Feller led Yankees-dominated AL to win in '39

Indians ace finished All-Star Game with 3 2/3 scoreless innings

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

When Yankee Stadium was selected to host the 1939 All-Star Game as part of the New York World's Fair, Yankees manager Joe McCarthy packed the starting lineup with six of his players, including starting pitcher Red Ruffing.

But the star of the American League's 3-1 victory turned out to be 20-year-old pitcher Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians.

Feller, who had made his Major League debut in 1936 at the age of 17, entered the game in the top of the sixth with runners on first and third and one out with the American League protecting a two-run lead.

Feller, who was 14-3 before the All-Star break with a 2.60 ERA, got out of the inning by getting Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Arky Vaughan to ground into a double play. He followed that with three more scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk with two strikeouts.

The only non-Yankees voted to the AL starting lineup were Detroit first baseman Hank Greenberg and shortstop Joe Cronin, and Boston Red Sox right fielder Doc Cramer.

McCarthy, whose Yankees were headed to a fourth straight World Series title, created more controversy by allowing all his position players to play the entire game, using only 12 of the 26 players named to the team. Players from three teams didn't see action. A total of 10 Yankees were named to the AL team.

The National League took a 1-0 lead against Ruffing in the top of the third on an infield single by Vaughan and a double by Cincinnati second baseman Lonny Frey. The NL had the bases loaded with one out when Ruffing threw a called third strike past Cincinnati first baseman Frank McCormick and retired Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi on a pop fly to second.

After being shut out on two hits over the first three innings by Cincinnati's Paul Derringer, the AL scored twice in the fourth off Bill Lee of the Chicago Cubs.

Yankees catcher Bill Dickey drew a one out walk and advanced to second on a single by Greenberg. A two-out single by Yankees right fielder George Selkirk tied the game and Greenberg scored when Vaughan committed an error on a grounder by Yankees second baseman Joe Gordon.

Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio homered off Lee in the fifth for the game's final run.

Lombardi and New York Giants outfielder Mel Ott were the only players in the game with two hits. The AL had only six hits in the first pitching duel in the All-Star Game series.