Tie kept NL from sweeping 1961 All-Star Games

Aaron, Mays, Clemente teamed for game-winning rally

Tie kept NL from sweeping 1961 All-Star Games

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

For the third straight season, there were two All-Star Games in 1961.

But there was only one winner.

Behind hits by future Hall of Fame outfielders Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente, the National League scored two runs in the bottom of the 10th on July 11 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco to defeat the American League 5-4.

The teams met again 20 days later at Fenway Park in Boston. The game was tied 1-1 after nine innings when a downpour forced the game to be stopped. It was the first time that an All-Star Game ended in a tie - an event that wouldn't be repeated until 2002.

For the second straight year, Giants center fielder Mays was the top offensive weapon in the two All-Star Games. After going 6-for-8 in 1960's two games, Mays was 3-for-8 with two runs scored and an RBI. The Cardinals' first baseman Bill White was 2-for-7 with two RBIs in the two games. Pirates' right fielder Clemente was 2-for-6 with a run scored and two RBIs.

Meanwhile, the American League had a total of eight hits in the two games.

While Bob Friend of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Bob Purkey of the Cincinnati Reds were holding the American League hitless over five innings of the first game, the National League was building a 2-0 lead on a pair of sacrifice flies.

Clemente tripled off American League starter Whitey Ford with one out in the third and scored easily on a White's fly to deep right-center. Mays reached second on an error by Yankees shortstop leading off the fourth against the Tigers Frank Lary. Mays advanced to third on a ground out and scored on Clemente's fly to right.

The American League halved the deficit on a sixth-inning solo homer by Harmon Killebrew. But pinch-hitter George Altman of the Cubs answered the blast by Minnesota third baseman with a home run off Mike Fornieles of the Red Sox leading off the National League eighth.

National League errors were keys as the American League tied the game with two runs in the ninth and took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 10th.

Detroit first baseman Norm Cash doubled with one out in the ninth. Teammate Al Kaline followed with a single to center to score pinch-runner Nellie Fox. Kaline advanced to third on a single by Yankees right fielder Roger Maris and a balk by Stu Miller of the Giants and scored the tying run when Cardinals third baseman Ken Boyer misplayed Kaline's grounder for an error.

With two out in the 10th, Fox drew a two-out walk from Miller and scored the go-ahead all the way from first on Boyer's three-base throwing error on a grounder by Kaline.

Pinch-hitter Aaron opened the bottom of the 10th with a single to center off Baltimore reliever Hoyt Wilhelm. Aaron advanced to second on a passed ball and scored Mays' double. Mays scored the winning run on Clemente's walk-off single to right before Hoyt retired a hitter in the inning.

It was a big day for the host Giants. Mays was 2-for-5 and Miller picked up the win with four strikeouts in 1 2/3 hitless innings, although he allowed an unearned run.

Colavito, who batted .368 and hit 12 homers and 32 RBIs in 35 games with the Triple-A Padres in 1956, homered in the bottom of the first off Purkey to give the American League a 1-0 lead in the second All-Star Game.

The National League tied the game in the top of the sixth when Braves third baseman Eddie Mathews drew a walk from Don Schwall of the Red Sox and advanced to second when Schwall hit Giants first baseman Orlando Cepeda with a pitch. Mathews scored on back-to-back infield singles by Cincinnati shortstop Eddie Kasko and White.

Miller again provided a strong pitching finish for the National League, allowing one hit with five strikeouts over three innings after Art Mahaffey of the Phillies and Sandy Koufax of the Dodgers both worked two scoreless innings.

For the American League, starter Jim Bunning of the Tigers and Camilo Pascual of the Twins bookended Schwall with three hitless innings.