After American League’s Victory, the All-Star Rivalry Is Back To Even For the First Time Since 1964

As if the latest Major League Baseball All-Star game had not been dramatic enough in itself, that contest also managed to accomplish a feat unmatched in 53 years. Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano broke the 1-1 tie, crushing a home run in the tenth inning for the American League.That victory evened the records for the two leagues for the first time since 1964, as each team has won 43 of the contests. Each league has won more games than the total played the last year the teams were dead even, even though for eight innings in that Midsummer Classic it looked very much like the one game discrepancy would increase to two.The National League trailed four to three heading in to the bottom of the ninth, when they faced Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Dick Radatz. Before he could retire three batters, however, the stars from the Senior Circuit plated four runs to earn a walk-off seven to four win.Future Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants led off with a single, and then he promptly swiped second base to get in scoring position. Another slugger who would be enshrined in Cooperstown, San Francisco’s Orlando Cepeda, singled to score Mays with the tying run.After Cepeda moved to second on an error, manager Walter Alston sent in Curt Flood of the St. Louis Cardinals to pinch run. Radatz got Ken Boyer of the Cardinals to pop out and, since first base was unoccupied, issued an intentional walk to Cincinnati Reds catcher Johnny Edwards.That strategy seemed logical, given that the next scheduled hitter was defense- first outfielder Ron Hunt of the home town Mets. It turned ominous when future home run king Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves came up to hit for Hunt with two men on, but Radatz managed to strike him out.With the National League just two strikes away from falling to their rivals, outfielder Johnny Callison of the Philadelphia Phillies sent a pitch over the right field wall in New York’s Shea Stadium. That blast not only gave the Senior Circuit bragging rights for another year, but it also evened the series at 17 victories a piece.The N.L. All-Star squads would win all of the contests for the rest of the sixties, and all but one throughout the next decade. In fact, the Senior Circuit would win eighteen of the next twenty Midsummer Classics, a dominance which would keep their rivals chasing them until finally catching up in last week’s ten inning battle.