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STARRY, STARRY DAY

CrosleyStars38Dear Markie:

Sounds like I’ll be meeting a friend of your uncle’s when we play in New York in ten days, so I look forward to that. In the meantime, here’s my report on our All-Star Game, the one you’ll never read in the papers—if you had any American papers to read…

It was a broiling hot couple of days here in Cincy, and God seemed to save his best cookery for the actual game on Wednesday. Every inch of Crosley Field was stuffed, and the white shirts everywhere didn’t make it easy for me to pick up the ball in the time that I was at first base.

Jimmie Foxx actually started the game there, which was fine with me because he’s been having just as good a season and plus he’s my pal. He and Harlon Clift from the Browns drew walks off Carl Hubbell right out of the gate, and then my teammate Rudy York socked a double down the line. Clift scored and Foxx could have tried but with Medwick’s arm in left he was held up. Bob Johnson from the A’s flied out, but at least we had the early lead.

At the last minute Bob Feller got a blister on his pitching hand and was scratched for Lefty Grove, which I guess is pretty good if you have to be scratched for someone. But the National Leaguers were loose and full of piss and vinegar (an old saying here I never really understood). I could tell by the way some of them drank and carried on at the Hotel Sinton last night. Anyway, Arky Vaughn, Stan Hack and Mel Ott all singled off Lefty to get them going and tie the game. Hometown boy Frank McCormick got the crowd hooting with a single to put them up 2-1, Hank Leiber popped a sacrifice fly and then Ernie Lombardi, the Reds backstop they call “the Schnozz”, belted a two-run homer to get all the fans’ hats airborne, and just like that we were down 5-1!

Grove and Hubbell threw two scoreless innings after that, but in the 4th off Brooklyn’s Van Lingle Mungo, we scraped another run on a two-out Johnson single, Earl Averill double and pinch-hit single by Buddy Myer.

Then this weird thing happened. Monty Stratton of the White Sox took our hill, and I suppose he was feeling cocky because after whiffing Pep Young he plunked pinch-hitter Phil Weintraub with his next pitch. Now I know Stratton’s only 26 but he is from Greenville, Texas and isn’t known as a real Jew-liker, and I yelled something from the dugout that got him yelling something back I’m glad I couldn’t hear. Anyway, I distracted him enough so he gave up a single to Vaughn and scoring fly to Hack, and the Nationals got that run right back.

“Got a problem, Hankus?” he asked in my face between innings, and I said no, looks like you got the problem, and then McCarthy was separating us. I apologized to Joe and begged him to get me in the game. Sitting on the bench all last year in Washington was still in my craw, and I think he could see that. Wth one out, DiMaggio ripped a triple into the left-center gap and McCarthy yelled for me to grab a bat.

Danny MacFayden of the Braves was pitching, a spectacled guy I had faced a few times when he was on the Red Sox and Yankees. I remembered he had a pretty crafty sidearm curveball, and sure enough he threw one right after I took a called fastball strike. I was ready, and whacked it into left to bring home Joe and make it a 6-3 game. Bill Dickey hit for York and grounded one to deep second, moving me up a notch.

That’s when I first began losing the ball in the white shirtsleeves, but Averill made my life easier. After Johnson drew a walk, Earl crushed one to deep right that just missed the bleacher section and brought me and Bob home on a stand-up triple. The score was 6-5! Bill Terry yanked Mr. Glasses for another hometown teammate Johnny Vander Meer, and he got Myer to foul out and end the inning.

Unfortunately, that jerk Stratton was still pitching for us. With two gone, Enos Slaughter hit for Leiber and Monty left one over the plate that went over the fence in no time and the NL had their seventh run.

Wish I had more good news to share with you, but that was about it. My old World Series nemesis Dizzy Dean, now with the Cubs, came on in the 7th to whiff me on three pitches, and against the Pirates’ tough Russ Bauers, I came up in the top of the 9th after a one-out DiMaggio single as the possible tying run. The fans were on their feets. I picked out a good-looking sizzler, swung the bat and the ball lined straight into Stan Hack’s glove. Hack whipped it across the diamond to nail Joe at first and the game was over.

There was some after-game beer drinking at the Turf and Field Cafe, but I wasn’t much in the mood. We have some home games with the White Sox up next before hitting the road again to Boston and New York, and I needed my sleep. After all, I got more of those Markie-homers to hit!

Best,
Hank
7.7.38

A.L. 100 130 000 – 5 9 0
N.L. 500 110 00x – 7 10 0

W-Hubbell L-Grove SV-Bauers

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