LA's Wills, Wagner MVPs of 1962 All-Star Games

Wagner, Colavito clubbed homers in AL victory in second contest

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

The 1962 season marked the end of one era in All-Star Game history and the start of another. For the fourth and final season, there were two All-Star Games played in '62.

And for the first time, Most Valuable Players were chosen for each game. The winners were from Los Angeles teams -- shortstop Maury Wills of the Dodgers and outfielder Leon Wagner of the Angels.

The National League won the first All-Star Game of 1962, beating the American League, 3-1, on July 10 at D.C. Stadium in Washington (now known as Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium). John F. Kennedy threw the ceremonial first pitch as the second sitting President to attend an All-Star Game.

The AL won the second game, 9-4, on July 30 at Wrigley Field in Chicago behind homers by Pete Runnels, Wagner and Rocky Colavito. The AL wouldn't win its next All-Star Game until 1971.

Pitching ruled early in the first All-Star Game of 1962, with the game remaining scoreless through five innings.

Starting pitchers Don Drysdale of the Dodgers and Jim Bunning of the Tigers each allowed one hit over the first three innings. Juan Marichal of the Giants followed Drysdale with two scoreless innings for the NL.

But after being blanked by Camilo Pascual for two innings, the NL broke through against the Twins right-hander in the top of the sixth.

After pinch-hitter Stan Musial of the Cardinals singled to open the sixth, he was replaced by pinch-runner Wills, who had returned the weapon of the stolen base to baseball. Wills immediately swiped second and scored the game's first run on a single to center by Pirates shortstop Dick Groat.

Groat moved to second on a single by Pittsburgh teammate Roberto Clemente, advanced to third on Willie Mays' fly to deep center and scored on a one-out groundout to third by Giants first baseman Orlando Cepeda.

The AL halved the deficit in the bottom of the inning. Twins third baseman Rich Rollins and Angels second baseman (and former Padres Minor Leaguer) Billy Moran opened the inning with singles off Cincinnati right-hander Bob Purkey. Rollins scored on a long sac fly to Mays in center by Yankees slugger Roger Maris.

Wills' legs got the NL its final run in the eighth. He opened the inning with a single against Dick Donovan of the Indians, raced to third on a short single to left by Giants third baseman Jim Davenport and scored on a foul fly ball to right by Felipe Alou of the Giants.

Bob Shaw of the Milwaukee Braves pitched two scoreless innings to close out the win.

Although the NL took a 1-0 lead in the second game on Groat's second-inning RBI single off AL starter Dave Stenhouse of the Washington Senators, it was no contest once left-hander Johnny Podres of the Dodgers departed after throwing two scoreless innings.

Boston's Runnels tied the game with a pinch-hit homer leading off the third against the Phillies' Art Mahaffey. Wagner put the AL ahead to stay with a two-run homer off Mahaffey an inning later. Tigers right fielder Colavito (another former Padres Minor Leaguer) hit a three-run blast off Houston's Turk Farrell in the top of the seventh and added a fourth RBI on a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

Wagner had three of the AL's 10 hits.

Pirates teammates Clemente and Groat were a combined 3-for-6 in the two games, and Groat scored a run and had three RBIs.