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On This Date in Sports July 7, 1937: FDR and the All-Stars

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first President to attend the All-Star Game, as the game is played at Washington’s Griffith Stadium. The American League continues to reign supreme in the All-Star Game, winning for the fourth time in the first five years by a score of 8-3. The hitting star for the Americans is Lou Gehrig, the pride of the New York Yankees, who goes 2-for-4 with a double and a home run, driving in four runs. While on the National side, Joe Medwick of the St. Louis Cardinals stars with four hits.

The game's most significant story has nothing to do with President Roosevelt throwing out the first pitch as Cardinals ace Dizzy Dean suffers an injury that would affect the remainder of his career. One batter after Lou Gehrig’s two-run home run in the third inning, Dean took a line drive off the bat of Cleveland Indians Outfielder Earl Averill that stuck him in the foot. Averill was out on the play as Chicago Cubs' second baseman Billy Herman fielded the ball and made the throw to first. When Dean got to the clubhouse, he discovered he had broken his toe. Not taking the injury seriously, Dizzy Dean rushed back, but attempting to pitch with an injured toe changed his delivery and injured his arm. He won just 16 more games before retiring in 1941 at 31. Despite the injury, Dizzy Dean, who won 134 games before the age of 27, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953 while spending many years as a popular baseball color man on the radio and television.

Adding insult to injury, Dizzy Dean took the loss in the All-Star Game. The winning pitcher was New York Yankees ace Lefty Gomez, starting the mid-summer classing for the fourth time in five years, earning his third All-Star Game win, allowing just one hit in three innings. In the middle of a four-year championship reign, the Yankees dominated the All-Star Game. With Gehrig’s four RBI and Gomez earning the win, Red Rolfe had a two-run triple in the fourth inning, with Bill Dickey driving home a run in the fifth with a double, as Joe DiMaggio singled ahead of Gehrig’s third-inning blast.