Cincinnati Reds All-Star Game History: 1938

Johnny Vander Meer was the winning pitcher of the 1938 All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

Johnny Vander Meer was the winning pitcher of the 1938 All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

With the Cincinnati Reds hosting the Major League All-Star Game this summer on July 14, it will be the fifth time the history of the organization the best players will converge near the Ohio River.

The mid-summer classic was in Cincinnati for the first time in 1938. Crosley Field was also the site for the second contest in 1953.

In 1970, the annual affair was played in Riverfront Stadium a few weeks after it opened. The last time the Reds entertained the best of the game was in 1988. This year will be the first time at Great American Ballpark.

Here is a look at the All-Star Game from July 6, 1938:

The Cincinnati Reds figured prominently in the 1938 game. At 23-years old, Johnny Vander Meer started on the mound for the National League in the midst of his second big league season.

Vander Meer was fresh off his back-to-back no-hit performances at home against Boston (June 11) and on the road at Brooklyn (June 15). The left-hander finished the season at 15-10, while earning the victory in the National League’s 4-1 win.

In the all-star contest, Vander Meer held the American League scoreless for three innings as he allowed just one hit to Joe Cronin of the Boston Red Sox. He also fanned Cronin’s Boston teammate Jimmie Foxx.

The National League made a winner of Vander Meer with a run in the first inning off American League starter Lefty Gomez of the New York Yankees on what would be called a sacrifice fly by today’s rules by Joe Medwick of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ernie Lombardi was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1938.

Ernie Lombardi was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1938.

Cincinnati catcher and soon to be NL Most Valuable Player in 1938, Ernie Lombardi made it 2-0 with a run-scoring single in the fourth.

The final runs for the NL came in the seventh inning when Reds first baseman Frank McCormick singled. Brooklyn Dodgers shortstop Leo Durocher followed with a bunt. The AL made two errors after the bunt allowing McCormick and Durocher to both score on the play.

A RBI double by Cronin in the top of the ninth gave the AL its only run of the contest.

In addition to Vander Meer, Lombardi and McCormick, Reds outfielder Ival Goodman played in the game. Reds pitcher Paul Derringer was on the NL roster, but he didn’t get appear in the contest.


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