Homers propel NL to 2nd straight win in '51 All-Star Game

Musial, Elliott, Hodges and Kiner connected for National League

Homers propel NL to 2nd straight win in '51 All-Star Game

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

National League hitters blasted a record four home runs on July 10, 1951, as the league won a second straight All-Star Game for the first time in the 18-game history of the series.

Stan Musial, Bob Elliott, Gil Hodges and Ralph Kiner homered in the National League's 8-3 win at Briggs Stadium in Detroit.

The display of powered was backed by the pitching of Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Ewell "The Whip" Blackwell of the Cincinnati Reds, who held the American League scoreless over the final four innings.

The game was tied at 1-1 when Musial opened the National League's home run barrage by leading off the top of the fourth against the Yankees Ed Lopat with the third of the Cardinal outfielder's record six All-Star Game home runs.

Two hitters later, after Hodges hit a one-out single, Boston Braves third baseman Elliott hit a two-run homer to left off Lopat to give the National League a 4-1 lead.

It was the sixth and final All-Star Game appearance for Elliott, who three seasons later played an important role in the history of the Triple-A Padres of the Pacific Coast League. (On Sept. 14, 1954, Elliott hit two home runs and drove in five runs in a one-game playoff at Lane Field in San Diego as the Padres defeated the Hollywood Stars 7-2 to win the PCL title).

Returning to the 1951 All-Star Game, the American League pulled to within a run thanks to solo home runs by right fielder Vic Wertz and third baseman George Kell, both of the Detroit Tigers, off Sal Maglie of the New York Giants in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings, respectively.

But Hodges returned the National League to a three-run lead in the top of the sixth. Second baseman Jackie Robinson of Brooklyn drew a walk off Fred Hutchinson to open the inning. Hodges, the Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman, then followed with a two-run homer to left off the Tigers right-hander.

Robinson gave the National League a third run off Hutchinson in the seventh with a squeeze bunt single that scored Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Richie Ashburn. Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Kiner closed out the scoring with a solo homer off Mel Parnell of the Boston Red Sox in the top of the eighth.

Ashburn, Robinson and Hodges all had two of the National League's 12 hits. Ashburn and Hodges each scored two runs while Hodges and Elliott drove in two runs apiece.

Newcombe entered the game in the sixth with the National League leading 6-3 and pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits. Blackwell, who was the winning pitcher a year earlier, allowed a hit and a walk in a scoreless ninth.

Yankees center fielder Joe DiMaggio was voted to the American League starting lineup but did not play due to a leg injury. DiMaggio retired at the end of the season.