The tragic passing of the great Gary Carter brought up a lot of memories of "The Kid," on the Big Hair & Plastic Grass Facebook page and elsewhere. One of my favorites, which I forgot to mention in yesterday's post, was from the 1979 All-Star Game.
The 50th edition of the Midsummer Classic was a quintessentially 70s affair, played indoors and on artificial turf at the Seattle Kingdome, and featuring special "guest appearances" by the San Diego Chicken, Morganna the Kissing Bandit, and "Rockin' Rollen" Stewart, aka that freaky bearded dude with the rainbow afro wig. And, of course, there was a fantastic array of brilliantly-colored polyester uniforms on display.
It was also — with the possible exception of the 1970 game that the NL won in extra innings when Pete Rose bulldozed Ray Fosse at the plate — the most exciting All-Star Game of the decade, a hard-fought 7-6 contest that the NL finally won in the top of the ninth on a bases-loaded walk from Ron Guidry. Dave "The Cobra" Parker was named the game's MVP for his thrilling defensive contributions — namely, nailing Jim Rice at third in the 7th inning with a laser-like throw, and then cutting down Brian Downing at the plate in the 8th with a perfect strike to Gary Carter. Parker's pegs are rightly celebrated to this day, but people tend to forget what a great play Carter made on the other end of that 8th-inning lightning bolt; he positioned himself perfectly to make the play, then hung on to make the tag. If Buster Posey had followed The Kid's example, he wouldn't have spent most of last season on crutches. Check it out: