Wednesday, July 13, 2016

1986 All Star Game Honorary Captains: Rusty Staub & Charlie Gehringer

Before we even start, I admit that I cheated. I like the 1986 Topps set but absolutely hate the All Star cards in that set. So for my Honorary Captains series I took some of the elements of the 1986 All Star cards and used them to make a more consistent looking subset of the 1986 Topps set.

Less than a year after hanging up his cleats, Rusty Staub was named Honorary Captain of the NL. The All Star game was held at the Astrodome in Houston where Staub got his start. He was signed by the expansion Colt .45s in 1961 and played in Houston until he was traded to another expansion team, the Expos, in 1969. Rusty is the only MLB player to have over 500 hits with four different teams; Colt .45s/Astros, Expos, Mets and Tigers.  The Expos retired his number 10 in 1993. Montreal's retired numbers did not travel with the franchise to Washington. The Montreal Canadiens righted this wrong by hanging his number along with the numbers of Gary Carter, Andre Dawson and Tim Raines in the rafters of the Bell Centre. 
 Charlie Gehringer was the honorary captain of the American League. Gehringer was the starting second baseman in the the very first All Star game in 1933 (30 years before Staub's MLB debut). In fact he was the starting second baseman in the first six All Star games. He was the 1937 AL MVP but his best year was in 1929.  A year in which there was no AL MVP (or equivalent) award and was before the inception of the All Star game.He led the league in hits, doubles, triples, runs and stolen bases. He played all of his 19 seasons with Detroit. His number 2 along with Hank Greenberg's number 5 were the first to be retired by the Tigers in 1983. 
After winning just one All Star Game out of the twenty played from 1963-1982, The American League won their second in the last four games 1983-86. The tides were turning.

Just as it was in the 1985 game, the starting pitcher won the MVP. In 1985 it was LaMarr Hoyt, in 1986 it was Roger Clemens who got the start, the win and the MVP.  He pitch not just three scoreless innings but three perfect innings. The NL's starting pitcher Dwight Gooden got the loss and Orioles close Don Aase got the save. Lou Whitaker hit a two run homer in the second inning to put the AL ahead 2-0. Frank White added a needed insurance run  with a solo shot in the 7th. The NL rallied scoring two runs off of Charlie Hough in the 8th but fell short losing 3-2.


  1. Wow, I had never seen that pic of Rusty. I love when that happens :)

  2. Carter and Dawson have been recognized by the Nationals, as well.