A STORY FROM JAN 30TH IN BASEBALL HISTORY: ALL-STAR GAME FAN-VOTE “A JOKE”

TODAY’S STORY TAKES US BACK TO NEW YORK CITY IN 1958. #Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick saw a lot of red at the 1957 all-star game and he didn’t like it. He called the fan-vote for starting position players “a joke.” Starting with the 1958 midsummer classic, starting lineups 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 Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot boxes enough that almost the entire NL all-star team was Redlegs (The Cincinnati Reds was called the Redlegs in the 1950’s and 60’s because of paranoia during the red scare of communism. Anything “red” was considered verboten).

As it turned out, 5 Cincinnati Redlegs 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 MLB.com, players, coaches and managers chose the starters for the all-star team through 1969. The starting lineups, except for starting pitchers, went back to a fan-vote in 1970.

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