1925 All-Star Game: Junior Loop Shames Nationals In 19 to 5 Beating
JUNIOR LOOP SHAMES NATIONALS
IN 19 TO 5 BEATING
Four-Baggers in Fierce Assault
PHILADELPHIA, July 14.—As if the legion of walking wounded among American League players wasn’t large enough, junior circuit czar Ban Johnson dealt another blow by refusing to reinstate Washington Senators southpaw Dutch Ruether to good graces after suspending him indefinitely following an altercation with rookie umpire Harry Geisel last Saturday in St. Louis. It’s no surprise Johnson declined to loosen his iron grip on the hurler, considering his long-time stance on protecting arbiters under his employ, but some thought he’d make an exception for an All-Star game. Instead he’s content to make an example of Ruether and named Yankees flinger Sad Sam Jones as his surrogate.
The Bucky Harris-led junior squad, already absent ailing pitchers Walter Johnson and Sam Gray, and shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh, barely felt the Johnson ruling and probably could have sent a busher to the mound and won. No disrespect intended to the AL’s mound staff, but the Harrismen’s offense was so destructive to the National League’s wings that a big league arm against the McGraw’s was hardly necessary.
Still, that’s exactly what the National League faced and as such, it was an embarrassment from start to finish. Before the first round of hot dogs could be distributed the Americans boasted an advantage that all but the most hopeful National League fans knew would be impossible to overcome. With Johnson at home battling grippe, teammate Stanley Coveleskie stepped in and proved formidable, holding the McGraws to two runs in three innings, and had he the benefit of even average glove work probably would have gone totally unscathed. But consecutive gaffes by Sammy Hale and Ty Cobb in the top of the second gave the National League their first run and Coveleskie’s line was blemished for good.
Fortunately his junior circuit teammates had already plated two in the bottom of the first against Brooklyn Robins flamethrower Dazzy Vance, so the miscues were more annoyance than debilitation. Coveleskie came out strong by setting down Max Carey, Frankie Frisch and Rogers Hornsby in order, the latter two dying by way of strikeout. Vance took the All-Star slab for the second straight year but the script didn’t play out the way it had last July when Vance dominated the AL.
Eddie Collins lined a single to lead off the bottom of the inning, then moved to second when Hale grounded to “Sunny Jim” Bottomley at first. Cobb poled a hit that sent Collins to third, and Ken Williams followed with a double that plated Collins and advanced Cobb to the hot corner. Harry Heilmann drew a free pass that crowded the aisles and George Sisler knocked in the second tally of the frame with a hot grounder to Hornsby. Vance got Joe Sewell to slap a grounder to Glenn Wright at short to end the inning with his team already 2 to 0 to the negative.
Bottomley made Coveleskie earn his first out of the second, fouling off a handful of slants before succumbing on the ninth pitch of the at-bat and grounding out to Collins. Kiki Cuyler reached on Hale’s error and went to third when Zack Wheat’s single to center was muffed by Cobb. With runners at second and third, Wright bounced to Sewell to cash in Cuyler and cut the deficit to 2 to 1. That was as close as the contest would get, although the juniors narrowly averted disaster when Gabby Hartnett flied out to Heilmann, who almost leveled Collins while both made a bead for the ball.
The American Leaguers took their next turn at the bat and effectively ended the competition when Hale atoned for his muff with a long drive that found its way into the left-center field stand, scoring Mickey Cochrane and Collins in front of him to give Bucky’s men a 5 to 1 lead. McGraw threw caution to the wind by ordering Vance to purposely pass Collins and set up a potential double play, but Hale had other ideas and made “Little Napoleon” pay. From there the game turned into a parade of AL batters and NL pitchers.
“Mugsy” took another calculated risk when he brought Pete Donohue in to face Ken Williams, not because Donohue was unworthy of the assignment but because the pitcher’s spot was due to lead off the next inning. But Donohue knows how to handle a club—he’s hitting a robust .345 as of this writing—and he proved his worth as a hurler when Williams bounced into a double play to end the inning. Donohue fanned to lead off the top of the third, but the McGraws showed they still had pep when Carey smacked a two-bagger and struck gold when Hornsby belted him in with a single through second to pull to within 5 to 2. But when Coveleskie coaxed Cuyler to line to Heilmann, that signaled the end of the senior circuit’s chances.
