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National League Scores Dramatic Victory in All-Star Game

July 7, 1964 - The ninth-inning heroics of Willie Mays, an all-star among all-stars, and Johnny Callison, one of the rising young stars of the rising Philadelphia Phillies, brought the National League a dramatic 7-4 victory today over the Americans in the 35th All-Star Game before 50,850 spectators at Shea Stadium. The attendance was the biggest for an All-Star Game since 1959, when 55,105 saw the Americans win, 5-3, in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Mays, who led off the last half of the ninth with his team trailing, 4-3, scored the tying run almost single-handedly — or, more accurately, single-footedly.

Mays drew a walk, stole second, moved to third when Orlando Cepeda’s looping fly fell out of reach in short right center, and raced home when the precautionary throw to the plate took a bad bounce over the catcher’s head.

A little later, with two out and two men on base, Callison ended the contest with a home run off Dick Radatz. The huge relief specialist of the Boston Red Sox had the hero’s role in his grasp until the ninth started.

The comeback, which evened the All-Star Game series at 17 victories for each league with one tie, constituted the most exciting last-ditch rally in these games since the 1941 contest. In that one, Ted Williams hit a three-run homer with two out in the ninth to give the American League a 7-5 triumph at Detroit.

Callison had entered the game as unobtrusively as he had made the squad. He did not finish first or second in the players’ balloting for right fielders. Roberto Clemente and Hank Aaron were chosen No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. Callison was one of three “extra” men named by manager Walter Alston to round out the 25-man squad.

In the fifth, with one out and none on, Callison went into the game as a pinch-hitter for pitcher Jim Bunning, his Phillie teammate, against Camilo Pascual and popped up. He stayed in to play right field and batted against Radatz with two out in the seventh. He swung at the first pitch and flied deep to Mickey Mantle in center, almost 400 feet from the plate.

He was the only batter to face Radatz twice, and each time he swung on the first pitch.

Mays, the Giants’ star, went hitless. But his All-Star Game average is .392 for 15 games. His sixth stolen base and his 16th run scored constituted records, and his seven putouts in center tied a record.

It was Mays, with his stolen base and the ever-present threat of his speed and alertness, who helped the Nationals gain their victory. That’s why the All-Stars look upon Willie, now 33 years old, as the star of stars.

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