The 83rd All-Star Game is at Kauffman Stadium on July 10. Leading up to that game, The Star is looking back at a Midsummer Classic game every day.July 13, 1954 American League 11, National League 9 Municipal Stadium in Cleveland
This All-Star Game had more twists than a soap opera.
At the time, this game set an All-Star game record for runs (20) and hits (31) and tied the record for homers (six). It also featured four lead changes.
It was a relatively quiet first two innings, but the American League put up four in the third against the Phillies’ Robin Roberts. Al Rosen of the Indians drilled a three-run homer in the inning.
In the top of the fourth, the National League hung a five-spot on the board. The Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson had a two-run double and later scored in the inning.
That lead didn’t last. Bobby Avila of the Indians hit a sacrifice fly that tied the game at 5-5. Cincinnati’s Ted Kluszewski hit a two-run homer to give the National League the lead in the top of the fifth, but Rosen cracked a two-run shot of his own in the bottom half of the inning to tie it again.
Avila’s RBI single in the sixth scored Boston’s Ted Williams as the American League took an 8-7 lead. However, in the top of the eighth, the National League snatched the lead back when Gus Bell of Cincinnati hit a two-run pinch-hit homer. The Cardinals’ Red Schoendienst tried to pad the lead, but his attempted steal of home failed. Down a run, the American League again had an answer.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Indians’ Larry Doby hit a homer to tie it and Nellie Fox of the White Sox later added a bases-loaded single to score two more runs.
The National League nearly tied the game in the ninth. With a man aboard, the Cardinals’ Stan Musial twice hit foul balls that were home-run distance before he was retired. Virgil Trucks of the White Sox then got the game’s final two outs.
Rosen was undoubtedly the star of the game as he hit the two homers at his home park.
According to the Let’s Go Tribe blog, Rosen broke his right index finger in late May and had been struggling at the plate. Rosen reportedly asked to be removed from the starting lineup so the American League would have a better chance of winning the game. Manager Casey Stengel took the request to Commissioner Ford Frick, and the two decided to at least keep him in the starting lineup.
That turned out to be the right move.
| Pete Grathoff, email@example.com