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Q & A: Bobby Thomson

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
MLB All-Star Game Road Show

ESPN Classic's "Road Show" will travel to Seattle on Monday at 6 p.m. ET, where host Steve Cyphers will be joined LIVE at the Pyramid Alehouse (across from Safeco Field) by Ralph Branca, Gary Carter, Steve Garvey, Harmon Killebrew, Brooks Robinson, Ryne Sandberg, Bobby Thomson and Dave Winfield as they look back at some of the most memorable moments in MLB All-Star history. The program will also include an interview with Jim Bouton.

Classic All-Star Game moments

July 6, 1933: In conjunction with the World's Fair in Chicago, the first All-Star Game is organized. It's called "The Game of the Century," so it's no surprise that the day's hero is the player of the century. Babe Ruth's two-run homer off left-hander Bill Hallahan in the third inning keys the American League's 4-2 victory over the National League before 49,200 fans at Comiskey Park.

"Ruth? He was marvelous," says John McGraw, who came out of retirement to manage the National League team. "That old boy certainly came through when they needed him."

The Bambino was happy about his homer and the victory. "Wasn't it swell? Didn't we win?" he says with a huge grin.

After Frankie Frisch's solo homer in the sixth closes the National League's deficit to 3-2, the American League gets an insurance run in the bottom of the inning on Earl Averill's run-scoring single.

July 10, 1934: Before the second All-Star Game, New York Giants left-hander Carl Hubbell receives his MVP award from the previous season. Then he takes the mound at the Polo Grounds as the National League's starting pitcher and puts on a show for the ages.

After allowing a single and a walk, he strikes out Babe Ruth looking on a screwball that just catches the outside corner. Then he gets Lou Gehrig to go fishing for a third strike on a full count. Hubbell ends the inning by fanning Jimmie Foxx, normally a first baseman but playing third in this game because of Gehrig's presence at first.

Hubbell picks up where he left off in the second inning when he strikes out Al Simmons and Joe Cronin, making it five future Hall of Famers to whiff consecutively. With a one-ball, two-strike count on Bill Dickey, the Yankees catcher snaps Hubbell's streak with a single to left. Hubbell ends the inning by striking out pitcher Lefty Gomez.

Hubbell pitches a scoreless third inning, though he doesn't fan anyone and walks Ruth. With the screwballer replaced in the fourth, the American League begins its comeback from a 4-0 deficit and wins 9-7.

After the game, Hubbell is praised. "He's the greatest pitcher I ever faced," says Cronin, the shortstop-manager of the American League. "He can throw the ball through a knothole."

Ruth says, "He's a great pitcher. I couldn't even see the ball when he threw it."

July 14, 1970: Pete Rose had dinner with good friend Sam McDowell and Ray Fosse last night and then had the pair over to his house. "First time I'd ever met Fosse," Rose says. "He was telling me how the American Leaguers were going to beat us."

It doesn't happen. At tonight's All-Star Game in Cincinnati, Rose has Fosse for dinner. In the 12th inning, Rose scores the N.L.'s winning run on Jim Hickman's single to center when the 220-pound Rose barrels into the 215-pound Fosse with a football shoulder block, flipping the catcher into a somersault.

"I didn't want to hurt the guy," says Rose after the 5-4 victory, the National League's eighth straight. "He was straddling the line a few feet in front of the plate. I did the only thing I could."

Fosse is 23 years old and playing his first full season with the Cleveland Indians. "I was just about to catch the ball," says Fosse, who suffers a badly injured shoulder. "That's when he hit me. I never did touch the ball. I'll tell you, Pete's a hustler."

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