CLEVELAND — Cleveland is a good place to have an All-Star game. The city has played host to five of them before 2019, and each has had a memorable moment or two.
Cleveland landed the third All-Star game ever, a nod to the city's size (then one of the biggest cities in the country) and love of baseball. During the game, Hall of Fame Philadelphia Athletics third baseman Jimmie Foxx took control for the American League by hitting a two-run homer in the first inning. Cleveland Indians pitcher Mel Harder closed the game by pitching three innings of scoreless ball for the save. Good start for the Tribe.
It was a charmed year for the Indians, one that would end in the fall. Cleveland Indians outfielder Larry Doby tied the game up for the AL with a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. The game had what has been dubbed as the most controversial ending in All-Star Game history when Washington Senators pitcher Dean Stone got the victory for the AL without retiring a single batter. After he took the mound in the ninth, Cardinals second baseman Red Schoendienst was caught stealing home, and the game ended. The Tribe went on to lose in the World Series, one remembered by a spectacular catch by Willie Mays.
Something about Cleveland brought out the best in Mays. The Giants center fielder dominated the entire game. He drove in two runs, scored twice and stole two bases to help the National League win 5-3.
The largest crowd in All-Star Game history jammed 72,086 people into Cleveland Municipal Stadium. It was the first game since the baseball strike, which canceled more than 700 games. The Kissing Bandit broke onto the field to give Indians pitcher Len Barker a kiss. Hard to imagine that happening today.
This was the first All-Star Game held at Jacobs Field, now Progressive Field. We may be biased, but the greatest moment in All-Star Game history happened during this game. Indians catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. nailed a game winning two run homer that sealed the win. Many fans also remember lefty Larry Walker's backwards-helmet, right-handed at-bat against Randy Johnson.