Major League Baseball played its first All Star Game in Chicago in 1933. It was part of the Windy City’s centennial celebration that included hosting the World’s Fair.
Baseball saw the game as a one-time event to boost the country’s morale during the Great Depression. Instead the game became an annual event pitting the best players from the American League against their National League counterparts.
Twenty of the initial game’s players ended up in the Hall of Fame. That’s not all. Both managers, five coaches, and two umpires from the game gained induction.
Charlie Gehringer hit second in the AL lineup ahead of Yankees Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. In the bottom of the first inning Gehringer became the first baserunner in all star history when he drew a walk.
In the third inning Gehringer walked again. Ruth came up next and slammed the Mid Summer Classic’s first homer, a shot to deep right field. The AL beat the Senior Circuit 4-2.
In the 1973 MLB celebrated the 40th anniversary of the game. All the surviving player froms ’33 were invited to a celebration held. The living players were introduced in the festivities at the new ballpark in Kansas City that hosted the 1973 game.
Gehringer attended, catching up with fellow Hall of Famers Lefty Grove, Carl Hubbell, Lefty Gomez, Joe Cronin, Earl Averill among others.
In the collection is NL president Chub Feeney‘s letter inviting Hank Aaron to play in the ’73 game. Aaron played first base and batted cleanup. In the bottom of the third inning, Aaron slashed a single to left off of the Twins’ Bert Blyleven t0 drive in Cincinnati’s Joe Morgan.
The RBI was Aaron’s last one in all star competition. It put the NL up 2-1. The Senior Circuit won the game 7-1 with Blyleven taking the loss.