Thursday, July 17, 2008

More All-Star Game stuff

Yesterday I started a long comment about the All-Star Game, wondering if this year's was the greatest ever. In surveying the field, I didn't actually answer the question, but I'll get to that soon.

First, I want to finish my survey of All-Star Games to focus on the greatest games before 1950. In my next post, I'll compare them and let you know which one I think was the greatest.

1941: AL 7, NL 5
In the midst of one of the greatest baseball seasons of all time came a great All-Star Game. The NL held a 5-2 lead with two outs in the eighth inning, but then Dom DiMaggio drove in his brother Joe with a single to make it 5-3. In the ninth, Joe D. drove in a run on a groundout to bring the Americans within one. Then Ted Williams came up with two on and two outs and slammed a three-run jack against Claude Passeau for the game-winner.

1936: NL 4, AL 3
Rookie Joe DiMaggio came to the plate with the tying run on second base, but Lon Warneke got him to fly out to end the game.

1934: AL 9, NL 7
It ended up a wild slugfest, but it started out with one of the greatest pitching performances of all time: in the first inning, NL hurler Carl Hubbell struck out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx in succession, then followed that up by striking out two more future Hall of Famers, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin, the next inning. After Hubbell was replaced, the AL batters teed off and scored all nine of their runs in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings.

1933: AL 4, NL 2
The highlight of the first All-Star Game came when the aging Babe Ruth smacked a two-run home run to give the AL a 3-0 lead in the third.

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