For the fifth spot in our Tigers All-Star Moments series, we're just going to divide the moment in two by featuring the year 1962.
That season was the last of four that featured not one, but two Midsummer classics just weeks apart. There were interesting moments for the Tigers in both of them.
The reason for having two games as a simple: money. All-Star games were always popular endeavors. If one was good, two was better. The second game was necessary as well. It helped funnel a bit more money toward the players' pension fund, which reports say was being underfunded at the time.
Richard Sandomir wrote about some of the practical matters of the concept for the New York Times:
There wasn't much consistency with the scheduling of the games. In 1959, Game 1 was played in Pittsburgh on July 7 and Game 2 in Los Angeles on Aug. 3. The next year, the games were two days apart, but in 1961 and 1962, they were separated by 20 days.
In 1959, they were played in two National League stadiums; in 1960, they were staged at two American League ballparks (Municipal Stadium in Kansas City and Yankee Stadium); but in the next two years, they were split between each league.
The coaching staffs and players invited to the game were basically the same. There were just two games. But that gave the Tigers twice as many chances to make a memorable moment. So as I said, 1962 seemed like a pretty nice season to feature. Of course, it was also the last time there were two ASG in the same year. The second exhibition between the leagues resulted in diluting the concept and losing fans, so it was ended.
But from the Tigers' point of view, not without a bang. On July 10, Tigers pitcher Jim Bunning started his second consecutive All-Star Game. He pitched a scoreless three innings and allowed just one hit, but the AL fell 3-1. On July 30, outfielder Rocky Colavito hit a 3-run home run and had RBI for the game in a 9-4 victory. By the way, Al Kaline made an appearance as a pinch runner and scored, and Hank Aguirre went 2-for-2. Future Tigers manager Ralph Houk represented the AL in both contests. Interestingly, the home team lost both times.
Colavito appeared in all-star games during six of his seasons. He stayed in Detroit through the 1963 season before bouncing around a bit to end his career. Like Colavito, Bunning remained in Detroit through 1963. Of course, man know him because he went on to a career in politics. Al Kaline remains our hero. Houk managed the Tigers 1974-78.