Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'65 National League All-Star Team Was Tops

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'65 National League All-Star Team Was Tops

Article excerpt

Tonight, the Minnesota Twins are hosting the All-Star Game for the third time. The first time they did, in 1965, the National League squad represented quite possibly the most talented team in baseball history.

That '65 NL team had Cubs outfielder Billy Williams, en route to 3,000 career hits; Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, a Gold Glover with a big bat; Reds outfielder Frank Robinson, soon to become the only man to win the MVP award in both leagues; and Roberto Clemente, the Pittsburgh rightfielder whose intensity still resonates.

All made the Hall of Fame. And for the NL at the 1965 All-Star Game, all were reserves.

The NL starting lineup that day in Minnesota: Leadoff was Willie Mays, unsurpassed for all-around virtuosity. Second was Hank Aaron, who is first all-time in RBIs. Third was Willie Stargell, the fearsome left-handed Pittsburgh slugger. Philadelphia third baseman Dick Allen hit cleanup, followed by Milwaukee Braves catcher Joe Torre and Cubs first baseman Ernie Banks. In the Nos. 7-8 spots were Reds second baseman Pete Rose and Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills, who that season won his sixth straight NL stolen-base title.

Of those eight starting position players, all won the NL MVP at least once except Allen, who in his first year away from the NL won the AL MVP.

Batting ninth and pitching (the DH was several years away) was Giants right-hander Juan Marichal, exotic with his sky-scraping leg kick and his bottomless array of pitches. Marichal got the nod over Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson.

In the first inning, Mays led off with a homer and Torre hit a two-run homer. Marichal singled in the second and scored on a two- run homer by Stargell. Marichal handed a 5-0 lead for the fourth to Reds fireballer Jim Maloney, who twice that season held a team hitless for 10 innings. …

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