An All-Star Memory

I have been to three baseball All-Star games (the two at Veterans Stadium in 1976 and 1996; 1990 at Wrigley Field), and my favorite memory is from the first one. Actually, it is from before the first one.

We had seats in the first couple of rows of the 600 level in left-center field. I had never sat that far from home plate and my buddy and I were in the seats as early as possible because we were looking forward to batting practice almost as much as the game.

We were not disappointed.

The NL team was loaded with power – Greg Luzinski … Johnny Bench … and two guys who became favorites of mine based strictly on the dozen or swings they took pregame on July 13, 1976.

I am sure Luzinski and Bench and some AL guys teed off pretty good during that BP, but I will always remember George Foster and Dave Kingman seemingly taking turns trying to reach us in the second deck. Both reached the upper deck a couple times and Foster launched one that we both swear reached the 600 level to our left – close to dead center field.

The game was good enough — a 7-1 NL victory — and seeing Mark Fidrych patting down the mound was a site to see. Dave Cash picked up the lone hit for the Phillies’ five-man contingent, but it was Kingman and Foster who left us with the memories that will last forever.