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The memorable 1961 MLB All-Star Game – National v. American leagues v. wind

Monday, July 11th 2022, 5:40 am - On this day in weather history, wind blew down an MLB pitcher.

This Day In Weather History is a daily podcast by Chris Mei from The Weather Network, featuring stories about people, communities and events and how weather impacted them.


On Tuesday, July 11, 1961, Candlestick Park in San Francisco hosted the first of two Major League Baseball all-star games that were held that season. Boston's Fenway Park would be the venue for the second game later in the month.

In the first game, the National League (NL) beat the American League (AL) 5-4 after scoring two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning, but that was just part of the story of this game.

After eight innings, the NL was leading 3-1. And then the wind got stronger.

Candlestick Park was known for its wind. Fans would go to games on warm and sunny days with blankets and jackets because they knew the wind could cause a chill.

In the ninth inning, with the score 3-2 and the tying run on third, the NL brought in pitcher Stu Miller to preserve the lead. Miller was 5-foot-11 and weighed 165 pounds.

Stu Miller (1) *"New York/San Francisco Giants pitcher Stu Miller in a 1959 issue of Baseball Digest." Courtesy of Wikipedia*

As Miller wound up to pitch, a gust of wind immediately blew him over. This is considered one of the most famous balks in baseball history.

The AL runner on third advanced and tied the score. The remainder of the game was impacted by the blustery conditions. Catcher Smokey Burgess couldn’t even catch a foul pop up due to the wind.

The NL finally won 5-4, but the game will be remembered as the time when wind blew a pitcher over.

To learn more about the very windy MLB All-Star Game, listen to today's episode of "This Day In Weather History."

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Thumbnail: Candlestick Park. Courtesy of Salim Virji/Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.0

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