Caputo & Fithian

Pat Caputo: MLB All-Star Game Not What It Used To Be, But Still Has Meaning

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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

When I was a kid, baseball meant everything to me this time of the year.

Playing it. Watching it on TV. Listening to Ernie Harwell on the radio. Reading about it.

I’d visit the Baldwin Library in Birmingham a lot in the summer, go to the section with the baseball books — and just kind of get lost in the history of the game.

What I discovered is baseball lore is full of moments from the All-Star Game.

It was treated on the same level of the World Series in books.

The first All Star Game at Comiskey Park in Chicago in 1933 was one of the major sporting events of the era.

There were these pictures of bushy-eyed left-hander Carl Hubbell of the Giants. He struck out five Hall of Fame batters in a row during the 1934 All Star Game. Hubbell was a fascinating subject to me because he threw a screwball, which was described as a “reverse curveball.” In every picture of Hubbell I could find, he was finishing with his wrist in a reverse direction.

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