All-Star Game color line fell in 1949

DiMaggio led American League to 4th straight win

All-Star Game color line fell in 1949

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

Two seasons after Jackie Robinson broke through baseball's color barrier, black players appeared in an All-Star Game for the first time in 1949.

Robinson was voted into the starting lineup and was joined on the National League team by Brooklyn Dodgers teammates Don Newcombe (pitcher) and Roy Campanella (catcher). Cleveland Indians outfielder Larry Doby, the first African-American to play in the American League, was named to the American League team. All four appeared in the game.

Fittingly, the game was played at Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn. Robinson went 1-4 with a walk and scored three runs. Campanella went 0-for-2 with a walk. Newcombe allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings and was the losing pitcher. Doby was 0-for-1.

But it was a perennial All-Star who wasn't expected to play in the 1949 All-Star Game who led the American League to a fourth straight win and a 12-4 margin in the 16-game All-Star Game series.

Joe DiMaggio was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs in the American League's 11-7 victory.

DiMaggio's selection to the American League and his insertion into the starting lineup for the injured Tommy Henrich created a controversy for American League manager Lou Boudreau of the Cleveland Indians.

Because of an injured heel, DiMaggio didn't make his season debut until June 28. He had played only 12 games before the All-Star Game, although he had hit .350 with five home runs and 12 RBIs. Still, Boudreau picked DiMaggio to an 11th straight All-Star Game.

Two errors led the American League to four unearned runs off National League starter Warren Spahn of the Boston Braves in the top of the first. St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Stan Musial hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first off American League starter Mel Parnell of the Boston Red Sox.

The National League had forged a 5-4 lead after three innings when Philadelphia Athletics shortstop Eddie Joost put the American League ahead to stay with a two-run single off Newcombe in the fifth.

DiMaggio hit a two-run double in the top of the sixth, although Pittsburgh left fielder Ralph Kiner got the National League back to within a run with a two-run homer off Athletics pitcher Lou Brissie in the bottom of the inning. The American League then scored three runs in the top of the seventh to break the game open.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Dom DiMaggio (who had an RBI double and scored two runs) and catcher Birdie Tebbetts (who also had an RBI double) and Detroit Tigers third baseman George Kell (who also drew a walk and scored two runs) also had two hits for the American League, which outhit the National League 13-12.

Musial was 3-for-4 with a walk. The only other National League player with two hits was starting third baseman Eddie Kazak of the Cardinals, who later played with the Triple-A Padres of the Pacific Coast League.

Virgil "Fire" Trucks of the Tigers was the winning pitcher, although the best mound performance was turned in by Vic Raschi of the Yankees. Raschi allowed a hit and three walks over three scoreless innings to close out the win.

The game was marred by six errors, including five by the National League.