All-Star memories

Leading up to Tuesday’s All-Star Game in St. Louis, Cubs TV broadcaster Bob Brenly was asked about his experience in the 1984 mid-summer classic, played at Candlestick Park.

“[NL manager Paul Owen] had a very open mind,” Brenly said. “He took four catchers to the All-Star Game — Gary Carter, Tony Pena, Jody Davis and myself. Statistically, we’d all had good years and all deserved to go. The game was played at Candlestick Park, so I think that played into the fact that I got chosen. I was forever grateful for that. I never thought I’d play a game in the big leagues, let alone get an opportunity to play in an All-Star Game.”

Brenly was the Giants catcher, and he and Chili Davis were the team’s reps that year.

“What I remember,” Brenly said, “was how I went home one day and the names were hung above the lockers of all my [Giants] teammates [in the clubhouse], and I came back the next day [for the All-Star Game] and there’s Dale Murphy and Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith and Gary Carter and Doc Gooden, and I said, ‘Man, this team is a lot better than the one I played on yesterday.’

“It was a great experience. For a lot of the guys on the National League team, it was old hat — they’d gone to a lot of All-Star Games. I felt like a kid in the candy store.”
Brenly did pinch-hit in the sixth inning for Gooden, but struck out. The National League won, 3-1.

“Some of the veterans like Reggie Smith and Darrell Evans said, ‘You’ll never get an ovation louder than at your home park for an All-Star Game,” Brenly said. “It was, and it was really cool.”

— Carrie Muskat

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