Baseball’s All Star game is today. Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the first All Star game I experienced (via radio). In that game, a right-hander pitching in his first full season started for the American League. He pitched three perfect innings and was the winning victory in a rare (for that era) American League victory.
The right-hander was Jim Bunning of the Detroit Tigers, who now represents Kentucky in the United States Senate.
UPDATE: Bunning caught a break when Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot box, electing seven Redlegs (as they were known) to the starting line-up. Stan Musial was the only non-Redleg elected. Commissioner Ford Frick intervened, removing Wally Post from the team altogether and relegating Gus Bell to the bench. This cleared the way for a couple of pretty good outfielders, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.
That left five Redlegs in the line-up. Frank Robinson was clearly deserving and catcher Ed Bailey (a hard hitting lefty) was the toughest out Bunning could have faced at that position. So too, arguably, with second baseman Johnny Temple. But Bunning was fortunate to face Don Hoak and Roy McMillan instead of future Hall of Famers Eddie Mathews and Ernie Banks.
Frick took the vote away from the fans the following season.
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