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.
- 1916 All-Star results: Click here for recaps and box scores of the 1916 Retroactive All-Star series
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.)
Starting right now, you can vote for the 1916 All-Star starters and pitchers here:
Voting will be open until 3:00 a.m. EDT on September 27, 2013. At that time, we will count up the votes, put together the rosters, and sim the game.
Then the box score and the game account will be posted, written in 1916-style, on Seamheads.com the following week. While you’re waiting for that to appear, you’ll be able to vote on the 1917 All-Stars (TBA soon.) We’ll rinse and repeat, every two weeks, until we’ve played all the All-Star Games through 1932.
Sound interesting? If you’ve read this far, you must be. So click on this link:
… and vote today, and be on the lookout in early October for the first Retroactive All-Star Game story on Seamheads.com.
CHUCK HILDEBRANDT is the chair of SABR’s Baseball and the Media Research Committee.
Originally published: September 11, 2013. Last Updated: September 11, 2013.