Thursday, July 16, 2020

1985 All-Star Game - Virgil Robbed of MVP Honors

1986 Donruss All-Stars #26
1986 Donruss All-Stars #29
National League 6American League 1
All-Star Game - Tuesday Night, July 16th in Minneapolis

One Sentence Summary:  The National League outhit the American League to win the 1985 All-Star Game, 6-1.

What It Means:  The senior circuit was at the tail-end of its dominance in 1985.  Beginning in 1986, the American League would win (or tie) 20 of the next 25 All-Star Games.  (I originally wrote about this All-Star game in a post from 2010.)

What Happened:  In his first All-Star Game appearance, catcher Ozzie Virgil was one of the stars of the game.  In the top of the fifth, Virgil singled off Bert Blyleven to score Darryl Strawberry and Tim Wallach, giving the National League a 4-1 lead.  The N.L. would go on to win, 6-1.  Virgil entered the game in the bottom of the fourth, replacing starting catcher Terry Kennedy, and he caught Nolan Ryan for three scoreless innings.  Virgil would make the squad again in 1987, this time as a member of the Braves.

Outfielder Glenn Wilson was also named to the National League team, replacing an injured Pedro Guerrero on the roster.  Wilson pinch-hit for Jeff Reardon in the top of the ninth, striking out against Willie Hernandez.  Ironically enough, Hernandez, the 1984 A.L. Cy Young and MVP, had been shipped to the Tigers by the Phillies in the deal that brought Wilson and John Wockenfuss to Philadelphia in March 1984.

From a non-Phillies perspective, LaMarr Hoyt got the win with Jack Morris on the losing side.  Hoyt's performance (3 innings, two hits, 1 unearned run) earned him the game's MVP honors, and looking back the award could have just as easily gone to Virgil or Ryan.  Every starter for the American League, with the exception of second baseman Lou Whitaker, was ultimately elected into the Hall of Fame.  Only Tony Gwynn and Ozzie Smith from the N.L. starting line-up have been elected into the Hall as of this writing.

Harmon Killebrew and Sandy Koufax were named honorary captains of each team, as both had competed at the prior All-Star Game held in Minnesota back in 1965.

Featured Cards:  Virgil and Wilson were included within the 1986 Donruss All-Stars set released almost a year after this game.  By the time I added these cards to my collection, Virgil had been traded to the Braves (in December 1985) with Pete Smith for Steve Bedrosian and Milt Thompson.

1985 Virtual Phillies Wall / 1985 Season Summary Index

Memory Lane
1985 All-Star Game - N.L. 6, A.L. 1 in Minneapolis
From 1996 - Attending the All-Star Game at The Vet
From 2009 - All-Star Game memories
2010 All-Star Game - N.L. 3, A.L. 1 in Anaheim
2011 All-Star Game - N.L. 5, A.L. 1 in Phoenix
2012 All-Star Game - N.L. 8, A.L. 0 in Kansas City
2013 All-Star Game - A.L. 3, N.L. 0 in Flushing
2014 All-Star Game - A.L. 5, N.L. 3 in Minneapolis
2015 All-Star Game - A.L. 6, N.L. 3 in Cincinnati
2016 All-Star Game - A.L. 4, N.L. 2 in San Diego
2017 All-Star Game - A.L. 2, N.L. 1 in Miami
2018 All-Star Game - A.L. 8, N.L. 6 (10) in Washington
2019 All-Star Game - A.L. 4, N.L. 3 in Cleveland
2020 All-Star Game - Cancelled, COVID-19 Pandemic

1 comment:

Jason T. Carter said...

My sister worked with a woman that was dating Virgil in the late 1980s, after he went to Atlanta. She gave me a few autographed cards, and I rooted for him in 1987 because of it. I don't really remember the 1986 game at all though.

JT, The Writer's Journey