Milwaukee Brewers: Top 5 All-Star Game Moments

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Tommy Harper’s All-Star Game appearance in Cincinnati in 1970 was brief, but significant. He was the first Milwaukee Brewer to be selected for and play in an All-Star Game.

4. The First

Tommy Harper’s lone All-Star Game appearance was a brief one, but it was still memorable.

Harper, at the time the reigning stolen-base champion in the American League after swiping 73 bags for the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969, was the first Milwaukee Brewer named to an All-Star Game.

The Pilots had moved to Milwaukee shortly before the end of spring training in 1970 and were rechristened the Brewers and Harper was the star of the show that first year in Brew City.

Going into the break, Harper was hitting .311/.379/.540 in 86 games, with 63 runs, 25 doubles, 17 homers, 42 RBI and 28 stolen bases.

The Brewers, managed by Dave Bristol, weren’t having that much success, going into the break 32-57 and in fifth place in the AL West, just a game ahead of the Chicago White Sox and already 25.5 games behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins.

In the All-Star Game at Cincinnati’s spanking new Riverfront Stadium, Harper was summoned by AL manager Earl Weaver of the Baltimore Orioles to run for Minnesota Twins third baseman Harmon Killebrew after the future Hall of Famer led off the top of the fifth with a single.

After Frank Howard and Davey Johnson popped out, Harper took off for second against Cincinnati lefty Jim Merritt. Johnny Bench, also of the hometown Reds, was having none of that, firing a laser to second baseman Glenn Beckert of the Chicago Cubs for the third out of the inning.

Harper was replaced defensively by Brooks Robinson of the Orioles for the bottom of the fifth and his All-Star night was over.

But he’ll always be the Brewers’ first All-Star and he went on to have a fine season, finishing with a .296/.377/.522 slash line and 104 runs, 35 doubles, 31 homers, 82 RBI and 38 steals. Harper finished sixth in the AL Most Valuable Player voting despite playing for a team that finished 65-97, tied with their fellow 1969 expansion entry, the Kansas City Royals for fourth in the AL West a distant 33 games behind the Twins.

Harper played one more year in Milwaukee before he was traded to the Boston Red Sox, with whom he would lead the AL in stolen bases again in 1973.

In a 15-year career that also included stops with the Reds, Cleveland Indians, California Angels, Oakland Athletics and the Orioles, Harper was a career .257/.338/.379 hitter who finished with 408 career steals and 146 career home runs. His 54 homers and 136 steals as a Brewer were more than he had for any other club.