Voting Taken From Fans

JANUARY 30, 1958 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK • Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick saw a lot of red at the 1957 all-star game and he didn’t like it. So today in baseball Frick took the all-star team voting away from the fans, calling it “a joke.” The starting lineups for the 1958 all-star team would be determined by a vote of players, coaches and managers.

Frick must have thought, ‘Hold on. No Mays, no Musial! No way.’ Frick replaced Bell and Crowe with the two future hall of famers.

The problem in 1957 was that Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot boxes enough that almost the entire team was Redlegls*. As it turned out five were in the starting lineup: Frank Robinson, Don Hoak, Roy McMillan, Ed Bailey and Johnny Temple, except for Robinson, not exactly household names. Gus Bell and George Crowe also appeared to have enough fan support to make the starting lineup.

Frick must have thought, ‘Hold on. No Mays, no Musial! No way.’ Frick replaced Bell and Crowe with the two future hall of famers.

According to Baseball-Almanac, players, coaches and managers would choose the starters for the all- star team through 1969. The vote went back to the fans in 1970, which is the procedure today. Fans pick the starting fielders, the managers pick the pitchers and the managers and players pick the reserves.

*The Cincinnati ballclub was called the Redlegs for a while in the 1950’s and 60’s because of paranoia during the red scare of communism. Anything “red” was verboten.

Contributing Sources:
Fred DeLuca, International News Service (INS), January 31, 1958
Baseball-almanac
MLB all-star game Wikipedia