This All-Star Game at League Park, Cleveland, OH, July 24, 1911 – the first “all-star” game as some called was for Hall of Fame pitcher Addie Joss, who passed a few month earlier at the age of 31 from a sudden bout of Tuberculous meningitis.
After the death of Joss, Cleveland Naps management announced they wish to have a benefit for the widow and two young children in the form of an all star game of players from teams that they played.Many players and other teams volunteered to give money to the family. The benefit game would be in Cleveland.
June 17th was the date of the funeral and he Naps were to play the Detroit Tigers.The team had hoped to send a group of about five players to attend the funeral but the team told them all players wanted to go the the funeral and they should cancel the game, Team captain George Stovall said the players were adamant about not playing on the date.The said they would hold a one day strike if needed,American League president, Ban Johnson did not want to cancel but relented. Not only did the Cleveland players attend but several from the Tigers did so as well.
Gabby Street, Homerun Baker, Walter Johnson and Smoky Joe Wood
The game pitted Joss’ old team, the Cleveland Naps, against the All-Star squad of Street, Baker Johnson, Wood along with other greats like Napoleon Lajoie, Bobby Wallace, Sam Crawford, Tris Speaker, Eddie Collins and Ty Cobb. As for the score, the Naps lost 5-3, but more importantly the game raised nearly $13,000 to help pay Joss’ medical bills.
There were no expenses, as all players and park employees participated in the event for no compensation.
All-Star Game summary
Tris Speaker led off the game for the all-stars with a single and scored on a triple by Eddie Collins. The all-stars scored a second run when Ty Cobb hit a single to drive Collins home. The all-stars scored again in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Smoky Joe Wood that scored Hal Chase. Cleveland scored their first run in the bottom of the second inning when George Stovall singled and Joe Birmingham hit a double, scoring Stovall.
Speaker and Wood exited the game during the third inning to catch a train to Boston. Clyde Milan entered the game as the center fielder, and Johnson took over as the all-star’s pitcher. Art Griggs batted for Young as a pinch hitter in the third inning, and George Kahler entered the game as Cleveland’s pitcher in the fourth inning. Kahler allowed singles to Baker and Crawford, and Chase hit a sacrifice fly that scored Baker in the fourth inning. Nap Lajoie and Ted Easterly entered the game for Cleveland in the top of the fifth inning, replacing Stovall at first base and Syd Smith at catcher, respectively.Lajoie, the namesake of the Naps and their former manager, took over for Stovall as the Naps manager for the remainder of the game.
In the sixth inning, Hank Butcher replaced Jackson in right field for Cleveland, and Russ Ford and Paddy Livingston replaced Johnson and Gabby Street as the all-star’s battery. Fred Blanding relieved Kahler for the Naps in the seventh inning; Milan hit a double and scored on a single by Collins that inning. Blanding began the eighth inning with a single, and scored after a triple by Ivy Olson, who scored on a sacrifice by Butcher. The game concluded with the all-stars defeating the Naps, 5–3.
About the author– Tom Knuppel has been writing about baseball and sports for a few decades. As an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan he began with the blog CardinalsGM. Tom is a member of the United Cardinals Bloggers and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. He also maintains the History of Cardinals website. More recently he has been busy at KnupSolutions and the primary writer of many sports at KnupSports and adds content at Sports 2.0. Tom is a retired High School English and Speech teacher and has completed over one hundred sportsbook reviews. He also can be followed on Twitter at tknup. Feel free to contact Tom at [email protected]