As a punchless American League lost the All-Star Game last week, a man who might have provided some clout watched the game from his Newport Beach, Calif. home. If Reggie Jackson had a bad taste in his mouth, it wasn't because of the popcorn. More likely it would have been caused by his AL coworkers getting only five singles in their 6-1 loss to the Nationals, who have now won 22 of 25 games.
Jackson, who said he was "disappointed but not upset" about not being an All-Star, wasn't the only prominent absentee. Angel teammate Rod Carew, then 15 career hits shy of 3,000, wasn't chosen for the first time in his 19-year career. Tom Seaver was also snubbed. Pete Rose, who did make the NL team, noted the absence of these future Hall of Famers and offered a solution to the problem of how to accommodate both the players whose stats merit selection and the older superstars the fans want to see: Let each league president add a couple of wildcard picks to the rosters.