S-O-M Game of the Day: Topps All-Star Rookie Game 1975 at 1959

willie mccovey 1960Strat-o-Matic is a baseball simulation that began as a cards and dice game in the early 1960s before entering the computer age.

These featured games on Shoestring Catches are part of season replays or tournaments played with cards and dice with a few exhibitions thrown in for fun.

Today’s game matches two teams of Topps All-Star Rookies. Having just completed a series reviewing the 1975 squad, that team squared off with the first Topps team from 1959.

Here were the rules. Coin flip decided the home team, which was the group from 1959. A coin flip also determined the pitchers for the contest. The designated hitter would not be used. Since each team had only nine position players, there would be no substitutions or injuries.

Tom Underwood of the Philadelphia Phillies represented 1975 instead of National League Rookie of the Year John Montefusco of the San Francisco Giants. For 1959, Cleveland Indians hurler Jim Perry would get the nod over Jim O’Toole of the Cincinnati Reds.


BOSTON — San Francisco’s Willie McCovey was named the Most Valuable Player as the 1959 Topps All-Star Rookie Team won 7-4 over a squad of their counterparts from 1975 in historic Fenway Park.

With his team already in front 4-2, McCovey blasted a two-run homer off Tom Underwood of the Philadelphia Phillies to put the game out of reach. It was the second hit of the contest for McCovey, who doubled in the fourth frame.

The 1975 team began the contest with an early lead as Boston’s Jim Rice and Montreal’s Gary Carter had run-scoring singles in the first inning off Cleveland’s Jim Perry.

A four-run third inning put the 1959 team on top. Bob Allison of the Washington Senators, John Romano of the Chicago White Sox had RBI singles to tie the game.

Underwood then walked Cleveland’s Jim Baxes with the bases loaded and Boston’s Pumpsie Green added a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.

After McCovey’s long ball in the fourth, Baltimore’s Willie Tasby made it 7-2 with a run-scoring single in the fifth.

San Diego’s Mike Ivie started a rally in the bottom of the ninth for the 1975 team with a two-out two-run homer to close the gap to 7-4.

Underwood followed with a single and California’s Jerry Remy walked to bring the tying run to the plate. Perry proceeded to strikeout Minnesota’s Dan Ford to end the affair.

Perry was the winning pitcher as he gave up four runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts. Underwood lost the contest as he allowed seven runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts.

IN REAL LIFE: Willie McCovey was the National League Rookie of the Year in 1959. A six-time all-star and NL MVP in 1969, McCovey finished his career with 521 homers and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986.

Jim Perry would win 215 games in his career. He was 12-10 in 1959 and later would win the American League Cy Young Award in 1970 for the Minnesota Twins with a 24-12.


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