It was the first time that baseball’s elite had assembled outside of the U.S. for the mid-summer classic. Five Montreal Expos populated the National League roster, including three – Gary Carter, Andre Dawson and Tim Raines – voted to the squad by the fans. When you add in that Expos ace, Steve Rogers, was the named the starting pitcher, the National League had four Expos in their starting lineup.
On July 13, 1982, 59,057 fans packed into Olympic Stadium for the all-star game. The contest featured 18 future Hall of Famers, including Carter, Dawson, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Phil Niekro and Ozzie Smith on the National League squad.
Carlton Fisk, Rod Carew, George Brett, Robin Yount, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield and Carl Yastrzemski were the 12 Cooperstowners on the American League squad. Right-hander Jim Clancy, who hurled a scoreless fourth inning, was the sole Blue Jays representative.
Rogers was pitted against Eckersley to start the game. After conceding a run in the first frame, Rogers shut out the potent American Leaguers for the next two innings. Eckersley wasn’t as fortunate. He would surrender a two-run homer to Dave Concepcion in the second inning and another run in the third when Ruppert Jones tripled and future Expo Pete Rose cashed him in with a sacrifice fly. Two Expos would team up for the National League’s fourth-and-final run. In the sixth inning, Al Oliver – the Expos’ fifth all-star – doubled and Carter knocked him in with a base hit.
Rogers would record the win in a 4-1 National League triumph. No Canadians played in the game, but the coaching staffs were certainly familiar with The Great White North. Sparky Anderson, who played in the International League for Montreal and Toronto and began his managerial career with Toronto in 1964, was on the American League staff. While the National League was managed by longtime Montreal Royal Tommy Lasorda. Jim Fanning, an Expos employee for more than two decades and current London, Ont., resident, was also part of Lasorda’s staff.
The 1982 All-Star Game represented the best of times for the Montreal Expos. The event was held in an era when the team was competitive and star-studded, and attendance was solid. Aside from their 1981 post-season run, hosting the mid-summer classic was one of the greatest moments in Expos history.