In the moments before the first pitch, it was clear something special was about to take place. It was a warm summer Friday on the south side of Chicago and thousands of fans who’d taken part in voting across the country had made a pilgrimage to see baseball’s biggest stars compete against each other. A half million ballots were cast by newspaper readers who voted for players having the best seasons to date.
The brainchild of Chicago sportswriter Arch Ward, the All-Star Game was one of those rare instant hits. Fans camped out overnight to snatch up the only remaining tickets—bleacher seats. Many left empty-handed.
On the field, two of the game’s most famous names, Connie Mack and John McGraw posed for photographs, playfully holding a bat. Mack was 71 (but nowhere close to finished managing) while McGraw, 60, had paused his recent retirement to manage the National Leaguers.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day was taken that afternoon at Comiskey Park. The 7×9” image includes the original caption, still attached to the back, documenting that historic day. It’s among more than 300 historic photos being offered in RMY’s August auction.
The All-Star Game was intended to be a one-time event, something to take the nation’s mind off the Great Depression and help disabled and needy former players. Thousands of banks had closed and unemployment had skyrocketed. After Babe Ruth homered and players gave their approval, however, the Midsummer Classic became the popular staple we still know today.