Being in first place in the standings (ten games up over second-place Louisville meant that our Brews would play against an all-star lineup pulled from the other teams in the league. And it looked to be a doozy.
Here was a bold prediction from Milwaukee Sentinel artist Lou Grant, printed on the morning of the game:
Spanking the best of the entire league? Love his moxie.
When the big day came, the Association's dignitaries took their seats at Borchert Field (this photo giving us a pretty good look at the seats themselves) and prepared to watch the game.
The honored guest of the Brewer-All-Star game at Borchert field Wednesday night, Mike Kelley (left), spent some merry moments with an old friend, Bill Guthrie, (right) retired umpire. An attentive listener was George M. Trautman (center), president of the American association. The game was dedicated to Kelley, who recently observed his fiftieth year in organized baseball. The association presented him a gold table service before the game (Journal Staff)Mike Kelley was a former first baseman who had played one season in the majors, that with the 1899 Louisville Colonels. He came to the American Association as the manager of the St. Paul Saints in 1902, the league's first year of existence. He would become a fixture in the Association; he had three stints as skipper of the Saints, winning five pennants in eighteen years before buying their local rival Minneapolis Millers and serving first as their manager and later as club president.
So the dignitaries were in place. The programs were printed. Milwaukee was ready for a good nine innings of All-Star baseball. The game itself didn't go quite as Grant predicted.
Ouch. The final score was Brewers zero, All-Stars eighteen. That was only the second time the Brewers had been shut out all season. "Stars Fall on Brews," indeed.
The Milwaukee Journal's headline was even better:
Here's what Journal Sports Editor R. G. Lynch had to say about the game, in his regular "Maybe I'm Wrong" column published the following day:
Lou Grant, meanwhile, swallowed his pride and followed up his "They'll See Stars Tonight" boast with this heaping plate of crow:Maybe That Licking Will Do the Brewers Good
OUR Brewers seem to pick the worst possible occasions to go haywire. They disappointed 12,000 loyal fans in the all-star game Wednesday night. It was not that they lost, either—it was the way they lost. The All-Stars, a mighty powerful aggregation, figured to win, but they did not figure to make 18 runs, and neither did the Brewers figure to wear a necklace of horse collars. The fans just wanted something to cheer about, and they were willing to cheer about almost anything right down to the finish. They demonstrated that when the seventh inning came. The score was 18-0 then, but when the loud-speakers struck up "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" the crowd got up with a roar to greet the home team's traditionally "lucky inning."
The game demonstrated one thing clearly. To be an all-star game, this annual affair must be "all-star" on both sides. The league's leading team, even when it is as strong as the Brewers, has only an outside chance of winning against the pick of the rest of the teams. The game is bound to be a travesty on its name when the home team throws second string pitchers against such an array of sluggers.
MANAGER CASEY STENGEL led with one of his regulars, Julio Acosta, and when Casey was too slow (as anyone might have been) to recognize that his pitcher could not cut the buck, the game was wrecked. What should have been done then may be open to argument. The Brewers faced a five game series in three days, starting Friday with the tough Columbus club. With six runs in and two more on base, why burn up a good pitcher? On the other hand, 12,000 people had paid to see an all-star game—the Brewers' own fans—and the team had a 10½ game lead in the league, so why not give these fans the best the Brewers had?
The club's three aces are Caldwell, Gassaway and Sproull. Caldwell had worked a game the night before. Gassaway had pitched most of a game Monday night and had turned his ankle Tuesday night chasing flies in batting practice at St. Paul. Sproull did get into the game—after Speer and Hendrickson had failed to stop the Stars.
"We'll take it out on Columbus," said Heinz Becker in the clubhouse after the game. "Wait and see!"
A Silly Triple Play
THE triple play executed by the All-Stars in the third inning was just as silly as the one made by Buffalo against Milwaukee here in the second game of the 1936 little world series. Frenchy Uhalt walked to start the game and and went to third on Wilburn's hit and run single. Gullic rolled to Meyers at third base and Uhalt broke for home. While Frenchy was being retired, Gullic had a brainstorm (as Hendrickson did Wednesday night) and went for second. He was trapped and run down. Meanwhile, Wilburn had gone to third base but rounded it too far and an alert Bison snapped the ball there before he could get back.
How It's Cut
PROCEEDS of the all-star game will be divided four ways. The bat and ball fund for the armed services will get 25%; the league, 35%; the Milwaukee Club, 25%; and the Baseball Writers' association, 15%. The home club has to pay all expenses of the game. The league provided 50 war bonds ($25 each), one for each of the All-Stars, Brewers, managers, coaches, trainers and umpires, and paid traveling expenses. The writers' association paid the expenses of one baseball writer from each newspaper in the league city to the big game. The league put on a luncheon for baseball executives before the game and threw a party afterward. The writers held their annual blowout at Ozaukee Country club, starting with luncheon and ending with a steak dinner.
ODD BITS—When the last all-star game was played in Kansas City in 1942, Joe Vosmik sent out for several cases of beer for the thirsty All-Stars and paid for them himself. Bill Veeck thought that was a disgrace for the Kansas City club and said so many times. Veeck's associates remembered that and has several cases of beer and soft drinks delivered to each clubhouse Wednesday night.... About 25,000 words were telegraphed out of Milwaukee before the game, 15,300 from the ball park before the lights failed and the rest from downtown hotels.... George Trautman, league president, had a chance to see one of his umpires' favorite mistakes—calling a play before it is complete. When Acosta threw Drews' bunt to second base in the second inning, trying to force Blackburn, Umpire Steengraffe spread his hands in the "safe" signal when Blackburn was two full steps from the base.... Acosta had a brief moment of glory in the first inning after Steengraffe's decision riled his Spanish blook. Julio just "rared back and fogged it in" and fanned three batters in a row.... Levy looked like the Eiffel tower collapsing when he found himself right smack in front of Dick Culler while trying to field Polly's roller in the eighth inning and went down quickly so Dick could throw to first.
old friend Joe Brewer, feeling much the worse for wear. I love the added touch of a discarded All-Star Game program on his hospital floor.
After their drubbing, the mighty Brewers undoubtedly appreciated a return to the regular season.