Heilmann began the bottom of the stanza with a single to left, but neither Sisler nor Sewell could push him past the initial station. In fact, Sewell replaced Heilmann on the bases when he forced him at second on a grounder to Bottomley. Then the floodgates opened and before the inning was over the National League was so far below the surface they could barely see daylight. Cochrane and pinch hitter Ike Boone poled singles that would have filled the bases if Carey hadn’t played Boone’s hit off his chest and allowed Sewell to race home. Cochrane moved to the hot corner but Boone, never known to be fleet of foot, was stuck at first.
No matter because Collins doubled to score both, and Hale then doubled to plate Collins and knock Donohue from the box in favor of Reds portsider Eppa Rixey. “Jeptha” was no more effective than Vance and Donohue. Cobb cashed in Hale with a single, Williams walked and Heilmann drove a change of pace over the wall in left-center field, giving the American League its eighth run of the inning and 13th of the game. Lay the former on its side and you get the symbol for infinity, which is how long this contest seemed to last through the first three frames.
The Nationals kept fighting and put two more tallies on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth thanks to singles by Frisch and Hornsby, a walk to Bottomley and ground outs by Cuyler and Zack Wheat. The Harrismen took exception and abused Dolf Luque for five more runs in the bottom half. Collins rapped a single, Hale whiffed and Cobb walked, putting runners on first and second. Williams poled one to Hornsby for what could have been a twin killing, but Wright dropped the throw and everyone was safe. Heilmann lined a hit that plated Collins, Sisler’s grounder to first scored Cobb, Sewell doubled to send Williams home and Cochrane did the same to knock in Sisler and Sewell. When the dust finally settled the American League held an 18 to 4 advantage while senior circuit supporters continued to flee the stadium in search of an early supper.
Each squad plated a run in the seventh. The NL used a Cuyler two-bagger, a wild heave by pitcher Slim Harriss and a ground out by Wheat. The AL countered with a double by Heilmann and a grounder by reserve catcher Glenn Myatt that was misplayed by Bottomley for an error that allowed Heilmann to scamper home with the final run of the tilt. Despite sloppy fielding that resulted in six official errors, many outstanding plays were turned in as well. Hale made a leaping stab of a Bottomley liner that killed a rally and held the NL scoreless in the sixth; Cuyler and Frisch returned the favor with flashy glovework of their own in the bottom of the inning; and Tris Speaker gave the fans a thrill when he tracked down a deep fly ball to center field and robbed Wheat of a sure extra-base hit.
The 1926 All-Star Ballot is Here!
Cast Your Vote Today!
In this mad, dash-about modern world of ours, we sometimes forget the simple pleasures, such as enjoying a warm, sunny Tuesday afternoon, away from our troubles and cares, and losing ourselves in the joys in taking in a ballgame.
But when the game is the All-Star Game, featuring the greatest baseball players of this or any age, the joy becomes manifold, encompassing not only the exquisite pastoral setting of the event itself, but also the wonder and admiration we are bound to express at the skill and proficiency of those who are playing.
This is the tradition that has taken hold of the country, one that we as baseball supporters have come to expect on the second Tuesday of July of every year. And this year will be no different. On Tuesday, July 13, at Sportsman’s Park in Saint Louis, the Cardinals of the National League will host the best of both leagues in their home for the grandest game of the year.
And YOU—the knowing fan—will be responsible for determining who will start that game!
It is an awesome responsibility that the Fan has, but we are confident in his wisdom and perspicacity, and trust that he—that YOU—will make the right choices.
NOW is the time to make your voice heard. VOTE TODAY for the most deserving ballplayers in the majors to carry on this tradition!
Do not delay! Vote for the 1926 All-Star starters and pitchers today!
— Chuck Hildebrandt