As next Tuesday's All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium approaches, we're moving through the Stew's Most Memorable Memory Tournament: All-Star Edition. (Click on the link for winners of the previous matchups.) As we finish up the first round battles, here's a faceoff apiece to complete Gene Budig and Ban Johnson Regionals. Cast your votes below each matchup.
Polling will be open only today so that we may post an updated bracket at the end of the day and move onto the quarterfinals over the weekend.
Ban Johnson Regional
When: July 14, 1970
Where: Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati
What happened?: The singular moment of Pete Rose's playing career came at home plate of his home park. With the score tied, the game appeared to be headed into the 13th inning before Rose singled with two outs against California's Clyde Wright. Dodgers infielder Billy Grabarkewitz singled Rose into scoring position, and the Cubs' Jim Hickman followed with another single, to center, which Kansas City's Amos Otis charged. Rose, with a full head of steam, also charged toward home. Otis' throw reached Fosse, who had the plate blocked until Rose dislodged him from it — and the ball from Fosse's mitt. Rose scored, fracturing a bone in Fosse's shoulder, which hampered him for the rest of his career. "I just want to get to that plate as quickly as I can," Rose said. "Besides, nobody told me they changed it to girls softball between third and home."
-- Vs. --
When: Aug. 3, 1959
Where: Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles
What happened?: At a time when a double feature at a drive-in movie theater was as American as liking Ike, the baseball powers decided to double up the All-Star Game fun by adding a second contest. With 60 percent of the profits of the second game going to the players pension fund — somewhere, Marvin Miller was shaking his head — Don Drysdale let 'er rip against Pete Runnels and All-Star history was made in L.A. Three weeks earlier, Drysdale had started Game 1 at Pittsburgh, which the NL won. The AL took the nightcap, 5-3, and the leagues would play two for three more seasons.
UPDATE: Pete Rose and Ray Fosse smash into the quarters with a whopping 94 percent.
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Gene Budig Regional
When: July 6, 1933
Where: Comiskey Park, Chicago
What happened?: Seeing as it occurred in '33, the inaugural showcase of America's favorite pastime could not have happened without its premier star — Yankees slugger Babe Ruth. And the contest might never have caught on as soon as it did, the way it did, without Ruth, 38, hitting a home run in the first All-Star Game. With the Tigers' Charlie Gehringer on first base — the AL's starting lineup featured seven future Hall of Famers — The Babe drove a pitch from Cardinals left-hander Bill Hallahan into the right-field stands, giving the AL a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third. They won, 4-2, and a tradition that's going on its 75th years was born.
-- Vs. --
When: July 14, 1953
Where: Crosley Field, Cincinnati
What happened?: After being selected without playing in the '52 game, Satchel Paige of the St. Louis Browns became the oldest player — at either 46 or 47 years old — to appear in an All-Star Game. Starting the eighth inning, Paige rocked (on the mound, not in a chair) and fired at Gil Hodges, who lined out to Larry Doby. Enos Slaughter and Murry Dickson each had drove in a run against Paige, a longtime Negro Leagues superstar, who didn't reach the majors until after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier.
One of the game's all-time entertainers, Paige retired at the end of '53 but returned 12 years later for the Kansas City Athletics. He allowed one hit in a three-inning start for Charlie Finley's A's. Afterward, Paige promptly retired again. "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?" Paige was famously quoted as saying.
UPDATE: Babe Ruth says so long to Satchel with 65 percent of the vote.
- Pete Rose
- Satchel Paige
- Ray Fosse