KC All-Star Game History: 1973

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kauffman Stadium, then known as Royals Stadium, was brand-new on July 24, 1973, when it played host to the 40th Major League Baseball All-Star Game – an event that also marked the final All-Star appearance for legendary slugger Willie Mays.

The game itself, witnessed by a sellout crowd of 40,849, was something of a dud – the National League spanked the American League 7-1, led by the slugging of San Francisco Giants right-fielder and game MVP Bobby Bonds and Cincinnati Reds catcher Johnny Bench.

Bonds went 2-2 in the game, including a 5th inning home run that gave the NL a 5-1 lead.

In the fourth inning, Bench hit a towering home run over the left field concourse off of California Angels pitcher Bill Singer – at 480 feet it still stands as the longest homer in Kauffman Stadium history.

The Kansas City Royals were represented by Amos Otis (who went 2-2 and drove in the AL’s only run with a first inning single), John Mayberry and Cookie Rojas. Future Royals manager Buddy Bell – then a third baseman with the Cleveland Indians – hit a triple in his only at-bat in the third inning.

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Rick Wise picked up the win, while Minnesota Twins pitcher Bert Blyleven got the loss for the AL.

There were a total of 17 future Hall of Famer players at the 1973 game: Joe Morgan, Hank Aaron, Billy Williams, Johnny Bench, Ron Santo, Willie Stargel, Willie Mays, Tom Seaver, Don Sutton, Rod Carew, Reggie Jackson, Carlton Fisk, Brooks Robinson, Catfish Hunter, Bert Blyleven, Nolan Ryan and Rollie Fingers.

In addition, three Hall of Fame managers were at the game: Dick Williams, Whitey Herzog and Sparky Anderson, along with Hall of Fame umpire Nestor Chylak, who also worked the 1960 All-Star Game in Kansas City.

The game marked the last of 24 All-Star Game appearances for Mays, then playing his final season with the New York Mets.

The game also marked the 40th anniversary year of the first All-Star Game in 1933. Some of the surviving stars from that first game, including Dick Bartell, Joe Cronin, Jimmie Dykes, Charlie Gehringer, Lefty Gomez, Lefty Grove, Bill Hallahan, and Carl Hubbell were in attendance at Royals Stadium, which had just opened a few months earlier in April and which replaced old Municipal Stadium, site of the 1960 All-Star Game.

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