Back in the decade of the 1970’s and 1980’s, ESPN presented some of the best vintage baseball videos….which were generally hosted by George Grande….and covered some of the early days of baseball….like this rare treasure of footage covering the 1st All Star Game played on July 6, 1933, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois,….which was the home of the American League’s Chicago White Sox…..as the game resulted in the AL defeating the NL 4–2 in two hours and five minutes.
The first official MLB All-Star game was part of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair during the city’s centennial….and was the idea of Arch Ward….who was the sports editor of the Chicago Tribune….after the Mayor of Chicago, Edward J. Kelly, had first approached the Tribune’s publisher for a major sport event sponsored by the newspaper in Chicago. The game was intended to be a one-time event to boost morale during the Great Depression….as Ward decided that the fans would select the starting nine players and the managers would select the other nine players for each of the NL and AL All-Star teams. The Tribune called it the “Game of the Century”….as 55 newspapers across the country printed the fans’ ballots in their papers….and The Tribune estimated the game’s attendance on July 6, 1933, at 49,000. The proceeds ($45,000, net gate receipts) from the game went to a charity for disabled and needy major league players. The All-Star Game would afterwards be known as MLB’s “Midsummer Classic”.
The legendary baseball player Babe Ruth of the Yankees highlighted the game by hitting a two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the third inning….while catching a fly ball up against the scoreboard in right-center field in the top of the eighth inning. Ruth was greeted at home plate by the AL/Chicago White Sox batboy John McBride and teammate Lou Gehrig. Twenty of the game’s thirty-six All-Stars including Ruth would later be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, New York….which makes this video an MLB “golden nugget” in the Imasportsphile vintage sports treasure chest…..as both the game’s managers along with five out of six coaches and two out of the four umpires on the field that day would also be future Hall of Famers. Yankee P Lefty Gomez ….from whom Bone Daddy has an autograph baseball from back in 1950….was the winning pitcher for the American League.
The NL team wore specially made gray uniforms and navy blue caps with “National League” in navy blue felt letters on the front of the jersey, a large navy blue felt number on the back and “NL” in white letters printed on the navy caps. The AL team members each wore their home uniform. The NL members were allowed to keep their All-Star uniforms and caps. In 1934, each NL member used their home uniform and cap….while the game’s official AL baseball was changed to an official NL baseball….and the AL home plate umpire was replaced by a NL home plate umpire….after the top of the 5th inning….as 60 baseballs autographed by All-Star players were given out before the game started.
Folks, when you consider the list of future Baseball Hall of Fame members that appeared in this 1st All-Star game which included players….Bill Terry, Frankie Frisch, Chuck Klein, Carl Hubbell, Gabby Hartnett, Pie Traynor, Paul Waner, Lefty Gomez, Rick Ferrell, Lou Gehrig, Charlie Gehringer, Joe Cronin, Al Simmons, Babe Ruth, Lefty Grove, Bill Dickey, Jimmie Foxx, Tony Lazzeri and Earl Averill….and also included managers / coaches the likes of….John McGraw, Connie Mack, Bill McKechnie, Max Carey, Eddie Collins and Art Fletcher….then how could a baseball fan not watch this video.