Retroactive All-Star Project: Grove, Cronin, Kress lead 1931 AL stars to 5-3 win

Editor’s note: This game summary is from the Retroactive All-Star Game Project. Voting was conducted to select retroactive MLB All-Star teams from the 1931 season and the games were simulated using Out of the Park 14. 

By Mike Lynch

The 1931 American League All-Stars overcame a monstrous drive by Wally Berger and held on for a 5-3 win at Navin Field in Detroit, thanks mostly to the perfect pitching of Lefty Grove and the hitting of Red Kress and Joe Cronin.  

Grove needed only 31 pitches to mow down the nine batters he faced; Kress rapped out two hits, including a homer, and scored twice; and Cronin reached base three times, scored once and drove in a run.

On the Nationals’ side Berger awed the crowd with a blast that was estimated to have traveled 474 feet, bettering the shot he hit out of Baker Bowl in May.

The series leans in the AL’s favor at 8-7 and is heading to Shibe Park in Philadelphia in 1932.  Shibe was also host to the 1925 Midsummer Classic and the Athletics have graciously loaned their stadium to the Phillies rather than force them to expand seating capacity at Baker Bowl.

Other highlights and outstanding players from this year’s game include:

  • Ski Melillo driving in two runs with a double, and scoring a run.
  • Rick and Wes Ferrell forming the first all-brother battery in All-Star Game history, and combing to go 2 for 2 at the plate.  
  • Bill Terry scoring two of the NL’s three runs.
  • Babe Ruth reaching base three times on a hit and two walks.
  • Dazzy Vance and Firpo Marberry each tossing a scoreless inning in relief.

You can find a full account of the game, box score, game log and stats here. 

Learn more about the Retroactive All-Star Game Project by clicking here.

Originally published: April 23, 2014. Last Updated: April 23, 2014.