MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The last time the All-Star Game was held in Minnesota in 1985, it featured just one Twins player.
But it also had three St. Paul natives, giving the game a real hometown feel.
“I remember hearing a louder cheer than most, because it was the hometown thing,” said Tom “Bruno” Brunansky. “But still, I was quite in awe, because as a first-time All-Star, you see these guys that you’ve grown up watching and playing with, and, wow. I’m actually here and on the same field and being recognized as one of the best, it was pretty inspiring.”
As a reserve outfielder, Brunansky was the only Twins representative in the 1985 All-Star Game, but he wasn’t the only Minnesotan. Jack Morris, Paul Molitor and Dave Winfield all represented St. Paul.
“Two of my teammates were guys that I’d played against my whole life,” Morris said.
Winfield was the American League’s starting right fielder. Morris was the starting pitcher.
“To come home, and have the opportunity to start the All-Star Game at home, was super special,” Morris said.
Molitor was a reserve shortstop, but that’s not where he played.
“They stuck me out in centerfield,” he said, “a position I hadn’t played in about four years.”
But that was just fine with him.
“[The game] was special,” Morris said. “To walk on the Metrodome field, and know that this is where you grew up.”
The atmosphere under the teflon roof was electric. But for the four guys with Minnesota ties, the game was a bit of a dud. The National League rolled to a 6-1 victory. Morris gave up the first two runs and took the loss.
“Aw man, yeah, they got a little lucky,” Morris said then. “What can I tell you?”
Winfield had a hit, but the most exciting moment was a brushback pitch from Nolan Ryan.
Molitor’s first career All-Star at-bat was a strikeout.
“You look at the National League roster of pitchers, and you go, this is not going to be a picnic no matter who it is,” Molitor said. “And then right in the midst of Fernando-mania, that’s the guy you end up getting to see.”
Brunansky grounded out.
“Hit a ground ball to shortstop, and didn’t feel my feet running down to first base,” he said. “At my first at-bat in the big leagues, I felt the same way.”