineup. Rose led off, followed by first baseman Steve Garvey of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Morgan hit third and center fielder George Foster batted in the cleanup spot.

Behind Luzinski came the Reds catcher Johnny Bench, followed by Chicago Cubs right field masher Dave Kingman, shortstop Dave Concepcion of Cincinnati, and finally the starting pitcher, Randy Jones of the San Diego Padres.

The American League, managed by Darrell Johnson of the Boston Red Sox, featured starters from six different teams, three from the Detroit Tigers. One of his reserves players on the AL squad was former Phillies infielder Don Money.

Leading off for the American League was one of those Tigers, left fielder Ron LeFlore. Next came sweet-swinging Rod Carew of the Minnesota Twins was at first base. Kansas City Royals dynamic third baseman George Brett batted third.

Hitting in the cleanup spot was New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson. Boston’s Fred Lynn, who was the reigning AL MVP and Rookie of the Year, hit in the fifth position. He was followed by shortstop Toby Harrah of the Texas Rangers, right fielder Rusty Staub of the Tigers, and second baseman Bobby Grich of the Baltimore Orioles.

On the mound and batting 9th for the junior circuit was the most colorful player of the season, pitcher Mark Fydrich. Nicknamed ‘The Bird’, Fydrich was known for talking to the baseball, strolling around the mound, and other histrionics. The right-hander was in the midst of a season that would see him win the AL Rookie of the Year Award and finish second for the league’s Cy Young Award honors.

Former Phillies pitching legend Robin Roberts served as the NL ‘Honorary Captain’ for the game, with former Yankees pitcher Bob Lemon receiving those honors for the American League.

This was the first MLB All-Star Game at which “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the Canadian national anthem of “Oh, Canada” were both played, and each has been played at every game since. The first pitch was thrown out by U.S. President Gerald Ford.

In the actual game, the National League bolted out to an early lead, scoring twice off Fydrich in the bottom of the 1st inning. Rose led off with a single and came around to score on a triple by Garvey, who then scored on a one-out grounder by Foster to make it a 2-0 game.

In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Morgan singled with one out and Foster then crushed a two-run homer deep to left-center field off the ‘Catfish’, pitcher Jim Hunter of the Yankees, to double the NL’s lead to 4-0. That blast would ultimately lead to Foster being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Meanwhile, Jones was holding down the American League’s top hitters. He would toss three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk, and would eventually be credited with the win.

The AL got one back in the top of the 4th when Lynn pounded a pitch from the New York Mets ace Tom Seaver out deep down the right field line to make it a 4-1 game.

In the top of the 5th, the home crowd in South Philly was pleased to find that both Bowa and Boone had been inserted into the lineup. Cash and Schmidt would enter the game the following inning. Also in the 6th, Money would enter for the American League, the man who Schmidt had replaced at the Phillies third base position a few years earlier. With Luzinski still in the starting lineup, it briefly made for a nice Philadelphia touch to the game.

In the top of the 7th, Luzinski would finally be lifted for pinch-hitter Ken Griffey Sr after the Bull had struggled through an 0-3 performance at the plate. The Phillies contingent would go a collective 1-8 by the end of the game, with only Cash producing a base hit.

That hit from the Phillies veteran leader came to lead off the bottom of the 8th inning against California Angels lefty Frank Tanana. Perez drew a walk to follow Cash, and the Phils’ second sacker then moved over to third base when Bill Russell of the Dodgers hit into a double play.

With two outs and the score still at 4-1, Griffey delivered an RBI single to score Cash. Cesar Cedeno of the Houston Astros then stepped in and blasted a two-run homer deep into the left field stands off Tanana, blowing the game open to a 7-1 lead for the National League, which would hold up as the final score.

As pitcher Ken Forsch wrapped the game up in the bottom of the 9th with a 1-2-3 inning, retiring Money, Chris Chambliss, and Amos Otis in order, only Boone and Cash remained on the field for the host Phillies and the victorious National League.

The Phillies would not host another MLB All-Star Game for two decades, when the popular exhibition contest among baseball’s top stars would finally return to Veteran’s Stadium in South Philly for one final time. The team is hoping to have Citizens Bank Park named to host the game during the 250th anniversary celebration of our nation’s birth in the summer of 2026.