There have been memorable major league All-Star Games through history but the 1941 Midsummer Classic ranks among the best.
The legendary Boston Red Sox slugger Ted Williams provided the heroics when the American League rallied past the National League, 7-5 on July 8, 1941. The venue was Briggs Stadium in Detroit, home of the Detroit Tigers of the American League.
Williams would finish the season with a milestone .406 batting average. He had led the majors with 145 runs batted in as a rookie two years prior.
His average stood at .405 when he suited up for his second Midsummer Classic. But he and his AL teammates trailed 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth. The AL all-stars loaded the bases for Joe DiMaggio – who would compile a 56-game hit streak that year. DiMaggio beat out a double-play grounder to keep the rally alive. That set the stage for Williams.
The NL led 5-4 with two outs and Joe Gordon and DiMaggio of the New York Yankees on base. Williams, the Splendid Splinter, belted a fastball from Cubs pitcher Claude Passeau into the right-field stands for a walk-off homer, one of the most famous in All-Star Game history. This was the ninth edition of the Midsummer Classic.
The American League’s dramatic comeback overshadowed two home runs hit by Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Arky Vaughan, which had given the NL 3-2 and 5-2 leads in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively.