Sunday, July 19, 2020

The First American Association All-Star Team

This is the lineup for the very American Association All-Star Game, played at Nicollet Park in Minneapolis eighty-six years ago today on July 19, 1934. Keep in mind that the concept was still new; the very first Major League All-Star Game had been held the previous summer on July 6, 1933, as part of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

Back row: George Hockette (LHP), Allan Sothoron (MGR), Earl Webb (RF), Mel Almada (LF-CF), Lin Storti (2B), Ernie Wingard (1B), Fred Bedore (3B), and Jack Kloza (LF). Front Row: Tony Rensa (C), Gene Trow (RHP), Milt Galatzer (CF), Bill Brenzel (C), Jose "Joe" Olivares (SS), Garland Braxton (LHP), and Al Niemic (SS). Photo credit: Bud Holland, via American Association Almanac
Lots of Brewers on this team. Seven of them, out of the fifteen pictured. Plus four Kansas City Blues, one each from the St. Paul Saints, Toledo Mud Hens (hyphenated here), Louisville Colonels, and Indianapolis Indians. Not a Columbus Red Bird in the bunch.

You won't find any Minneapolis Millers in this lineup either, as they were the All-Stars' opponents that day. The team in first place at the midway point would host the game at their ballpark, facing off against a team drawn from the best players on the other seven clubs. This is the same format the American Association was still using in 1944 when the Brewers brought an All-Star team to Borchert Field.

The American Association Almanac has a great write-up on the inaugural All-Star game. Check it out. And spoiler alert: the Millers bested the Stars in a slugging contest, 13-12. Maybe they were also early adopters of the Home Run Derby?

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