Saturday, May 10, 2014

1946 All-Star winning A.L. out-signed N.L.

Not only did the American League out-slug the National League 12-0 in the 1946 All-Star Game at Fenway Park, but they out-signed them in autographing balls in the locker room.

According to the wrap-up coverage of the July 9 game in The Sporting News issue of July 17, 11 dozen balls were autographed by the American League players as opposed to six dozen by the National Leaguers.
The paper attributed the disparity to the "preponderance of 'name stars'" on the A.L. squad.

It's interesting to note that the several 1946 All-Star autographed balls that have been seen in recent sports collectibles auctions vary in the number of signatures that appear.

The TSN coverage also touched on the souvenirs that the players and press received.

American League All-Stars received a gold tie clasp and a $50 bond. National League players received either a watch (first-year all-stars), tie

clasp, plaque or cigarette case, depending on how many All-Star Games to which the player had been named.

Those trinkets could have easily been lost, however, as they were in the hotel room of N.L. President Ford Frick on the night of July 8 when a thief sneaked into the room while the executive slept and stole $85 in cash. It was speculated the souvenirs were left behind because they were engraved with the players' names and would be hard to sell on the black market.

The working press at the game received the traditional lapel pin and also, courtesy of Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey, a gold tie clasp with a miniature ball diamond suspended from a chain. Surprisingly, a handful of these tie clasps have appeared in major sports memorabilia auctions in recent years, generally garnering prices in the $500-750 ballpark.

The sporting paper gave Yawkey high marks for his hospitality as host of the '46 All-Star Game, citing the several lavish parties he threw for players, officials and the media.

Yet another -- and perhaps the best -- souvenir of the game, is probably lost to the collecting world, perhaps gathering dust anonymously in a closet somewhere.

Ted Williams was the star of the 1946 All-Star Game. He was four-for-four with a walk, five RBIs and four runs scored. Among his hits were a pair of home runs, including what was believed to be the first home run ever hit off Rip Sewell's "blooper" pitch.

The bat that Williams used in that game was donated to the annual fund drive for the St. Vincent de Paul Orphanage of Providence, R.I., where it was presumably auctioned or raffled.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments, criticism, additional information, questions, etc., are welcome . . . as long as they are germane to the original topic. All comments are moderated before they are allowed to appear and spam comments are deleted before they ever appear. No "Anonymous User" comments are allowed.