“It was almost definite that the all-star baseball game, inaugurated last July, would not be repeated in 1934 as considerable opposition had sprung up.” ~ Associated Press, December 13, 1933.
“It was also agreed by the magnates today to make the all-star major league game, inaugurated in Chicago last July, a permanent event.” ~ Associated Press, December 14, 1933.
What a difference a day makes. The 1933 All-Star game was this-close to being a one-and-done.
The opposition to the game appeared to dove-tail with a general fear about interleague play by team owners.
Clearly, a lot of owners wanted no part in a game that would affect their schedule — and profits — and interleague play, which might also affect their own team’s bottom line.
(Keeping the leagues segregated, of course, wasn’t the worst segregation going on in baseball back then … )
But, something happened behind all the cigar smoke of the joint baseball meetings in December 1933. Because it took no time at all for the two sides to not only agree on holding an All-Star game in 1934 – to be hosted by an American League team – but to agree that the game would also become a “permanent” annual event.
(Interleague play would take another 64 years of discussions.)
For their part, the 1933 baseball owners quickly checked the All-Star game off their meeting to-do list and went back to one of their most contentious issues – what to do about the “feel” of the baseball. (Sound familiar?)
Their job was to agree on a uniform baseball – a ball not quite as “dead” as the one used by the National League and not quite as lively as the “rabbit ball” used in the American League.
Something a little lively.
Then-National League President John Heydler: “It’s a little difficult to talk intelligently as to the exact qualities of the ball. But, I don’t mind admitting that the ball will be livelier than the one used in our league last season. … For years, the inside of all balls used in the majors has been the same. The stitching and thickness of the cover is the only difference.”
The inside of the balls has been the same. Always. We swear.
So, 86 years on, how are we doing? Well, the All-Star Game is still here, interleague play finally showed up, and they’re still complaining about the baseballs.
“American League All-Star Game starter Justin Verlander told ESPN on Monday that the balls used in Major League Baseball games this season are ‘a f—ing joke’ and that he believes ‘100 percent’ that the league has implemented juiced balls to increase offense.” ~ Jeff Passan, ESPN
Baseball is back.
And, the Baltimore Orioles have a big sinkhole they’re dealing with … and it’s not even the sinkhole of being 30.5 games back.
Good luck to all of us!
Some things just never change! Do we dare bring up the humidor vs non humidor? Lol
Tonight baseball is back…its like opening day, part2!
I’m pretty sure those owners back in ’33 would never have guessed a humidor might someday be used for baseballs. Heck, those owners back in ’33 probably wouldn’t believe that a major league baseball team would even exist one day in Colorado. :)
On the matter of the ball, I tend to agree with Kate Upton’s husband.
Great set of articles, as always.
Thanks, v. Yup, I agree. I think “Mr. Upton” is on to something, too.
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