Sunday, July 14, 2013

All-Star Break Notes

After the last game of the day, played between the Cardinals and the Cubs in the early evening at Wrigley Field in Chicago, baseball takes nearly a week off for its Summer Classic, the All-Star Game, to be played Tuesday night at Citi-Field in New York, home of the Mets.
There was a time, believe it or not, when the All-Star Game was played in the daytime, in packed ballparks like Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Griffth Stadium in Washington, D.C., County Stadium in Milwaukee, Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and Comiskey Park in Chicago.
These were the grand baseball venues of the 1940s and 1950s, although you really couldn't call them stadiums, they were baseball fields, some seating barely 40,000. Crosley Field had a terrance in center field, similar to the rise near the deepest part of Minute Maid Park in Houston. Whenever a deep fly ball was hit to straightaway center in Crosley Field, the announcer would probably say, "Back goes (Vada) Pinson up the terrace to make the catch."
In the 1958 game in Baltimore, Manager Fred Haney produced a lineup card that had Willie Mays in the lead-off spot for the National League. Haney's strategy was to get Mays, arguably the best player of his era, as many at-bats as possible against a power-ladened American League lineup.
In the early 1960s, baseball actually entertained two All-Star Games in the same season, each played a week apart, one in an American League park and the second on a National League field.


add All-Star Game: It was announced on Sunday that Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves, the player who was voted onto the National League roster by the fans, may not be available on Tuesday because of an injury. Speculation immediately surged that the Dodgers Yasiel Puig, who finished second to Freeman in the voting tally, would take his place. But on the post-game show of the Dodgers-Colorado game, in which the Rockies won, 3-1, the notion that Puig would be in uniform Tuesday night in New York, was dismissed by the Dodgers announcers. The reason being that Puig is injured himself (strained left hip) and that National League Manager Bruce Bochy would selected a more experienced player, either  from his own team, the San Francisco Giants, or an experienced position player who could be used as a pinch-hitter or put in for defensive purposes late in the game.


last add All-Star Game: With home field advantage in the World Series going to the winning league, Bochy knows all too well how valuable that prize is, the Giants winning the last two of three World Series.

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