Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Identifying everyone in the 1933 Goudey R309-1 American League & National League All-Star Team photos

The 1933 World's Fair in Chicago, also called A Century of Progress, included baseball's first All-Star Game, an assumed one-off benefit that became MLB's annual midseason event thanks to vigorous fan response. Discussions from April to May coalesced into a real game by June and team owners rearranged all scheduled games for July 6, allowing top stars to face off that day in Chicago, where the AL triumphed 4-2.

Full ticket auctioned for $4300+ in 2004

Breathless pregame coverage included complete position-by-position and "who will pitch first?" analysis, echoing what you hear from today's sports reporters. Fans chose each starting nine via newspaper ballots, with pitchers and reserves falling to legendary managers Connie Mack and John McGraw.

As the multi-franchise host city, Chicago assigned on-field staff by league affiliation, so the NL team photo included Cubs batboy Gilbert Hasbrook and team trainer Andy Lotshaw. Almost everyone wore matching "National League" uniforms, perhaps as mandated by McGraw.

Another, crisper view of this august assemblage, sans chapeau. (Credit Wally Berger as the sole player to spot this photo's camera head-on.)

Some names faded faster into baseball history than others, so let's spell them all out.

Non-All-Star Bill Walker stands out from that crowd in his distinctive Cardinals "birds on a bat" uniform. Based on 1933 game splits, he pitched four-plus innings in Pittsburgh the day prior (July 5), so I think St. Louis player-manager Frankie Frisch brought him along to toss National League batting practice.

The American League team stuck to original team uniforms for their photos, with Comiskey Park's clubhouse attendants (three Colledge brothers, all nicknamed "Sharkey") crashing its photo.

In the spirit of Roy Carlson's recent legwork on Topps team cards for Sports Collectors Daily, let's nail down everyone in that photo, since Goudey left some stones unturned.

This photo from The Sporting News did a better job than Goudey identifying peripheral participants William Conroy, an 18 year-old future catcher who Connie Mack brought to throw batting practice, and those three "Sharkey" brothers (Ephraim, Art, and Harry Colledge).

The aforementioned Roy Carlson pointed me to "Colledge" as proper last names for those Sharkey brothers. Two of them, Ephraim and Art, worked in Comiskey's clubhouse until 1966 and 1958 Topps shows one under his given last name at far left of its second row. 1933 NL All-Star Tony Cuccinello, now coaching, also reappears in a White Sox uniform.

1958 Topps #256, White Sox team with Colledge & Cuccinello

All-Star batboy John McBride cameoed with Lou Gehrig as Ruth crossed home plate after hitting the All-Star Game's first home run. Dreams come true!

AL batting practice pitcher William Conroy's 1933 victory charm later passed to his family and surfaced in our hobby via an REA 2013 auction.
Anything else you'd like to know about the game's players or staff, let me know below.


Bo said...

I never knew the original All Star Game was part of a World's Fair. I forgot there was one in Chicago in '33.

Matthew Glidden said...

Imagine if the All-Star Games had been linked with less-frequent Worlds Fairs instead! It would feel more like the World Cup for baseball.