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Tiger CF Curtis Granderson scored the
winning run in the 2009 MLB All-Star Game
as the American League edged the Nationals
4-3 in St. Louis, MO.
Tigers have been key performers in All-
Star Games since the first was played in
Chicago, IL in 1933 and Detroit 2Bman
Charlie Gehringer was on the AL squad.
Four ASGs have been played in the Motor
City, the 1941, '51, '71 and 2005 contests.
The first three were at Briggs/Tiger
Stadium and the last at Comerica Park.
Since the first All-Star Game in 1933
there has been at least one played (two
each in of the years from 1959--63) in
every summer with one lone exception.
No, the only year skipped wasn't because of a labor dispute. Even in the
1981 season when it was delayed and in the 1994 season when the World
Series was cancelled, the ASG was played.
The only time there wasn't an All-Star Game was in 1945 when World War II
travel restrictions caused the contest to be cancelled.
Yet, even in 1945, there were ASG alternatives played for all but one of the
16 big league teams.
DID YOU KNOW the lone exception in '45 was the Tigers?
In 1945 there were nine exhibitions played on July 9th & 10th for the benefit
of a variety of war relief efforts. Some of these games proved to be the forerunner
of interleague play with natural rivals like the New York Yankees and Giants, the
Chicago White Sox and Cubs, the Boston Red Sox and Braves, the Philadelphia
Phillies vs Athletics and the St. Louis Browns vs Cardinals getting together.
The only team not to participate was the Tigers.
Detroit was slated to play the Pittsburgh Pirates, a bit of a natural rival because
the Tigers had been all set to move to Pittsburgh before a 1903 "Peace Treaty"
between the American and National Leagues blocked the transfer of the Detroit
franchise to the Steel City where a longstanding NL franchise already existed.
However, the US Government denied the Tigers permission to travel for an
exhibition because the rail lines were already clogged out of Detroit with
transportation of military hardware produced by Detroit's "Arsenal of Democracy."
Left without an opponent, the Pirates instead played an away game against
the US Army team based at Indian Gap, PA.
The Athletics played two exhibitions, one vs the Phils and another at the famed
Great Lakes, IL Navy team. The "Bluejackets of Summer" (often called the 17th
major league team) had been managed by former A's HoFame catcher and Tigers
player-manager Mickey Cochrane from 1942--44, but by '45 their skipper was
Cleveland Indians HoFame hurler Bob Feller.
While there was no All-Star Game in 1945, sportswriters from the Associated
Press voted and named two non-official All-Star teams. OFs Doc Cramer & Hank
Greenberg (just back from military service), 2B Eddie Mayo and LHP Hal Newhouser
of the Tigers were all voted to the non-existent AL squad. While Cramer, Greenberg
and Newhouser all participated in multiple ASGs, Mayo's 1945 co-AL-MVP season was
his only chance to play in the mid-summer classic that never was.
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