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Cubs historical sleuthing: All-Star edition

There aren’t too many photos around of this game.

This photo is obviously of Wrigley Field, with the original pre-1978 dugouts. The brick wall and the metal gate leading to a seating aisle are a dead giveaway.

But there aren’t any Cubs on the field in this photo, and indeed, there are players from several different teams. Obviously, it’s from an All-Star Game, and the uniform styles give it away: It’s the 1962 All-Star Game, the second one that year, played July 30 at Wrigley.

(MLB played two All-Star Games each year from 1959 through 1962, with the extra proceeds going towards a player pension fund.)

The players are easily identifiable. No. 24 for the Pirates is shortstop Dick Groat. The only man who played first base for the American League in that game was Baltimore’s Jim Gentile. The umpire is Bill McKinley, who was an A.L. umpire from 1949-65. Standing in the background looking somewhat confused is White Sox pitcher Ray Herbert.

The play-by-play of this game tells when this play happened. With one out in the fifth inning, Groat beat out an infield grounder to shortstop (thus the stretch by Gentile).

What I was more interested in figuring out from this photo was the identities of the players visible in the third-base dugout, the National League’s home dugout that afternoon.

There’s a man in a Cardinals uniform at the left. Three Cardinals players were on the N.L. All-Star team that day: Ken Boyer, Stan Musial and Bob Gibson. Cardinals manager Johnny Keane was a coach. It’s clearly not Gibson, nor does it look like Musial or Boyer. I’m guessing that’s Keane.

Next to him is a player wearing a Houston Colts uniform. The only Houston player on that team was Turk Farrell.

Then there’s another Cardinal — that definitely looks like Gibson.

To the right of Herbert, you can see two Cubs. Ernie Banks and Billy Williams were N.L. All-Stars in 1962; it’s difficult to tell which is which, but I’m going to say it’s Ernie immediately to the right of Herbert, and Billy next, at the right edge of the photo.

Here’s a larger version of the photo if you want to see more detail.

It’s a fascinating moment in time. It would be 28 years before there would be another All-Star Game at Wrigley, that one in 1990, and there will likely be another one after the Wrigley renovations are complete, possibly in 2021 or 2022.

Here’s the radio broadcast of this game, with Cubs broadcaster Jack Quinlan and Tigers broadcaster George Kell on the call.

At 1:35:30 into the broadcast, Quinlan talks about the center-field bleachers being opened up for that game. They’d been closed since 1952 as a hitters’ background, and the 1962 All-Star Game was the last time any fans sat there. Here’s the story as told by BCB reader ernaga of how he got into those bleachers on that day, originally posted here in 2011.