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Being MVP of All-Star Game still resonates with Bill Madlock

After being named MVP of Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game, Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees predicted his winning the award was “going to be an amazing memory” that lasts a lifetime.

It really will, said longtime Las Vegan Bill Madlock, who shared the same honor 47 years ago after driving in two runs snapping a 3-3 tie in the National League’s 6-3 victory in the 1975 game at old County Stadium in Milwaukee.

“That was true for me — I was there with guys I watched as a kid, and being MVP in that game was just unbelievable,” said the four-time NL batting champion of driving a single just inside the third-base line off Goose Gossage that brought home Reggie Smith and Al Oliver.

Oliver was pinch-hitting for Jon Matlack, who became the winning pitcher thanks to Madlock’s clutch hit and was named co-MVP along with the then 24-year-old Chicago Cubs third baseman.

Madlock, who won his first batting title in 1975 with a .354 average, was selected as a reserve for an NL side that featured eight Hall of Famers: Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Lou Brock, Phil Niekro, Tom Seaver, Don Sutton, Gary Carter and Tony Perez, as well as HOF managers Walt Alston and Red Schoendienst.

Jerry Reuss, another longtime Las Vegan, was the NL’s starting pitcher.

“Getting a hit off Gossage — that’s hard to do,” Madlock said, “but it was (more) about walking into the clubhouse and seeing those guys. Being MVP with all those other great players on the team was unbelievable.”

When pressed about the game’s key at-bat, Madlock, 71, who spends most of his free time providing hitting instruction to Las Vegas youngsters such as Bligh Madris, who recently made his MLB debut with the Pirates, said he didn’t have to guess what pitch was coming.

“With certain guys, you might have to worry about a breaking ball. But all Goose threw back then was a fastball,” Madlock said with an old school chuckle of admiration.

Around the horn

— Despite homering in the Yankees’ 7-6 victory over Baltimore Friday, Joey Gallo’s future with the club appears to be tenuous.

Gallo went 4-for-55 during a 21-game stretch before hitting a homer in his final game before the All-Star break. He was hitting .164 through Friday with 12 homers, and multiple New York outlets have reported that a change of scenery before the Aug. 2 trade deadline seems imminent for the left-handed swinging slugger.

— Tyler Anderson was one of three rested All-Star pitchers who did not appear in Tuesday’s game, joining fellow replacement player Jordan Romano of the Blue Jays and Mets’ closer Edwin Diaz.

Still, just being there was a major thrill for the former Spring Valley High star after the Dodgers signed him for bullpen depth during spring training. The 32-year-old lefty started the second half of the season 10-1 with a 2.96 ERA — he allowed one unearned run in six innings against the Giants Friday — and leads L.A. in innings pitched.

Anderson said he had planned to take his little girls to Disneyland and the beach before being added to the NL All-Star roster but promised he’d make it up to them.

— Brandon Brown, the NASCAR driver who unwittingly became linked to politics after winning an Xfinity Series race last year, has temporarily lost his ride with the race team named for him due to lack of sponsorship.

After Brown won a 2021 race in Alabama, NBC reporter and Las Vegas resident Kelli Stavast misinterpreted a crowd chant critical of President Joe Biden as a “Let’s Go Brandon” cheer for the Virginia driver.

Coming off a season-best third place finish at New Hampshire, Brown instead will drive for Mike Harmon Racing in the upcoming Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Austin Dillon will replace him in the No. 68 Brandonbilt Motorsports entry owned by Brown’s father, Jerry.

0:01

— Former UNLV football broadcaster Tony Cordasco on Monday’s benefit softball showdown between the Raiders and Golden Knights at Las Vegas Ballpark:

“Due to (salary) cap issues, VGK will only start seven players in tonight’s charity softball game.”

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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