AL defeated NL then Service All-Stars in 1942

Boudreau, York homers beat National League, 3-1

AL defeated NL then Service All-Stars in 1942

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

Although many sports events were canceled during World War II restrictions, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided Major League Baseball would continue to play as an important part of the American fabric.

The 1942 season was started before enlistments and the draft seriously cut into the pool of Major League players.

The first Major League player to enlist in the service was Cleveland Indians All-Star pitcher Bob Feller, who had been the American League's starting pitcher in his fourth All-Star Game appearance in 1941. Feller enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.

But Feller played a major role in what was an unusual All-Star Game experience in 1942.

On July 6, 1942, the American League defeated the National League, 3-1, in the 10th All-Star Game at the Polo Grounds in New York City. After the game, the winning American League team boarded a train for Cleveland, where the following day they defeated a Service All-Stars team drawn from players who had already entered military service.

The starting pitcher for the Service All-Stars was Feller.

The All-Star Game was played before 34,178 with the proceeds going to the war effort. The July 7 game drew 62,094 to Cleveland Municipal Stadium with the proceeds going to the Army-Navy Relief Fund.

Because of the two games being played on back-to-back days, the rule limiting pitchers to three innings in the All-Star Game was suspended. Like he had done before, AL manager Joe McCarthy of the Yankees used his reserves sparingly -- playing only 11 of the 25 players available to him, including only two pitchers.

The AL scored all the runs it needed in the first inning to claim its seventh win of the All-Star series.

Cleveland Indians shortstop Lou Boudreau led off the game with a home run off of NL starting pitcher Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals. Yankees right fielder Tommy Heinrich followed with a double to right. Cooper then retired Boston Red Sox left fielder Ted Williams on a fly ball to left and Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio on a grounder to third to nearly get out of the inning.

But Detroit Tigers first baseman Rudy York followed with a two-run homer to right to put the AL on top, 3-0, before the NL had a chance to hit.

The NL didn't score until pinch-hitter Mickey Owen homered off the Tigers' Al Benton to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Oddly, it was the only homer the Brooklyn Dodgers catcher would hit all season.

Spud Chandler was the AL's starting pitcher and allowed two hits with two strikeouts over four innings. Benton pitched the final five innings for the AL and allowed four hits, including the Owen homer, and two walks with one strikeout.

DiMaggio was the only player in the game with two hits. The AL had only seven hits and eight baserunners. The NL had six hits and eight baserunners, two of which were eliminated on double plays.

The victory in the All-Star Game gave the AL the honor of facing the Service All-Stars the following day in Cleveland.

The AL scored three runs in the first two innings off Feller en route to a 5-0 victory. Williams had a triple and a walk, scored two runs and drove in a run.