Lee Mazzilli sat on the bench at The Kingdome in Seattle for seven innings, watching the 1979 Major League Baseball All-Star unfold. Mazzilli, then the 24-year old New York Mets center fielder who was named to the team by National League manager Tommy Lasorda, was soaking it up like a sponge.

It was Mazzilli’s first and, eventually, only All-Star appearance and from the beginning it must have felt more like a circus freak show than a showcase of baseball’s biggest stars.

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A ball player must confront two deaths. First, between the ages of 30 and 40 he perishes as an athlete. As a major league career is ending, all things will end. – Roger Khan