The History of the All-Star Game in National League New York, Pt. 2

By Sam Maxwell

This is Part 2 of a 4-part series detailing the history of the All-Star Game in New York National League Parks. For Part 1, click here.

On July 6, 1942, the AL All-Stars, lead by NYY Manager Joe McCarthy, took on the NL All-Stars, led by BRK Manager Leo Durocher. The game was being played at the Polo Grounds for the 2nd time in 10 exhibitions. NYY RHP Spud Chandler took on STL RHP Mort Cooper.

Rain held up the contest for just about an hour, but finally dissipated near 7. Still, with the city’s wartime blackout in accordance, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis was told they had till 9:30 to finish the game before the lights, which were covering an All-Star contest for the first time, had to be turned out. Luckily, things got underway by 7:25.

CLE SS Lou Boudreau greeted Mort rudely to open the game with a home run to deep left field. Cooper then gave up a double to NYY RF Tommy Henrich, but settled down to get BOS LF Ted Williams and NYY CF Joe DiMaggio with a fly ball and a ground out respectively, but Mort could not get out of the inning unscathed. DET 1B Rudy York hit a 2-run home run to deep right field, and the AL led 3-0.

That is in fact all the American League would need. Between Spud Chandler‘s 4 innings and DET RHP Al Benton‘s 5, the AL managed to give up only BRK C Mickey Owen‘s pinch-hit solo shot in the bottom of the 8th, leading to the AL’s 2nd win in as many tries over the NL in National League New York, both times at the Polo Grounds. Mort Cooper went 3 innings, giving up those 3 runs on 4 hits and no walks with 2 strikeouts.

The NL was limited to 6 hits, all singles except for one.

"It was not until the 8th that the National Leaguers broke through as Owen, the Dodger catcher and victim of a harrowing experience in last fall’s World Series, got some measure of personal revenge upon the rival circuit by slapping a drive against the upper right field stand. There was even another hit as Bob Elliott of the Pirates singled.But that was all. Benton closed the pincer again and, determined that their be no fluke about this victory in the way of a premature ending, the Detroit relief hurler snuffed out the last three National Leaguers in the 9th, two minutes before the 9:30 blackout plunged the entire arena into total darkness.”–John Drebinger, July 7, 1942, New York Times"

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