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Orioles Top Ten All-Star Moments #9: Ken Singleton in 1981

Ken Singleton spent two-thirds of his fifteen year major-league career with the Baltimore Orioles, and he represented the Orioles at the All-Star Game three times in 1977, 1979, and 1981. 1981, however, was the only year he started the game for the American League.

The 1981 ASG was a strange one, in that it wasn't played until August due to the players strike that broke the season in half. If the fans were disgruntled over the strike they didn't show it, as 71,086 fans crammed into the stadium in Cleveland to watch the MLB stars.

Nowadays the All-Star Game is dominated by the American League, with the National League's victory in 2010 their first since 1996. But that wasn't the case when Ken Singleton was playing. In 1981 the AL hadn't won an ASG in a decade, and that year was no different.

Singleton was batting fifth that year, between Dave Winfield and Reggie Jackson. He got the AL on the board in the second inning with a solo home run off of Tom Seaver, and the 1-0 lead held until the top of the fifth. Singleton was also right in the middle of the AL's comeback in the bottom of the 6th. He was the first batter in the inning and singled off of Burt Hooten, the first of three consecutive singles to load the bases. A single by Fred Lynn knocked Singleton in, and the AL scored three times to take a 4-2 lead. Unfortunately the bullpen couldn't hold the lead with Ron Davis and Rollie Fingers each giving up home runs that allowed the National League to win the game 5-4.

That was Singleton's last All-Star Game and he only played three more seasons after that, all with the Orioles. He finished his Orioles career with an OPS+ of 135, and as for his All-Star career, 1981 was definitely his best. He made just one plate appearance in each of the other two games, going 0-1 with a HBP.