Cleveland plays host to the third official Major League Baseball All-Star Game, as the American League team defeats the National League team at Cleveland Municipal Stadium by a score of 4-1. It marked the third straight victory in the now annual exhibition for the junior circuit.
Indians outfielder Joe Vosmik was in the starting lineup for the American League squad, led by Detroit manager Mickey Cochrane, while leading off and playing right field. A record paid attendance of 69,812 and 72,000 in total, including Mr. and Mrs. Babe Ruth, was present in downtown Cleveland as the best of the senior and junior circuits met for the only game to be played at the Stadium that season (League Park was the home of the Tribe during the 1935 season, but Cleveland Stadium was capable of hosting a significantly higher number of patrons). The game was expected to draw as many as 83,000, but still succeeded at raising $66,000 for the fund to assist needy players. The record crowd would stand until 1981 in yet another game at Cleveland Stadium.
The Americans took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off of St. Louis’ Bill Walker as Philadelphia’s Jimmie Foxx knocked in New York’s Lou Gehrig with his two-run home run. The AL would add another run the next inning and the Nationals pushed across their lone tally in the top of the fourth, far too little with a strong Lefty Gomez pitching for Cochrane’s club.
“Foxx just about wrecked the game with that homer in the first,” National League and St. Louis Cardinals manager Frankie Frisch shared following the game in a quote in the July 9, 1935 edition of The Plain Dealer. “The turning point came with only two out in the first inning and you can’t win ’em much quicker than that.”
Vosmik scored the final run of the contest in the bottom of the fifth and made it possible with a little bit of dramatics. He singled to reach base safely, but in attempting to go to third on a single by Charlie Gehringer, slipped and fell between second and third, appearing to twist his ankle. Exhibition or not, he sprung back to his feet and sprinted to third, diving into the bag head first and holding on for dear life. He would score on a single by Foxx that ate up Hal Schumacher of the New York Giants.
Mel Harder, the other Clevelander in the contest, pitched the final three innings for the American League club in relief of the starter Gomez of the New York Yankees. Harder allowed just one hit in his scoreless effort and struck out the Giants’ Mel Ott in the save situation.
Earl Averill, Indians outfielder, was also selected to participate in the event, but was unable to play due to a fireworks mishap a week and a half earlier. It was the third straight season that he was selected to the team.
The two rosters were composed of a total of 20 different players who would find themselves inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame following their playing careers. Cochrane and Frisch were responsible for selecting the players for the All-Star Game that season as the skippers of the previous year’s pennant-winning clubs. It was the first time in the three years of the game that fans did not have a say in the roster construction (as would be the case until 1947).
Also on this date in Tribe history:
1903 – Clint Brown, who spent ten of his 15 Major League seasons as a pitcher with the Indians, is born in Blackash, Pennsylvania.
1960 – Joe Krakauskas, who spent parts of the 1941, 1942, and 1946 seasons with the Indians around serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, passes away at the age of 45 in Hamilton, Ontario.
1988 – Cleveland pitcher Bud Black plunks three California Angels batters in one inning, tying a Major League record. He would also uncork two wild pitches and would be tagged for seven runs on six hits in three and one-third, leaving after the third of the hit batsmen in the fourth.
1997 – Sandy Alomar Jr. is the hero of the All-Star Game as his two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh off of San Francisco’s Shawn Estes broke a 1-1 tie. The blast to the bleachers in left proved to be the deciding runs in the AL’s 3-1 win over the NL.