1932 All-Star Game: Simmons, Grove Carry Junior Loop to Win Over National League
SIMMONS, GROVE CARRY JUNIOR LOOP
TO WIN OVER NATIONAL LEAGUE
WITH LONG CLOUT
PHILADELPHIA, July 12.—The Philadelphia Athletics gifted the Phillies Shibe Park for the afternoon so it’s no surprise that a trio of A’s carried the American League past the Nationals in today’s All-Star game by a count of 6 to 2. The Phillies desperately wanted to host All-Star festivities but their home facility, tiny Baker Bowl, was insufficient to hold the expected throng of 30,000. Connie Mack rose to the occasion and offered the Phillies use of Shibe, which can accommodate at least 33,000 denizens.
One has to wonder if Cornelius McGillicuddy’s motives were less altruism and more strategy, knowing he had a handful of his own men on the AL squad who would know the grounds like the back of their calloused hands. Either way, Mack and his boys practically defeated Gabby Street’s charges all by their lonesome. Robert Moses Grove was on top of his game as usual and surrendered only two safeties in three innings of work; Aloysius Simmons drove a pitch over the right field wall and knocked in half of the team’s runs; and Gordon Cochrane reached base in all three of his plate appearances and crossed the pay dirt dish twice.
The contest began with what could have been a loud bang when senior circuit hurler Lon Warneke filled the sacks with Mackmen, courtesy of a Charlie Gehringer single and free passes to Joe Cronin and Babe Ruth. When clean-up man Simmons strode to the plate, he was greeted with a roar of approval that drowned the park like a tidal wave. Alas, Simmons fanned on four pitches, but the disappointment was short-lived as the next junior circuit swatsmith took to the box in the guise of muscular local hero Jimmie Foxx.
Foxx saw only two offerings before popping out to Chuck Klein in right for the second out, and the runners remained stationary and stagnant. All hope was lost when Earl Averill replicated Foxx’s at-bat and Warneke and his mates were out of the woods, but for the time being. Before they had a chance to catch their breath, Street’s men were back on the field for the top of the second. Grove used only five tosses in the bottom of the first to eliminate Lloyd Waner, Pie Traynor and Lefty O’Doul, then helped his sluggers go to work.
Cochrane singled to lead off the frame, then moved to second on Grove’s one-out grounder. With two outs and a man at the keystone it looked like “The Arkansas Hummingbird” would escape bloodshed for the second straight stanza, but Charlie Gehringer lashed a triple that plated Cochrane, and Cronin poled a two-bagger to send “The Mechanical Man” across the dish with the AL’s second run. Ruth walked again and this time Simmons was up to the challenge, sending a two-strike pitch over the right field wall and toward the citizens perched on the rooftops across 20th street.
And just like that the American League was up 5 to 0 over the Nationals and Warneke’s turn on the mound was extinguished. Boston Braves righty Huck Betts took over slab duties and retired Foxx to end the inning. Betts grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and strangled AL bats for the next three innings, while Grove and Red Ruffing combined for five frames of whitewash hurling.
“Wild Bill” Hallahan was handed the ball in the top of the sixth after Dazzy Vance made a brief but successful appearance in the fifth, and Hallahan lived up to his moniker. He walked Cochrane and Jimmy Dykes on eight straight balls, then allowed a single to pinch hitter Lou Gehrig that loaded the bases with no outs. Pinch hitter Tony Lazzeri battled to a fielder’s choice grounder that cashed in Cochrane, then Cronin coaxed another free pass from Hallahan to reload the sacks.
But the Cardinal hurler had had enough and reached back for some extra firewood to whiff Ruth and Simmons for outs two and three. With the score at 6 to 0 and only four more trips to the plate schedule for the NL, things looked bleak for the Streets. Lefty Gomez retired the side in order in the sixth, leaving the seniors only three more chances to cash in some coin. They finally did just that in the seventh thanks to a titanic blow off the bat of reserve catcher Shanty Hogan that won’t soon be forgotten by those of us who witnessed it.
The righthanded hitting Hogan fouled off the first two Gomez offerings, then took a ball to run the count to 1 and 2. Gomez tried to slip a fastball past Hogan and immediately regretted it when the sound of bat meeting ball echoed like a gunshot throughout the stadium. By the time the southpaw turned to follow the flight of the ball it was a mere pill in the sky, heading straight for the outermost confines in center field. The last any of us saw the ball was when it sailed past the flagpole and out of the yard.
Though the clout accounted for only one tally, Hogan received an ovation fit for a king, the masses standing on their feet as he crossed the plate with a doff of his cap. The National League scored again in the bottom of the ninth when Pinky Whitney poled a four-bagger to right field off Wes Ferrell, but that just gave them a crooked number that was only slightly more impressive than the straight one that sat on the scoreboard for two innings.
Ferrell surrendered singles to Billy Urbanski and Bill Terry to make things interesting, but Lloyd Brown quelled the uprising by getting Arky Vaughan to fly out to Gee Walker in center to end the affair.