By Chuck Hildebrandt
Every baseball fan knows the first All-Star Game was played in Chicago in 1933. But calls for a midseason All-Star contest go back years earlier. For example, check out this article by F.C. Lane from "Baseball Magazine" in the offseason of 1915-16.
We can’t go back in time to change history and replay those lost potential All-Star Games on the field.
But with a good game simulator and the recent availability of midseason stats going back to 1916, we can arrive at a good idea of who probably would have played in those All-Star Games and how they might have turned out.
That’s what we’re doing with the Retroactive All-Star Game Project.
We'll use the statistics available at Baseball-Reference.com for the first halves of the 1916 through 1932 seasons, and determine midseason All-Stars for those years. Then using Out of the Park 14, the games will be played.
And as they did in 1933, the fans — meaning you — will get to vote for the All-Star Game starters, including starting pitchers, which is how they did it back then. (Bonus: no designated hitters.)
The box score and the game account, written in the style of the time, will be posted on Seamheads.com a few days after the voting ends.
After the vote for this season is done, we’ll move on to the next season, and rinse and repeat, every two weeks, until we’ve played all the All-Star Games through 1932.
View game recaps, box scores and results from the retroactive All-Star Games here:
This project was created and organized by Chuck Hildebrandt, chair of SABR's Baseball and the Media Research Committee. For more information, contact Chuck.
- SABR 44 presentation: Click here to download the MP3 file for Chuck Hildebrandt's presentation on the Retroactive All-Star Game Project at the 2014 SABR convention in Houston (20.2 MB). Or click here to download the PowerPoint slides (.ppt file).