Monday, July 14, 2014

All Star Game in Minnesota brings back bittersweet memories for Ed Kranepool

Ed Kranepool
The clamor over the 2014 All-Star game at Target Field in Minnesota roused up memories of New York Mets Hall of Famer Ed Kranepool’s selection to the 1965 All-Star Game at Metropolitan Stadium. Only 20 years old, Kranepool was the youngest member of a National League squad that featured Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente and Sandy Koufax.

“That was a tremendous feat for myself, I was only 20 when I made the All-Star team,” Kranepool recalled.

As excited that Kranepool was to be representing the Mets in Minnesota, he would have enjoyed it more if Philadelphia Phillies manager Gene Mauch would have called Kranepool’s number off of the bench.

“I didn’t play in the game. I was disappointed," he said. "It’s kind of frustrating because I never made it again. You want to play. … What’s the sense of sending a guy to the All-Star Game, if he’s not going to play? Not that you want the three days off, you’d rather be in the All-Star Game, but if you’re going there, I want to say I played in the game. Let the country see you play the game.”

Kranepool's ill-feelings towards Mauch lingered well past the All-Star Game.

"I held a grudge against Gene Mauch my whole career," he said. "Every time I played him, I wanted to beat him, because I didn't play and I wanted to play."

While he acknowledges that the managers of the All-Star teams have been more aware about getting everyone involved in the mid-summer classic; however, he still thinks the game can stand a few minor adjustments.

“They do a better job of managing the players today in the game," he said, "they get everybody in, but I think they should have free substitution with a couple of players. They ought to mark before the game, two-to-three guys who play a lot of positions and keep them around. If you put them in the game, you’re allowed to remove them, [to] get everybody in the game. … They should change certain rules. Baseball in certain ways is trying to make changes and other ways, they’re antiquated in their positioning.”

Kranepool explains in the video below how Casey Stengel notified him of being selected to the 1965 All-Star team, and his thoughts on the All-Star voting process.


The entire 1965 All-Star Game.
 

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