Pittsburgh Pirates: Five All-Star Game Fun Facts


The 86th All-Star Game is coming up on Tuesday, July 14 at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The first All-Star Game was played July 6, 1933 at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Home of the White Sox.

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For the Pittsburgh Pirates, Andrew McCutchen will be making his fifth appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic. The center fielder was selected to replace the injured Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins in the National League starting lineup.

The Pirates are also sending relief pitcher Mark Melancon, who went in 2013, and first-timers A.J. Burnett and Gerrit Cole. They are the first tandem Pittsburgh starters on an All-Star staff since Bob Friend and Vernon Law in 1960.

Burnett was chosen by N.L. manager Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants while the other three were on the players’ ballot. It marks the fifth straight year that the Pirates have had multiple All-Stars.

Here are five fun facts connecting the Bucs to the Mid-Summer Classic…

5) There have been two Pittsburgh managers in charge of the N.L. dugout at the All-Star Game. From 1959 to 1962, Major League Baseball decided to double the pleasure and fun

for fans by having two All-Star Games a season. Danny Murtaugh holds the distinction of making out the lineup card twice for the N.L. in 1961. He led the Senior Circuit to a 5-4 victory on July 11 before 44,115 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The second match-up on July 31 ended in a 1-1 tie before 31,851 at Fenway Park in Boston because of rain after nine innings.

In Murtaugh’s second go-around, he led the N.L. to a 4-3 victory on July 25, 1972 before 53,107 at Atlanta-Fulton Stadium in Georgia.

The other skipper was New Castle’s Chuck Tanner, who led the N.L. to a 4-2 victory over the A.L. on July 8, 1980 before 56,088 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

4) It has been held in the Steel City five times. The first two were at Forbes Field. The N.L. won 7-1 on July 11, 1944 with 29,589 of the Pirates faithful in the stands. The next time was July 7, 1959 and the N.L. came out ahead 5-4.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Mid-Summer Classic did not return to the City of Bridges until July 23, 1974. There were 50,706 on hand to witness the National League demolish the American League 7-2. It returned on July 12, 1994 as the N.L. edged the A.L. 8-7 before 59,568 in attendance.

The fifth occasion was July 11, 2006 at PNC Park. The American League scored two runs with two out in the bottom of the ninth to claim a 3-2 win over the National League before 38,094.

3) Hall of Fame outfielder Ralph Kiner owns the record for hitting a home run in consecutive All-Star Games with three from 1949 to 1951. Kiner made five All-Star appearances in a Pirates uniform, which ties him with Andrew McCutchen.

2) Hall of Famer Arky Vaughn joins four others in holding the record for belting two home runs in a single All-Star Game. The Pirates shortstop accomplished the feat on behalf of the Senior Circuit on July 8, 1941 at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. He was followed into the record books by fellow Hall of Famers Ted Williams in 1946, Al Rosen in 1954, Willie McCovey in 1969, and Gary Carter in 1981.

1) In the second All-Star Game ever played on July 10, 1934, Hall of Famer Harold “Pie” Traynor established the mark of coming in and stealing home. It was the front end of a double steal with Mel Ott in the fifth inning. The Pirates third baseman was selected twice to the ASG at the end of his illustrious career in 1934 and 1935.

The National League lost this meeting 9-7 before 48,363 at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Despite Trynor’s base-running exploits, the game is remembered mainly for N.L.starting pitcher Carl Hubbell fanning Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin in succession.

The 2015 All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, starting at 7 p.m. ET with the first pitch slated for 8:15 p.m. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the event.

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