On This Date in Sports July 12 1955: Stan the Man

in collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com


The National League rallies from a 5-0 deficit to beat the American League 6-5 in 12 innings at the All-Star Game at County Stadium in Milwaukee. The American League scored four runs in the first with Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees hitting a three-run bomb. Hank Aaron of the host Braves delivered a two-run single to tie the game in the eighth. The NL would win the game on a walk-off home run by Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals. 

The All-Stars came to Milwaukee for the first time as County Stadium played hosted to the mid-summer classic. Al Lopez of the Cleveland Indians managed the American League team, while Leo Durocher from the New York Giants was in charge of the National League squad. It was a beautiful day for baseball in Milwaukee as Robin Roberts of the Philadelphia Phillies started for the NL. At the same time, Bill Pierce of the Chicago White Sox got the call for the American League. There was a tinge of sadness as the game was played as Arch Ward the man who came up with the idea for the All-Star Game was laid to rest in Chicago. 

Robin Roberts got off to a terrible start for the National League as Harvey Kuenn of the Detroit Tigers and Nellie Fox of the White Sox singled to lead off the game. Kuenn would score the game’s first run on a wild pitch as Roberts walked Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox. Mickey Mantle followed with a three-run home run, giving the American League a 4-0 lead before recording an out. Roberts settled down and did not allow another run in three innings on the mound. Billy Pierce meanwhile was fierce, allowing one hit to Red Schoendienst of the Cardinals in his three innings on the bump. 

In the sixth inning, the American League scratched out a run against Cardinals hurler Harvey Haddix. Yankees catcher Yogi Berra laced a double and later scored on a ground out by Mickey Vernon of the Washington Senators. The American League meanwhile got three strong innings from Early Wynn of the Indians to keep the National League scoreless. 

Down 5-0, the National League began their comeback in the seventh inning against White Ford of the Yankees. Willie Mays of the Giants led off the inning with a single after Ford retired the next two batters, he gave he NL the opening they needed when he walked Hank Aaron. Johnny Logan of the Braves followed with a single that scored Mays. Next up was Phillies catcher Stan Lopata who reached base on an errant throw by White Sox shortstop Chico Carrsquel, which also allowed Aaron to score. 

Dodgers ace Don Newcombe pitched well in the seventh but was lifted for a pinch hitter. With Sam Jones of the Chicago Cubs on the mound, the American League loaded the bases with two walks and a hit by a pitch in the eighth. Joe Nuxhall of the Cincinnati Redlegs came into pitch with two outs and stopped the rally by striking out White Ford.  

In the bottom of the eighth, White Ford retired the first two batters, before everything unraveled for the Junior Circuit. Willie Mays started the rally with a single, which was followed by a single from Ted Kluszewski from the Redlegs. Randy Jackson of the Cubs followed up with a single that scored Mays and chased Ford. Frank Sullivan of the Red Sox came into preserve the lead; instead, he gave up a single to Hank Aaron that scored two runs that tied the game 5-5 as an error by Al Rosen of the Indians allowed Jackson to score the tying run.

The game would go into extra inning as Joe Nuxhall pitched in and out of trouble for the National League, while Sullivan spread four hits over the next three innings.

In the 12th inning, Gene Conley of the host Braves dazzled the crowd by striking out Al Kaline of the Tigers along with Mickey Vernon and Al Rosen. Conley also played in the NBA with the Boston Celtics Frank Sullivan remained on the mound for the American League looking to complete a fourth inning. The leadoff batter was Stan Musial, who ended the game with a walk-off home run, giving the National League a thrilling 6-5 win. For Musial, it was his fourth All-Star Game in which he hit a home run, setting a record. Stan Musial still holds the record for most home runs in the mid-summer classic at six.