July 9th, 2012
Random Dodger All-Star notes from Brooklyn and Los Angeles:
— The first Major League All-Star Game was played at Chicago’s Comiskey Park on July 6, 1933. The lone Brooklyn Dodger player representative was infielder Tony Cuccinello. Dodger manager Max Carey served as a coach.
— The last hurrah of the Larry MacPhail Era occurred during the 1942 All-Star Game when Dodger manager Leo Durocher’s N.L. roster included seven Brooklyn players: Billy Herman, Joe Medwick, Mickey Owen, Pee Wee Reese, Pete Reiser, Arky Vaughan and Whit Wyatt. MacPhail, as Dodger team president, rescued the franchise from bankruptcy during his tenure beginning in 1938 when he borrowed money to purchase players and make improvements to Ebbets Field. The Dodgers were National League champs in 1941, but World War II eventually depleted the roster and the St. Louis Cardinals would win titles in 1942, 1944 and 1946.
— Jackie Robinson became a N.L. Al-Star for the first time during his MVP season in 1949. The 1949 game was the only ASG played at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field. Robinson was joined by catcher Roy Campanella and rookie pitcher Don Newcombe.
— There were two All-Star Games played each season from 1959-62. The expanded ASG schedule in 1959 gave the Majors a chance to host the Mid-Summer Classic in the cavernous Los Angeles Coliseum on August 3. A crowd of 55,105 watched the American League win, 5-3. Pitcher Don Drysdale and left fielder Wally Moon were in the N.L. starting lineup.
— In 1974, Steve Garvey became only the second player to be elected to the All-Star team as a “write-in” candidate, joining Atlanta’s Rico Carty in 1970. Garvey was named MVP of the 1974 ASG. In 1975, Garvey and Jimmy Wynn became the first teammates in ASG history to hit back-to-back home runs.
— In 1998, reliever Jeff Shaw became the first player to make his debut for a new team at the All-Star Game. Shaw had been traded by the Cincinnati Reds to Los Angeles during the final weekend before the All-Star break. Shaw reported to the All-Star Game and wore a Dodgers jersey, even though he had not yet played for Los Angeles.
Photo: Brooklyn representatives on the 1934 N.L. All-Star team included catcher Al Lopez, pitcher Van Mungo and manager Casey Stengel, who was a coach on manager Bill Terry’s staff.