For the first and only time (still) both All Star starting pitchers were African-American. Vida Blue was having an insane year in 1971. He clinched the Cy Young and MVP for the AL. He led the league in ERA and shutouts and came in second in wins and strikeouts. In the all Star game he gave up 3 earned runs in 3 innings on 2 homers. Johnny bench hit a 2-run homer in the 2nd and Hank Aaron soloed in the 3rd.
Doc Ellis fared about the same in the All Star game. After going nearly unscathed in the first 2 innings, he gave up 4 runs on 2 homers in the 3rd and was saddled with a loss in his only All Star appearance.
In his 6th consecutive All Star start, Bill Freehan handled the catching duties for 7 innings before turning them over to Thurman Munson. Always the workhorse, Freehan led the league with 144 games behind the plate for the Tigers in 1971.
1971 was an in-between year for Johnny Bench. He was the NL MVP in 1970 and 1972. For 1971 he would have to be content with his 3rd straight All Star start and his 4th straight Gold Glove. In the game he went 2 for 4 with a single and a 2 run homer.