In the Beginning, All-Star Game Was Played for 1st Time July 6, 1933 -- As a One Time Event

Tracy Ringolsby

Eighty-seven years ago, with the push from Chicago Tribune sports editor Arch Ward, baseball brought its best players from both leagues together at Comiskey Park for what was bille as the "Game of the Century," an event to ease frustrations from the Great Depression.

Little did the organizers know that the game on July 6, 1933 would emerge into the All-Star Game, a mid-season baseball moment of anticipation that has been played annually since, except in 1945, as a result of World War II, and this year, because of the COVID pandemic, which has turned the baseball season into a 60-game affair that will not even start play until July 23.

The game was created as a part of World's Fair, host by Chicago in 1993, an even which was sparked by the suggestion of Chicago Tribune sports editor Arch Ward, who included the plan for fans to vote on the lineup of each team.

With an attendance of 47,595, Comiskey Park was bagged for the 4-2 victory by the American League, key by Babe Ruth's two-run home run in the third inning off Bill Hallahan.

Success? Well, it's still going strong today.

And the origination of the All-Star Game is not the only key event to happen on a July 6.

On July 6, 1938, Lefty Gomez, making his fourth All-Star appearance in just the sixth All-Star Game, suffered his first loss, 4-1 to the National League. Frank McCormick center to center. And that's where the game turned.

Leo Durocher put down the first "bunt home run," as it was known, in All-Star history. Actually, it was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning, but when Jimmy Foxx and Lou Gehrig both charged the ball, Charlie Gehringer attempted to throw out Foxx at first, and the ball hit in the AL bullpen down the right field line before coming back into fair territory.

McCormick scored before right fielder Joe DiMaggio fielded the ball, and Durocher, racing around the bases, scored himself when  DiMaggio's throw sailed over catcher Bill Dickey's head, and the NL took a 4-0 lead.

On July 6, 1942, The AL won 3-1 at the Polo Grounds, the National League featured the only brother battery in All-Star Game history -- Mort Cooper, the losing pitcher, and brother Walker Cooper behind the plate. 

July 6, 1983, Fred Lynn hit the first Grand slam in All-Star history  off Giants' pitcher Atlee Hammaker to key a seven-run third inning. The AL's 13-3 win ended its 11-year losing streak.

And on July 6, 1989, Mike Schmidt became the first retired player to play in an All-Star Game. Hitting .203, Schmidt retired on May 29, but the Philadelphia third baseman still received the fan support to earn a spot on the roster.


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