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A Baltimore First

July 11, 1993|JOHN SCHEIBE

Summer in America, 1958.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was well into his second term of office. Louis Prima and Keely Smith performed the hottest lounge act in Las Vegas. Ford and Chevrolet built dream cars. Jack Paar was king of late-night television. Kids drank Ovaltine. Trains rolled through Camden Yards in Baltimore. And, the Dodgers were midway through their first season in Los Angeles.

Thirty-five years ago, on Tuesday July 8, baseball's 25th All-Star Game was played in Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, home of the Orioles.

The National League was managed by Fred Haney of the Milwaukee Braves and the American League by Casey Stengel of the New York Yankees. Haney named his 37-year-old left-handed ace Warren Spahn to start for the NL, while Stengel countered with his big Yankee right-hander Bob Turley.

The game was televised in Los Angeles on NBC-affiliate KRCA Channel 4 and the radio broadcast was carried on KFI. It was played before a sellout crowd of 48,820 that included then-Vice President Richard M. Nixon.

The National League's starting lineup looked like this: Willie Mays (CF); Bob Skinner (LF); Stan Musial (1B); Hank Aaron (RF); Ernie Banks (SS); Frank Thomas (3B); Bill Mazeroski (2B); Del Crandall (C) and Spahn (P).

The American League's lineup was loaded with power-hitters: Nellie Fox (2B); Mickey Mantle (CF); Jackie Jensen (RF); Bob Cerv (LF); Bill (Moose) Skowron (1B); Frank Malzone (3B); Gus Triandos (C); Luis Aparacio (SS) and Turley (P). Ted Williams was a reserve.

Pregame commentary centered on Haney's selection of Spahn to pitch and Mays to lead off. On starting Spahn against the AL's predominate right-handed lineup, Haney explained: "He gets the right-handers out just as easily as the left-handers."

Haney also reasoned that pinch-hitters would have to bat at least three times for the pitchers, who were allowed a maximum of three innings. "If the pinch-hitter comes through, then you have Willie coming up next. I couldn't think of anything nicer than that," Haney said.

But it was the American League that got the timely pinch-hitting--from Gil McDougald of the Yankees. He singled in a run in the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie, and then the Orioles' Billy O'Dell shut out the Nationals in the final three innings to lock up a 4-3 win.

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