Wills' 10th-inning single gave NL 2-1 win in 1966

All-Star Game played in triple-digit heat in St. Louis

Wills' 10th-inning single gave NL 2-1 win in 1966

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

A run-scoring single by Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills in the bottom of the 10th gave the National League a walk-off 2-1 win in the 1966 All-Star Game.

But the NL's fourth straight win wasn't the most memorable thing about the 37th All-Star Game on July 12, 1966, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

The players and 49,936 fans at the first All-Star Game at Busch Stadium were broiling in 105-degree heat at game time. Temperatures didn't drop below triple digits during the two-hour, 19-minute game.

Players were using oxygen in the dugouts to combat the conditions.

The American League took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second against NL starter Sandy Koufax of the Dodgers. With one out, Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson dropped a line drive into left and reached third when the ball skipped past Hank Aaron of the Braves. Robinson scored on a wild pitch.

The NL tied the game in the bottom of the fourth against Jim Kaat of the Twins. Giants center fielder Willie Mays and Pirates right fielder Roberto Clemente opened the inning with back-to-back singles.

After Aaron popped out, Giants first baseman Willie McCovey grounded to first. Clemente was forced at second, but Mays reached third as the AL was unable to complete the double play. Third baseman Ron Santo of the Cubs singled home Mays.

Pitching dominated in the sweltering heat until the bottom of the 10th, when Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver opened the inning with a single against Pete Richert of the Washington Senators. McCarver advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mets second baseman Ron Hunt and scored the winning run on Wills' one-out single to right.

Each team was held to six hits and a walk in the game. Robinson was 3-for-4 and was named the game's Most Valuable Player despite being on the losing team. Clemente was 2-for-4 as the only other player with more than one hit.

Detroit's Denny McLain started for the AL and struck out three in three perfect innings. Mel Stottlemyre of the Yankees and Cleveland's Sonny Siebert followed Kaat, who allowed half the NL hits in two innings, with two scoreless innings apiece.

Koufax allowed only Robinson's triple in three innings. Jim Bunning of the Phillies followed with two scoreless innings, and San Francisco's Juan Marichal followed that with three scoreless frames despite allowing three hits. Gaylord Perry of the Giants followed his teammate with two scoreless innings to get the win.