City behind the All Star Game

Influence of Chicago Clout

A reprint of an article ran on May 18, 2015.

Babe RuthIt was May 18, 1933 when Arch Ward who was a prominent sports editor for the Chicago Tribune Newspaper made a historic announcement for the first Major League Baseball All Star Game to be played July 6, 1933. Ward conceived the idea of the finest players from the American League going up against the best of the National League when he was asked by the owner of the newspaper he worked for, Robert McCormick to come up with a type of sporting event that would be a good addition to the 1933 Worlds Fair (Century of Progress Expo).

This was a period when Chicago was hit hard by the Great Depression as was the rest of the country and the New Mayor Ed Kelly wanted the Expo to be a success so he turned to one of the cities most powerful men, Colonel McCormick for help. Chicago is a city notorious for heavy-handed politics and when particular people ask for things they more than likely get what they want. Chicago calls it Clout and the more clout you have the “Heavier” you are and when it came to clout McCormick was heavy. Baseball attendance was low, people weren't’t going because of the Depression and since the game did not count baseball club managers feared people would not come and spend the money, they also didn't’t want their best players possibly getting hurt so it took awhile to convince them but Ward knew how to work it and he did just that. The first Major League Baseball All Star game was set for July 6, 1933.

The question now became which ballpark after all Chicago hosted the South Side White Sox and the North Side Cubs. They got out a coin and the White Sox won the flip so the game was played at Comiskey Park, home of the White Sox. After ballets went out in 55 newspapers nationwide for people to vote several hundred thousand came back. The game had the likes of Babe Ruth who received 100,000 votes according to History.com, Lefty Grove, Lefty O, duel, Lefty Gomez, Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Joe Cronin, Jimmy Foxx, the Ferrell Brothers Rick (Boston), Wes (Cleveland) and other great ball players of the day. When it was all over the American League beat the National League 4-2 and there have been All Star games every year since except 1945 due to the War. In closing I must ask you what better ball player for over 47,000+ fans to see hit the game winning home run other than The Colossus of Clout, The Sultan of Swat, The Great Bambino, George Herman Ruth; The Babe.

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