July 13, 1948
The American League got more than just some help from their first-place team on Tuesday night at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, as the AL Stars defeated the NL Stars by a score of 5-2.
Five members of the first place Cleveland Indians were selected to participate in the Mid-Summer Classic as seven-time All-Star’s Lou Boudreau and Ken Keltner, eight-time All-Star Joe Gordon and first timer Bob Lemon were in attendance for the game.
Starting pitcher Bob Feller also was selected to his seventh team, but he chose on Saturday not to participate.
While Lemon remained just a spectator for his first contest, all three Tribe position players started for the AL squad. Boudreau played shortstop and batted in the third position, while Gordon batted cleanup and played second. Keltner played third base, batted sixth and eventually sparked the American League game-winning rally with the lone Cleveland hit of the night.
Keltner’s fourth inning base knock was not the Indians’ only contribution, however. After the National League took a 2-0 lead on St. Louis Cardinals slugger Stan Musial’s two-run home run in the first, the American League cut the lead in half when Detroit Tigers’ outfielder Hoot Evers also went yard. The AL then tied up the game at 2-2 in the third inning, due to wildness by NL starter Ralph Branca of the Brooklyn Dodgers and a sacrifice fly by Boudreau. In the fourth, the Junior Circuit grabbed the lead for good, getting their kick-start from Keltner.
Chicago Cubs pitcher Johnny Schmitz retired Evers on a pop fly to start the inning, but then gave up the single to Keltner. New York Yankee George McQuinn followed with another single, moving Keltner to second and then Birdie Tebbetts from the Boston Red Sox walked to load the bases. Yankees pitcher Vic Raschi broke the tie with a single into left that scored both Keltner and McQuinn, then pinch hitter Joe DiMaggio of the Yankees lifted a sacrifice fly to left to make the score its final of 5-2.
Boston Braves pitcher Johnny Sain and Cincinnati Reds hurler Ewell Blackwell both shutout the American League for the rest of the ballgame, but Raschi and Philadelphia Athletic Joe Coleman did the same for the AL. Coleman earned the save for the game while Raschi picked up the victory on the rainy evening.
With the win, the American League now runs its dominating record to 11-4 over the National League in the 15 All-Star games since the inaugural one in 1933. That game was held at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Next season, the game between baseball’s best is scheduled to be played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.
On Wednesday, the Indians will host Brooklyn in the second half of a home-and-home exhibition series against the Dodgers. The first game was a month ago, when the Dodgers defeated the Tribe 6-2. All proceeds of the exhibition will go to the Cleveland Baseball Federation.
The Indians will then head to Philadelphia for their third east-coast trip of the season to start the unofficial second half. First up will be a pivotal four-game series against the Athletics, the second place team that is only one half game behind the Indians in the American League pennant race. Thursday’s match will be a doubleheader.
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