Richie Ashburn pinch-hit for Turk Farrell and belted a single to left, on July 30, 1962, at Wrigley Field. That was the first appearance by a New York Met in an All-Star Game. The Yankee debut had a little more fanfare, of course, since it happened during the very first Midsummer Classic, at Comiskey Park, on July 6, 1933. Yankee Hall-of-Fame pitcher Lefty Gomez got Cardinal Pepper Martin to ground out to out to short to start the game. The first at-bat by a Yankee came in the bottom of the first, when left fielder Ben Chapman grounded out to third. Gomez tallied the first Yankee hit and drove in the first run, in the bottom of the second. And Babe Ruth, of course, swatted the first-ever All-Star Game home run in the bottom of the third, while scoring the first Yankee run. The Bombers had four starters in that debut game - Ruth, Gomez, Chapman and Lou Gehrig.
Ashburn scored the first Met run after recording his first hit in '62. In 1964, second baseman Ron Hunt became the first Met to start an All-Star Game (going one for three while batting eighth). That was also the only year the game was held at Shea Stadium. Tom Seaver made his All-Star debut as a rookie in 1967, picking up the first Met save in Anaheim. Jerry Koosman and Dwight Gooden also went to the Midsummer Classic as rookies. And Koosman recorded a save in his debut in '68. 1968 was also the first year the team had multiple players appearing in the game (Seaver, Koosman and Jerry Grote).
The first Mets pitcher to start for the National League was, of course, Seaver. He toed the rubber in 1970, and threw three innings without letting in a run while striking out four, as the NL won, 5-4, in 12 innings when Pete Rose crashed into Ray Fosse with the winning run. Tug McGraw notched the first victory for a Mets pitcher in 1972. That same year and the next, Willie Mays made his last two All-Star appearances, while wearing a Mets uniform. The only MVP award won by a Met player was picked up in 1975 by Jon Matlack (who had to share it with Cub Bill Madlock). Matlack earned the victory by pitching two shutout innings and striking out four batters. Four years later, Lee Mazzilli almost won the award when he hit a pinch-hit home run (in his first All-Star at-bat) to tie the game in the top of the eighth. The next inning he drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in what turned out to be the winning run.
The 1986 game saw a marquee matchup on the mound when Dwight Gooden faced Roger Clemens (though I guess most All-Star games feature a marquee matchup on the mound). Gooden took the loss when he gave up two runs in three innings. That year, not surprisingly, the Mets fielded the most starting players in their history (Gooden, Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry), and also added a reserve player (Sid Fernandez). El Sid picked up the save in '87, and Gooden started and lost again in '88. Al Leiter was the last Mets pitcher to get on the ledger, when he was stuck with the loss in 2000.
Mike Piazza made six All-Star appearances as a Met, which ties him with Seaver and Strawberry for the team record. Strawberry, David Wright (who hit the only other Met All-Star home run, when he homered in his first All-Star at-bat in 2006) and Carlos Beltran share the team record for most career All-Star hits with four.
As for the Yankees, they've hosted the Midsummer Classic four times: 1939, 1960, 1977 and 2008. Most of their "firsts" occurred in the initial contest in 1933 - first hit, first run scored, first home run, first winning pitcher, first time fielding multiple starting players. Lefty Gomez holds the All-Star record for most wins (three) and most games started (five). Spud Chandler, Spec Shea and Vic Raschi are the other Yankee hurlers who have notched victories, while Red Ruffing, Ed Lopat, Allie Reynolds, Whitey Ford (twice in three starts), Mel Stottlemyre, Catfish Hunter, Goose Gossage and Tommy John have all been stuck with a loss. Mariano Rivera has recorded four saves, and has a career 0.00 ERA (of course).
Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle have two career home runs, which is the most for any Yankee. Derek Jeter is the only Yankee to win the MVP, in 2000 (he went three for three, driving in two runs, and he also picked up the MVP in the World Series that year). He has a career .429 average, which is good for seventh on the all-time list. The Yankees have had five rookies appear in an All-Star game - Joe DiMaggio (1936), Spec Shea (1947), Tom Tresh (1962), Willie Randolph (1976) and Hideki Matsui (2003).
Yogi Berra has appeared in the most Midsummer Classic contests for the Yankees, with 15. Other notables: Mantle 13 (fifth all-time with 52 plate appearances), DiMaggio 11, Jeter 11 (counting this year), Rivera eight, Dave Winfield eight, Ford six, Gehrig six, Don Mattingly six, Thurman Munson six, Graig Nettles five, Jorge Posada five, Phil Rizzuto four, Randolph four, Bernie Williams four, Roger Maris three, Reggie Jackson three, Babe Ruth two, Ron Guidry two, Andy Pettitte two (including this week's).
In All-Star play, the Mets have had one MVP, fielded the starting pitcher three times and hit only two home runs. That sounds about right for the lovable, yet not-so-successful franchise. While the powerhouse Yankees have hit 11 home runs, had the starting pitcher in the game 18 times, but have also only had one MVP winner.
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