THROWBACK THURSDAY: Wrigley Field’s first All-Star moment

WGN News Now

CHICAGO – The best players in Major League Baseball will be making their way to Denver early next week to take part in the “Mid-Summer Classic” for the first time in two years.

The COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to the All-Star Game in 2020, but it’s back in 2021 to showcase some of the best talent in professional baseball.

It’s been a while since the Cubs had a chance to do so, with the team not hosting the game since July of 1990 – nearly 31 years ago. Chicago hasn’t had the All-Star Game since 2003 when it was hosted at then US Cellular Field.

But Thursday was a fun moment for fans to remember the first time that the Cubs were able to host the Mid-Summer Classic, since it marked the 74th anniversary of the game making its debut at Wrigley Field. Andy Pafko and Phil Cavaretta represented the home team as reserves while Luke Appling represented the White Sox.

A sunny day greeted a full house as the American League took on the National League in what would end up being a pitcher’s duel. Johnny Mize gave the home squad a lead with fourth inning solo homer, but the National League wouldn’t score again.

Appling scored the tying run for the American League in the sixth when Joe DiMaggio, who was the leading vote-getter from the fans, grounded into a double play. Stan Spence of the Washington Senators drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh to give the American League a 2-1 win.

The very quick 2-hour, 19-minute game is the first of three held at the ballpark, with the Cubs hosting the All-Star Game in 1962 then again in 1990. Both of those games ended with the American League winning the game, doing so 9-4 in 1962 and 2-0 in 1990.

Larry Hawley featured this contest in “Throwback Thursday” on WGN News Now, and you can watch the report in the video above.

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