July 12, 1948
On the first day of the annual All-Star break, the Cleveland Indians not participating in the exhibition in St. Louis traveled to Dayton to take on the Tribe’s single-A affiliate, the Dayton Indians.
Just as it should be, the big leaguers took care of business and throttled the minor leaguers by a score of 16-4, but how they did it was the impressive part. Outfielder Bob Kennedy started the game on the pitching mound for Cleveland and went four eye-opening innings allowing just four hits and one run. Rookies Leroy Wheat and Howard Burchett relieved and pitched the rest of the game, while Johnny Berardino, Allie Clark and Wally Judnich all went deep for Cleveland. The “Little Indians” threw prospects Charlie Sipple, Lefty R. Wood, Dave Pryor and Joe Pennington at the big league club. Sipple was hit with the loss.
The Indians got on the board early with three runs in the first, tacked on two runs in the third, then put the game out of reach with an eight-spot in the top of the fourth. The Tribe was up 13-0 before the Little Indians crossed the plate in the bottom of the fourth.
The game was managed by assistant coach and longtime Indians pitcher Mel Harder, who coached due to regular manager Lou Boudreau’s presence at the All-Star Game. Most Indians position players who were present played in the game, but one notable missing man was catcher Joe Tipton, who was injured in Sunday’s doubleheader against the Browns.
Tipton was scheduled to catch the exhibition while regular catcher Jim Hegan played in the infield, but Tipton was unable due to his injured hand. X-rays showed no fracture and the injury is described as “badly bruised.” In Tipton’s spot, Indians batting practice catcher Bill Lobe caught for Harder’s squad in front of the largest crowd in Dayton’s Hudson Field history.