The American League, a constellation of whose great stars are shown performing in color on the next four pages, has traditionally been the show window of power baseball. Its great sluggers—from the era of Ruth and Foxx to that of Ted Williams—have always been an unpleasant sight for National League pitchers in the All-Star Game. Today the situation tends to be reversed. Manager Leo Durocher's National Leaguers, fielding a team loaded with such woodsmen as Ted Kluszewski, Duke Snider and Willie Mays, have stolen the power formula. This year Manager Al Lopez and his American Leaguers will be the ones who must counter with speed and superb defense. Yet baseball being what it is, pitching will probably decide the outcome of the 1955 game as it has most of those in the past. What a man named Hubbell and his screwball once did to the greatest line-up of sluggers in All-Star history, Don Newcombe or Robin Roberts or Whitey Ford or Early Wynn (or whatever pitchers are finally chosen by the respective managers to represent their leagues) may still do next Tuesday when the top major leaguers put on the exhibition that has become a unique spectacle in U.S. sport. For a rundown on the 1955 All-Star line-ups, turn to page 57.
Leaning into a pitch, scrappy little Nellie Fox, Chicago White Sox second baseman and a recent American League performer in the All-Star Game, is on the way to first even before completing his swing as he bats against the Indians in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium. The catcher is big Jim Hegan, long considered one of baseball's best backstops.
Good hit, no run Gus Zernial, Kansas City's big, slugging outfielder and sometime American League All-Star, starts a desperate slide into third base as young Andy Carey of the Yankees, backed up by fireballing Pitcher Bob Turley, waits for the relay from the outfield. Heavy-footed Zernial was out.
The double play, featuring such capable operators as Chico Carrasquel and Harvey Kuenn at shortstop and Nellie Fox and Bobby Avila at second, may be an American League strong point. Here Indian Sam Dente takes throw from teammate Avila and relays to first for twin killing against White Sox.
Yankee powerhouse Mickey Mantle, on the way to his biggest season, gives the junior league speed, a great throwing arm and switch-hitting power to equal anything in the National League. Here Mantle is greeted by teammates Gil McDougald, Billy Hunter, Andy Carey after hitting home run.
All-Star game would hardly be complete without Ted Williams, who has probably contributed more drama to the contest with his tremendous slugging than any other player.
Distinguished veteran of All-Star Game, Yankee Catcher Yogi Berra, has played every inning of the last four classics. Here he talks it over with Tom Morgan, one of 1955's ace relief pitchers.
Ready for anything, Detroit's Shortstop Harvey Kuenn gets set. Rookie of the Year in 1953, Kuenn was even better last season. Now, a real veteran, he's full-fledged star.