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Elten Schiller revolutionized the All Star Game

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I was reading Bob Chandler's Tales from the San Diego Padres last night.  It's good book and an extremely quick read.  I've already read it twice, but every once in awhile I'll pick it up and re-read a few stories.

Bob Chandler tells the story of how Elten Schiller changed the All Star game in 1978.  Schiller was in charge of bringing the All Star game to San Diego, so in the summer of 1977 he went to Yankee Stadium to observe and learn from the preceding game.  He noticed that thousands of fans crowded the fences of the stadium in the hopes of seeing some of the players coming to the closed batting practice session.

A little light bulb appeared over his head.  Why not allow the fans to watch batting practice the day before the All Star game?  It might just work.  He opened San Diego Stadium and concessions, expecting 15,000 fans.  Thirty thousand showed up!  It was a big hit, become yearly tradition and all started right here in San Diego.

An interesting side note is that during batting practice.  The NL used juiced balls.  They pounded balls deep into the seats.  The AL team watched and became intimidated by the power that the NL posessed.  When the AL team took the field they were given normal balls.  They felt weak in comparison and ended up losing the game.

This and a thousand other stories in Bob Chandler's book.

Elten Schiller who became Senior Vice President is also the person responsible for halting beer sales after the seventh inning.  He was one of the great thinkers of our time.