Carter hits 2 HRs in strike-delayed '81 ASG

Schmidt's two-run HR the game-winner for NL

Carter hits 2 HRs in strike-delayed '81 ASG

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

Gary Carter became the fifth player to hit two runs in an All-Star Game on Aug. 9, 1981, to lead the National League to a 5-4 win in an All-Star Game that at one point looked like it might not be played.

A players' strike from June 12-July 31 forced cancellation of the All-Star Game scheduled to be played on July 14. When a settlement was reached, it was decided to resume the season on Aug. 11, with the Midsummer Classic to be played Aug. 10. The second All-Star Game played in August drew an All-Star Game record crowd of 72,086 fans to Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Because of the situation, the game also saw a record 56 players used, including 15 pitchers.

Although Carter hit two home runs to earn the game's Most Valuable Player Award, it was a two-run homer by Philadelphia third baseman Mike Schmidt that produced the decisive runs in the NL's 10th straight win and 18th in 19 years.

All five NL runs were scored on home runs.

The American League took an early lead when Baltimore Orioles left fielder Ken Singleton led off the bottom of the second with a home run off the Reds' Tom Seaver, who was the second of eight pitchers deployed by the NL.

Montreal catcher Carter tied the game in the top of the fifth with a solo homer off Ken Forsch of the California Angels and Pittsburgh right fielder Dave Parker homered off Mike Norris of Oakland in the sixth to give the NL a 2-1 lead.

But the AL scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth off Dodgers right-hander Burt Hooton to take a 4-2 lead.

The AL loaded the bases before Hooton retired a hitter on consecutive singles by Singleton, Boston right fielder Dwight Evans and Chicago White Sox catcher Carlton Fisk. A fourth straight single off Hooton by pinch-hitter Fred Lynn of the California Angels tied the game and kept the bases loaded.

Texas Rangers third baseman Buddy Bell drove in Evans with a sacrifice fly, and pinch-hitter Ted Simmons of the Milwaukee Brewers made it 4-2 with a two-out RBI single off Hooton.

Carter brought the NL within a run with his second homer of the game leading off the top of the seventh off Ron Davis of the Yankees.

Carter joined Arky Vaughan (1941), Ted Williams (1946), Al Rosen (1954) and Willie McCovey (1969) as the players to have two home runs in an All-Star Game.

The decisive eighth inning got off to a bad start for the NL.

Padres shortstop Ozzie Smith drew a lead-off walk from Brewers reliever Rollie Fingers and took off for second with Pirates right fielder Mike Easler at the plate. Smith stole second and tried to advance to third when the throw from Indians catcher Bo Diaz sailed into center. But Yankees center fielder Dave Winfield threw a strike to third, and Smith was tagged out in a rundown.

The AL breathed a sigh of relief, but it was short-lived.

Easler also drew a walk from Fingers and Schmidt followed with a two-run homer to center to put the NL on top, 5-4. Pitchers Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros and Bruce Sutter of the St. Louis Cardinals each worked a perfect inning to preserve the win.

AL starter Jack Morris of Detroit opened the game with two scoreless innings and two perfect innings, and the Indians' Len Barker kept the NL off the board until Carter's first home run.

Bob Knepper of the Astros was the lone NL pitcher to complete two scoreless innings. The Giants' Vida Blue picked up the win by pitching a perfect seventh in front of Ryan and Sutter.

Smith and catcher Terry Kennedy were the Padres' two representatives in the game.