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MLB All-Star Game memories

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Ken Harrelson (Red Sox), 1968

Photograph By Focus on Sport/Getty Images

In the Year of the Pitcher, Ken Harrelson was the best hitter in the game -- and the reward was to play alongside baseball legends in the 1968 Midsummer Classic.

Harrelson flied out to left as a pinch-hitter against Don Drysdale, but his bat would still come in handy.

"When Tom Seaver came in, he was throwing hard," Harrelson said. "Tony Oliva asked if he could borrow my bat. I used the heaviest bat in the league. Seaver threw him a pitch that was probably 100 mph and he hit a rocket for a double. I couldn't believe he got a hit with that bat."

The AL would lose 1-0, but the significance of the day was not lost on Harrelson.

"It was a sense of accomplishment for me, but I think I was happiest for my mom," he said. "She was a single parent and I was a mama's boy, still am. She brought me up with good advice. I used to think she was wrong, but I realized much later that she was right about everything.

"I wanted to play basketball, but her favorite player was Rocky Colavito, and she wanted me to play baseball. She always told me not to think about myself as much as to think about winning."

Harrelson is in his 29th season as a White Sox broadcaster.

--Mark Simon