Arch (Ward) called me one day and asked me to have dinner with him. I didn’t know he had anything in mind other than a sociable dinner until he sprang the All-Star Game idea on me, and I was flabbergasted at first. The idea was sound enough since that was the first year of the World’s Fair in Chicago and Arch wanted to make an All-Star Game one of the highlights. His sales pitch was that it would be a wonderful thing for baseball. I told Arch I would submit the proposition to the owners. The American League owners finally agreed after considerable discussion that it would join strictly as an attraction for the 1933 Fair. At first the National League opposed it, but finally agreed to play the game for only one year. The game turned out to be so wonderful and so well accepted by the fans that the owners quickly agreed to continue the game and it became a solid fixture.
~Will Harridge in Professional Baseball: The First 100 Years (1976)
Fun fact for the day:
The shortest player in baseball history was Edward Carl Gaedel, an American man with dwarfism who stood 3 feet 7 inches tall and weighed a mere 65 pounds (which, incidentally, also makes him the lightest player in history). On Sunday 19 August 1951, Eddie Gaedel made his only Major League appearance in the second game of a double header for the St. Louis Browns against the Detroit Tigers. Wearing the number 1/8″ on his jersey, which actually belonged to one of the batboys, Gaedel stepped up to the plate against pitcher Bob Crain at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis. To ensure that he drew a walk, Gaedel was instructed not to lift the bat off his shoulders, which left a strike zone of only 1.5″. Sure enough, Gaedel walked on four pitches.
Later that week, American League President Will Harridge declared that Bill Veeck, owner of the Browns, was making a mockery of the game, and Major League Baseball took Gaedel out of the record books. This decision was overturned a year later, and Gaedel was returned to the books.
“Man, felt like Babe Ruth.”