I will admit it right at the start: Today's title is a cheap attempt to cash in on the attention being paid to the looming 2013 All-Star Game. This 1908 version really wasn't an "All-Star Game" as we understand the concept. It was, instead, an exhibition between the Red Sox and a collection of American League players who ranged in talent level from extreme scrubs to highly competent careerists. Basically, it was a collection of the handy and the willing. Absent were such A.L. luminaries as Bid Ed Walsh, Addie Joss, Sam Crawford, Eddie Plank, Ty Cobb, Nap Lajoie, Bobby Wallace and Walter Johnson. The reason for the game was a tribute to 41-year old Cy Young, who started for Boston. This wonderful, circular scorecard was produced just for this game.
Here is how the New York Times described the proceedings:
Nearly 20,000 persons from all over New England to-day paid tribute to Denton Tecumseh (Cy) Young of Peola, Ohio, the Boston American League baseball team’s veteran pitcher, at the American League grounds. Three silver loving cups, a traveling bag, and two big floral pieces were presented to Young. The largest cup was given to Mr. Young by his many admirers through a local newspaper, Lieut. Gov. Draper making the presentation. Manager Fielder Jones of the Chicago American League Club made the presentation of a large silver cup given by the players of the American League. One other cup was given by a friend, and a traveling bag by the umpires of the American League. The Boston National League Club gave a big floral offering.
The main attraction, besides "Cy" himself, was a game between the Boston nine and a team of star players picked from the other American League clubs.
Dear New York Times,
Recently, while trolling your archives, I ran across a story in your issue of August 14, 1908, concerning an exhibition game played the day before in Boston. Much to my horror, you listed the middle name of Cy Young as "Tecumseh" as if he were William T. Sherman. His actual middle name is "True" as any real American should know. I beseech you to print a correction as soon as possible, preferably in tomorrow's early edition, so that future generations researching your back catalog will not be so grossly misinformed.
A Concerned Reader
The American team beat Boston 3-2 in 11 innings. This was their lineup:
Davy Jones, Detroit; lf
Willie Keeler, New York; rf
George Mullin, Detroit; rf*
Hal Chase, New York; 2b
Red Killefer, Detroit; 2b**
Harry Davis, Philadelphia; 1b
Fielder Jones, Chicago; cf
Freddy Parent, Chicago; ss
Jimmy Collins, Philadelphia; 3b
Ossee Schrecongost, Philadelphia; c (listed as "Schreck" in the box score)
Deacon McGuire, Boston; c***
Jack Chesbro, New York; p
George Suggs, Detroit; p
Jack Coombs, Philadelphia; p
Bill Burns, Washington; p
George Winter, Detroit; p
*Mullin was an outstanding pitcher who also contributed 13.3 WAR as a hitter during the course of his career. In this game, he started in the outfield.
**The Times lists this player as "Killifer," so identifying him as Red Killefer is my best guess.
***The boxscore lists this player as "J. McG're" so it's my guess that this is the 44-year old James "Deacon" McGuire, who made one plate appearance for the Red Sox that year and was apparently loaned out to the opposition for this exhibition.