Thorn: Baseball’s first all-star game

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on July 9, 2012:

First midseason all-star game? Some nineteenth-century-baseball smartypants might point to the three Fashion Race Course contests of 1858, and he would be right. “Picked nines” from the top clubs of New York played against those selected from the elite clubs of the rival city, Brooklyn. New York won the match, two games to one, and ushered in the age of professionalism. Not only was this  the first instance of paid admission to a ball grounds, but it also spurred a resentment by Brooklyn’s Excelsiors of the selection process, dominated by the rival Atlantics … which led to the Excelsiors’ incentivized recruitment of Jim Creighton. Bob Schaefer treats this landmark series admirably at:

However, the first midseason all-star game in organized professional baseball came not in 1858, or in 1933, when the American League All-Stars defeated the Nationals, 4-2, but in 1903, in a Class D minor league in my own backyard: the short-lived Hudson River League. Let me tell you about it.

In 1902 African American pitcher Andrew Foster won 51 games for the Cuban X-Giants of Philadelphia. In one of these games he defeated the squirrelly lefthanded ace of the Philadelphia Athletics, Rube Waddell, thus acquiring his nickname.

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Originally published: July 10, 2012. Last Updated: July 10, 2012.