July 12, 2011
Beginning in 1962, Major League Baseball has chosen the Most Valuable Player in the All-Star Game. Throughout the years, it’s been called a number of things (Arch Ward Memorial Award, Commissioner’s Trophy, and now the Ted Williams MVP Award), but only one Phillie has ever called the award his own.
Three Phillies were selected to represent the National League in the 1964 All-Star Game at Shea Stadium: Jim Bunning (P), Chris Short (P), and Johnny Callison (OF). The Phils players had mixed results. Bunning shined, spreading two hits over 2 shut-out innings while striking out four (Bob Allison, Bobby Richardson, Elston Howard, and our good-old-friend Jim Fregosi). In the top of the 6th, Chris Short was brought in with the NL leading 3-1. After striking out Tony Oliva, Short gave up consecutive singles to Mickey Mantle and Harmon Killebrew. He coaxed a fly-out from Bob Allison, but then gave up a 2-run triple to Brooks Robinson before earning the final out of the inning and being replaced.
The AL would take a 4-3 lead in the top of the 7th on a Jim Fregosi sacrifice fly. The National League All-Stars went down in order in the bottom of the 7th and the bottom of the 8th. Entering the bottom of the 9th inning, they were still down one run to the American Leaguers.
Facing Red Sox pitcher Dick Radatz, Willie Mays led off the inning with a walk. He then stole second base and scored the tying run on an Orlando Cepeda RBI single. Radatz got Ken Boyer to pop-out, then intentionally walked Johnny Edwards to bring up 2nd baseman Ron Hunt. NL manager Walter Alston brought in Hank Aaron to pinch-hit for Hunt, but Radatz struck him out. Up stepped Johnny Callison; and with 2 outs and 2 men on base in the bottom of the ninth inning, Callison smoked a Radatz offering deep into the right field seats for a game-winning, walk-off home run.
The go-home-run was good enough for Callison to earn the MVP award (then the Arch Ward Memorial). He is the only Phillie to ever take home the award. Callison’s walk-off HR wasn’t the first in All-Star game history, but it is the last. Callison joined Ted Williams (1941) and Stan Musial (1955) as the only players in baseball history to accomplish the feat.