1928 All-Star Game: American League Embarrasses Nationals In Queen City Rout
AMERICAN LEAGUE EMBARRASSES
NATIONALS IN QUEEN CITY ROUT
TO THREE SAFETIES
CINCINNATI, July 10.—A gray Cincinnati day became even darker for National League supporters when American League sluggers knocked Dazzy Vance from the hill in the second inning with an eight-run outburst that effectively ended the game before fannies were comfortably settled in. Browns outfielder and one-time batting champ Heinie Manush knocked out four safeties in the game, and Indians first sacker Lew Fonseca showed the senior circuit that home runs can be had at spacious Redland Field as long as you aim for the right spot.
Unfortunately Fonseca’s day ended on a sour note when he seriously injured his shoulder during a collision at first base with Rabbit Maranville on the game’s last play. The 13 to 0 victory lifted the juniors’ spirits, but their comrade’s suffering dampened the post-game mood.
Vance, who was brilliant in his relief work in last year’s contest, was battered around like a busher who had just arrived by bus from who knows where with the wide-eyed look of an innocent who’d never set his peepers upon a major league venue. He began the affair as if he owned it, retiring Earl Combs on a ground out that required only three pitches, then sending Manush and Babe Ruth back to the pine on only six pitches, all strikes that were stared at or missed. The throng almost gasped at the display of dominance.
George Pipgras, on the other hand, had a tougher time in his half of the frame, but a double play saved his bacon and despite an error by Lou Gehrig on what should have been an easy catch, and a triple by “Sunny Jim” Bottomley, the Yankee right-hander escaped with nary a scratch when Hack Wilson grounded to Joe Sewell at short to end the threat.
If senior circuit rooters were expecting a repeat of the first inning, they were sorely disappointed. Gehrig reached on an error by Rogers Hornsby and went to third on a Jimmie Foxx two-bagger down the third base stripe that barely eluded Freddie Lindstrom’s glove. Sewell drove in the game’s first run with a single that plated Gehrig, then Tony Lazzeri knocked in Foxx with a line drive hit to right. Mickey Cochrane cleared the sacks with a ringing triple to deep center field, and after Vance followed a whiff of Pipgras with a free pass to Combs, NL skipper Donie Bush had seen enough and called on southpaw and Cincinnati’s favorite son Eppa Rixey to extinguish the flames.
With the score already four coins to the bad, Rixey entered to wild applause—”surely Jeptha will get us out of this mess,” they most certainly noodled. But Manush sent Cochrane plateward with his first hit of the game and the onslaught continued unabated. Ruth popped to left for the second out, but Gehrig cashed in Combs with a bounder to left and Foxx’s shot to right center plated tallies seven and eight in the form of Manush and Gehrig.
In the blink of an eye the deficit had doubled and Bush had to be wondering how he was going to get through the final seven frames without taking the mound himself. Having never pitched before, the 40-year-old pilot couldn’t have done much worse. When Travis Jackson booted a Sewell grounder for an error, the restless crowd began to voice its displeasure and their rancor turned toward Rixey when he walked Lazzeri to load the sacks. But he got Cochrane on a fly to center to end the inning and tongues were hushed for the time being.
From there it was mainly a contest to see which American Leaguer would walk away with the most impressive record. Pipgras allowed only Bottomley’s triple in his three rounds of work, and Manush singled again in the third and would have scored his second run of the game had Wilson not fired a perfect strike to the plate to nip Heinie trying to score on a Ruth two-bagger. The Bushmen put two runners on base in the fourth courtesy of walks to Bottomley and Hornsby dished out by Tommy Thomas, but the White Sox righty fanned Wilson and Chick Hafey and stranded both runners on the bags.
Burleigh Grimes took over NL pitching duties in the fifth and “Old Stubblebeard” was treated as rudely as his predecessors had been. Cochrane rapped a one-out single to get the rally started, then Combs walked with two outs to put Hugmen on first and second. Manush continued his marvelous showing with another hit that loaded the bases, and Ruth pushed across a run with a base on balls. Gehrig grounded to short and the stanza ended with the AL up by a count of 9 to 0.
Thomas matched Pipgras with three whitewash innings, prompting Miller Huggins to empty his bench and get his reserves on the field. Bush countered by bringing in 41-year-old legend Grover Cleveland Alexander, who was making his 10th All-Star appearance. Indians first baseman Lew Fonseca stepped to the plate in Thomas’ stead and did what none of the other muscle men could—he planted a pitch into the right field seats for a long home run that even National League fans had to admire.
Meanwhile Jack Quinn and Herb Pennock continued to stifle the Bushmen’s bats, tossing three more shutout frames, but the junior circuit wasn’t quite through making a mockery of the affair. With Larry Benton in the box in the top of the ninth, Fonseca singled, at which time Bush figured that that moment was as good a time as any to bring another local into the game. Red Lucas, “The Nashville Narcissus” who has done mound work for the Reds since 1926, took over from there and christened his entrance with a wild heave that sent Fonseca to the keystone.
Harry Rice flied out, but that man Manush belted a triple to put the temporary Huggins up 11 to 0. “Bucketfoot Al” Simmons doubled to cash in Manush, and Buddy Myer sent Simmons across the dish with a safety to right. Lucas finally stanched the bleeding when Charlie Gehringer lined out to substitute center fielder Taylor Douthit, and the Nationals had one last chance to kick over the whitewash pail and spare themselves from utter embarrassment.
Alas, Pennock made quick work of the ineffective National swatsmiths, but not without a cost. Fresco Thompson came off the bench and shot the pill right into Simmons’ glove in left for the first out, but Freddy Leach walked on four straight offerings to give the NL a sliver of hope. Rabbit Maranville grabbed a club for the first time and promptly hammered a grounder to shortstop Red Kress, who tossed to Gehringer who in turn threw over to Fonseca for a game-ending twin killing. The throw was off just enough to put Fonseca in Maranville’s path and the diminutive shortstop crashed into the larger first baseman, knocking him to the turf.
Maranville escaped unscathed, but Fonseca was down for quite some time writhing in pain while Maranville hovered over him, clearly concerned for the injured man’s well being. Later it was determined that Fonseca had suffered a separated shoulder and will be out of action for the foreseeable future.
Cast Your Vote For The 1929 All-Stars
And Make Your Voice Heard!
We Americans are a people steeped in tradition, respectful of those who have gone before us, but also mindful of the greatness in our midst. This is no less true of the great game of Baseball than of any other endeavor that has taken root in this great Country.
And one of the greatest traditions in this great Game is that of the All Star contest that bisects the season every July. Launched thirteen years ago and having provided us the pleasures of witnessing the exploits of the best ballplayers of our or of any time gathered on one field for a single game, the tradition continues on and travels back to St. Louis, where this year’s match will be hosted by the estimable Browns ballclub.
And consistent with our great American tradition of democratic participation, YOU, the Knowing Fan, will have conferred upon you the Honor of determining who among our current greats will be selected as starters for this game taking place at Sportsman’s Park on Tuesday, July 9.
So utilize your RIGHT to VOTE! Cast your ballot for the 1929 All Star Game starters TODAY!
Do not delay! Vote for the 1929 All-Star starters and pitchers today!
Voting will be open until 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time on March 14, 2014. The managers will round out the rosters, the games will be played using OOTP 14, and the game account and box score will be posted on Seamheads.com.
— Chuck Hildebrandt