Carl Hubbell strikes out five Hall of Famers in succession at the All-Star Game
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Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin – five of the game’s greatest hitters of all-time – all were set down in order. All in all, Hubbell’s final stat line for the day showed that he gave up no runs, two hits and recorded six strikeouts in three innings of work.
His performance on that July day at the Polo Grounds in New York City has long been remembered by baseball fans and media alike as one of the greatest All-Star performances ever. Longtime sports writer for the Boston Globe Bob Ryan said: “In terms of All-Star Game pitching feats, there is one standing far, far apart from all others. On July 10, 1934, in the Polo Grounds, the National League's Carl Hubbell wrote himself some baseball history by striking out the final three men of the first inning and the first two of the second. Any self-respecting baseball historian knows the names by heart, and almost invariably rattles them off so quickly it's as if the five men had one name: Ruthgehrigfoxxsimmonscronin.”
One-thousand, six hundred and seventy-seven times batters made the long walk back to the dugout with their heads down after being sent back by Hubbell in his 16-year career. But Hubbell was not known as a strikeout pitcher.
“I never was a strikeout pitcher like Bob Feller or Dizzy Dean or Dazzy Vance,” Hubbell said. “My style of pitching was to make the other team hit the ball, but on the ground. It was as big a surprise to me to strike out all those fellows as it probably was to them.”