Managers Connie Mack & John McGraw Decide Who Bats First At The First All-Star Game

Athletics Manager Connie Mack & Former Giants Manager John McGraw Have A Contest Before The First All-Star Game 1933

Photo shows – Manager Connie Mack of Americans (left) Manager John McGraw of Nationals choose for first up with the aid of a bat.

In the game of the century played at Comiskey Park, Chicago, July 6, the picked team of the American League defeated the picked team of the National League 4-2. Photo: Acme July 6, 1933

It’s hard to believe that this is how they decided home field advantage in the American League’s Comiskey Park for the first All-Star Game, but it’s true.

Kids used to do this in pick-up games in parks to see who would bat first. Toss a bat in the air, catch it, and with your adversary put hand over hand with the winner reaching the knob.

In this case McGraw’s National League won the honor of batting first.

The 60-year-old John McGraw was coaxed out of retirement to manage the team after stepping down during the 1932 season. Meanwhile the 71-year-old Connie Mack was the choice to manage the American League. Fans selected the participating players through voting in newspapers.

The cagey McGraw did not reveal his starting pitcher or line-up until the game was about to begin.

The game was supposed to be a one time event. The net gate receipts of $45,000 were given to charity for disabled and needy major league players.

It was during the Great Depression and Major League Baseball would draw a total of just 6 million fans for the entire 1933 season. The attendance of 49,000 for this game made it a huge success. The All-Star Game became an annual tradition.

The 39-year-old Babe Ruth was the star of the game, hitting a two run home run in the third inning. Twenty of the 36 All-Stars were later inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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