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JULY 6, 1933: THE GAME OF THE CENTURY: (Part 1) / (Part 2) / (Part 3)



NOV. 6, 1933




   The day finally arrived. It was July 6, 1933 and today the greatest collection of players were assembled to do battle against each other. Chicago’s Comiskey park seemed transformed. Ringing the stadium was a phalanx of hawkers selling memorabilia which included pictures of the stars, lollypops in the shape of the players, all star dolls and keychains, pencils, candy, and hucksters who were selling supposed autographs of Babe Ruth, Paul Waner, Frankie Frisch, and others.

   There was a jingle jangle excitement generating itself around the stadium, but it was even more pronounced inside the park. What was felt as well was the oppressive heat that covered everything. Anywhere you looked in the stands you could find knots of people applying wet cloths to their foreheads and around their arms. Shirts were unbuttoned, children were drinking enormous amounts of soda, sweat stood out against flesh like rivulets of rain, glasses became fogged and tempers were growing short. Little, short lived arguments and fights would break out and then quickly dissipate away.

   On the field the players were feeling the heat as well. Blouses were not tucked in, undersocks and undershirts were not being worn and those players who were practicing looked like they had just stepped out of a shower. Babe Ruth’s face had grown ruddy, blotched looking. His uniform was bathed in sweat and he kept running to the dugout to drink large bottles of juice and later on can after can of soda. The heat was not putting a crimp on his high spirits though and for that matter that held true for the other players as well. This was going to be the ultimate game, a test between the best and the best, and the Babe was here! Above and beyond everything else the center of attraction was the aging, barrel bellied phenomenon who seemed destined to be part of an occasion like this. While he took his cuts in the batting cage, the players took time off to watch. Some leaned against their bats which were planted against the ground, other, with arms folded across their chests commented on what they were seeing and were all aware that they were on the field with the greatest player who ever played the game. Occasionally during a lull in the action some of the players would go up to Ruth and ask him for an autograph. Remember, some of them were soon to be Hall of Famers themselves. “Why sure keed,” he answered. “You know you ain’t such a bad player yourself,’ he would say while he signed for them.

   Wild Bill Hallahan, one of the premier pitchers of that period summed it up best when he said, “We all wanted to see the Babe, Sure he was old and he had a big waistline, but that didn’t make any difference. We were on the same field as Babe Ruth.”

   During batting practice there was one point where Ruth hit two tremendous shots into the stands and Chuck Klein, no mean homerun hitter himself, said to Chick Hafey, “That  son of a bitch can really belt them. Man oh man, what goddamn power!” Hafey nodded his head in agreement. After a moment Lefty Gomez (who was the starting pitcher for the AL that day, ran into the batting cage, wrapped his arms around Ruth’s chest, and started pulling him out. ‘Give the other fellows a chance big guy, and anyways us pitchers need the practice.” His remark was to prove prophetic during the second inning of the game.

   The contest was to start at 2:15. Reporters had been sent to cover the game from all corners of the world. Coverage by radio was being handled by the CBS and NBC networks. Before game time there wasn’t a moment that went by when you wouldn’t  find a ballplayer not being interviewed by someone. Lou Gehrig was called over several times to say hello to the dignitaries who were in the Stadium. In the stands were National and American League presidents Joe Heydler and Will Harridge. The governors of Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota spent time with Gehrig and Babe Ruth and Mayor Kelly of Chicago got some autographs for his grandsons.

   Mack and McGraw had chosen some good men for their coaches. Max Carey of the Dodgers and Bill McKechnie of the Braves represented the National League. Mack chose Art Fletcher and Eddie Collins for the American League. An eleventh hour addition to the AL coaching staff was the great Joe McCarthy of the Yankees.

    Carl Hubbell would have been the starting pitcher for the NL but he had pitched an 18 inning shutout the other day and was in no condition to start. The final choice was the brilliant young righthander with the Giants, Hall Schumacher, or Wild Bill Hallahan and crafty Wild Bill got the nod. He was starting with just one days rest as was the case with Lefty Gomez, the starting AL Pitcher.

   The umpires for the game were the best of both leagues. They were Dineen and McGowan of the AL and Klem and Rigler from the NL. The crowd was 49,200 with no standing room allowed. Gate receipts totaled $51,000, all of which was given over to the National Association of Professional Ballplayers. With all the hoopla for Ruth it seems that the greatest ovation by the fans were for Lefty Gomez while he warmed up and for Carl Hubbell when he threw some warm up pitches as well. The National Anthem was played, a scuffle broke out in the stands in the middle of it, the players were introduced, and history was made as the very first All Star game was about to be played on the hottest day of many a year, July 6, 1936

                              THE GAME: AL(4)NL(2)


NL: Martin and Frisch grounded out. Klein lined out to Cronin.

AL: Chapman grounded out. Gehringer walked. Ruth was called out on strikes (as Gehringer stole second), Gehrig grounded out.


NL: Hafey singled. Terry singled. Berger hit into a double play. Bartell struck out.

AL: Simmons flied out. Dykes walked. Ferrell flied out. Gomez singled (Dykes scored). Chapman forced Gomez.                                       (AL 1 - -NL O)


NL: Wilson grounds out. Hallahan flies out. Martin pops out.

AL: Gehringer walks. Ruth 2 run homerun. Gehrig walks. Warneke comes in to pitch.

Simmons hits into a DP. Dykes singles. Cronin flies out.     (AL 3 – NL 0)


NL: Crowder comes in to pitch. Frisch lines out. Klein grounds out. Hafey pops out.

AL: Ferrell flies out. Crowder and Chapman ground out.


NL: Terry, Berger, and Bartell ground out.

AL: Gehringer flies out. Ruth singles. Gehrig strikes out. Simmons singles. Dykes forces Simmons.


NL: O’Doul hits for Wilson and grounds out. Warneke triples. Martin grounds out. Frisch homers. Klein singles. Hafey grounds out.    AL 3 – NL 2)

AL: Hartnett replaces O’Doul. Cronin singles. Ferrell forced out. Averill bats for Crowder & singles. Chapman singles. Gehringer flies out. Ruth strikes out. AL 4- NL 2


NL: Grove replaces Averill. Terry singles. Berger forces Terry. Traynor bats for Bartell and doubles Hartnett strikes out. English bats for Warneke and flies out.

AL: Hubbell replaces Traynor. Gehrig walks. Simmons force out. Dykes singles. Cronin pops out. Ferrell grounds out.


NL: Martin strikes out. Frisch singles. Klein lines out. Hafey lines out to Ruth who catches it over the wall.

AL: Waner replaces Klein. Grove grounds out. Chapman strikes out. Gehringer lines out.


NL: Terry grounds out. Berger lines out Cuccinello bats for Hubbell and ends the game by lining out.

  First all star game final:   al(4)-nl(2)





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