The History of the Baseball All-Star Game

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

by: Corky Gaskell | Guest Writer

With the 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star game coming up, I thought it fitting to dig briefly into the history of the All-Star game. 

The first major league All-Star game was announced on May 18, 1933. 

The game itself took place on July 6 of that year, and was held in Chicago at Comiskey Park.  The game was played as part of the 1933 World’s Fair.

The American League really wanted it, but the National League put up a fight.  The American League was able to coerce the National League into playing.

But, we have some history that tells us that they had the “idea” of an All-Star game even as far back as 1858. 

A little research or an internet search on “Fashion Race Course” will lead you to a match series, best of three, played between the best players of New York and the best players of Brooklyn for that era.

These were also the first games with paid admission. 

While most baseball fans will recognize the players’ names of the upcoming MLB All-Star game, most will probably not recognize many from the 1858 Fashion Race Course matches; Charles DeBost, Harry Wright, Theodore Van Cott, Dickey Pearce, Charles Leggett to name a few.

This 1858 “all-star” game went a long way in helping the development of the game of baseball.  

The ability to get people to pay and watch something that was so new was quite the milestone.

Here is a sample box score from the first match of the three game series of those 1858 contests.  You will notice they were not quite as elaborate.  Simply tracking Hands (Hands Lost or Outs) and Runs scored.

Oh, and if you were wondering, the American League won the first All-Star game in 1933, with a home run by… of course... Babe Ruth.

1 comment:

  1. The Fashion Race Course games can only loosely be considered all-star games, any more than the 1871-1875 National Association can be considered a league in the later sense of the word. They enrolled only players from Brooklyn and New York clubs, for example, rather than players from all NABBP clubs, and the selection process for players was entirely different. There were features in common, though, so the comparison isn't entirely a fabrication.