Jan 30, 1958: All-star vote taken from fans
Submitted by BTGrimes on Wed, 01/30/2013 - 9:00am
Commissioner not amused
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick saw a lot of red at the 1957 all-star game and he didn't like it. So, on this date in 1958 Frick took the all-star team voting away from the fans. Frick called it "a joke." The starting lineups for the 1958 all-star team would be determined by a vote of players, coaches and managers.
The problem in 1957 was that Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot boxes enough that almost the entire team was Redlegs*. As it turned out five were in the starting lineup: Frank Robinson, Don Hoak, Roy McMillan, Ed Bailey and Johnny Temple, except for Robinson, not exactly household names.
Gus Bell and George Crowe also appeared to have enough fan support to make the starting lineup. Frick must have thought, ‘Hold on. No Willie Mays, no Stan Musial! No way.' Frick replaced Bell and Crowe with the two future hall of famers.
According to Baseball-Almanac, players, coaches and managers would choose the starters for the all-star team through 1969. The vote went back to the fans in 1970, which is where it stands to this day.
*The Cincinnati Reds were called the Redlegs for a while in the 1950's and 60's because of paranoia during communist red scare. Anything "red" was verboten.
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