Feller Withdraws From All-Star Game Despite Harris Ire

July 10, 1948

Bob Feller, one of Cleveland’s five All-Stars selected to play in Tuesday’s game at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, has asked for and been granted permission to not participate in the game.

Feller (9-9, 3.61) explained that he is slated to pitch in tomorrow’s doubleheader, concluding the first half of the season, and that he would not be of much help to the American League squad on just one day of rest. He asked the American League and was granted permission to miss the exhibition. Feller backed out of last year’s game citing a strained back. His teammates — Lou Bourdreau, Joe Gordon, Ken Keltner and Bob Lemon —will all travel to St. Louis following tomorrow’s doubleheader. Boudreau and Gordon will start for the American League, while Yankees manager Bucky Harris selected Keltner and Lemon.

Harris was not pleased with Feller’s decision to miss the classic and said he would never select him again if given the chance. Several players around the league, including his own Joe Dimaggio, are battling injuries as we near the break. Despite heel injuries and lame knees, Dimaggio will at least pinch-hit if not start as he was elected to do.

“Dimaggio is included in our party that will leave for St. Louis after tomorrow’s game,” Harris said from Washington. “He will at least be used as a pinch-hitter against the National League All-Stars, in case his sore feet make it impossible for him to patrol the outfield.”

Ted Williams strained cartilage in his side on Thursday and did not play Friday. He’s hoping to be able to play by Sunday, but has not ruled out skipping the All-Star Game if he is not healthy. George Kell, who beat out Keltner for the starting spot, sprained an ankle Thursday against St. Louis. He has been on the bench since and will not play Saturday, but hopes to play Sunday. He too, is questionable for the classic.

The National League All-Stars have also been hit with the injury bug. Marty Marion of the St. Louis Cardinals and Eddie Stanky of the Boston Braves have each been scratched with injuries. They’ve been replaced with the New York Giants keyston combination of Billy Rigney and Buddy Kerr. They’ll join Giants’ cornermen, Johnny Mize and Sid Gordon, to have their entire infield in the game.

Bob Lemon (12-7, 2.53) will pitch the second game of tomorrow’s twinbill. He’ll be looking for his 13th win for the second time. Lemon only pitched four innings on Friday night and will start the second game on Sunday on just one day rest. He still intends to go to the All-Star Game and participate if called upon by Harris. Sam Zoldak originally was slated to pitch the second game, but will now be available in the bullpen on Sunday.

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