Today in Tribe History: August 9, 1981
Bob Toth | On 09, Aug 2019
Baseball is back after a strike midseason as the All-Star Game takes place in front of a Midsummer Classic record crowd of 72,086 fans at Cleveland Stadium.
The Indians were represented on the team by starting pitcher Len Barker, who made the team after a 5-3 record and a 2.08 ERA in ten starts, including one perfect game, prior to the work stoppage on June 11. Joining him on the team was catcher Bo Diaz and manager Dave Garcia as a member of American League manager Jim Frey’s coaching staff.
Barker replaced future Indians pitcher Jack Morris on the mound in the third inning and worked two perfect innings. He retired Pete Rose and Dave Concepcion on grounders to second and struck out Dave Parker in the third before inducing three ground outs in the fourth inning against Mike Schmidt, George Foster, and Andre Dawson.
The AL scored in the second to take the early 1-0 lead, but the National League tied it with a home run in the fifth and took a temporary lead in the sixth with another solo home run. A three-run sixth gave the lead back to the AL, but Gary Carter’s second homer of the game cut the deficit back to one in the top of the seventh, the same inning that Indians catcher Diaz replaced Carlton Fisk behind the plate. A two-run homer in the eighth by Schmidt off of Rollie Fingers proved to be the difference.
Within a run in the bottom of the ninth, AL manager Frey had to use pitcher Dave Stieb at the plate with one out for his first Major League at bat after he had exhausted all of his position players after an injury to outfielder Fred Lynn earlier in the game.
Attendance at Cleveland Stadium broke the previous All-Star game high, incidentally set at the same stadium back in 1935. Montreal’s Carter was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.