1935 East-West Game (Negro League)

From BR Bullpen

The 1935 East-West Game was the most dramatic of the East-West Games to that point. Played on August 11 at Comiskey Park, the fans got to see three exciting comebacks by the West to win a game which did not look like it would go their way. On the 11th day of the month, the West scored 11 runs on 11 hits to win it in the 11th inning.

The leaders in fan voting were West SS Willie Wells (16,262), East OF Martin Dihigo (15,802) and East SS Jake Stephens (14,028). Among the famous names to get few votes were Satchel Paige (2,184, not among the top 10 pitchers), Biz Mackey (7,215, fifth among catchers) and Cool Papa Bell (8,578, not among the top 15 outfielders).

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
East 2 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 8 11 5
West 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 4 3 11 11 5

Ray Brown gave up two runs in the first to the East and opposing hurler Slim Jones homered in the 4th. Jones had hurled three shutout innings. In the bottom of the sixth, down 4-0, the West staged their first rally, scoring three off of Leon Day and they tacked on another in the next inning to tie it up.

Things began getting even more interesting in the 10th inning. With Bob Griffith on the hill for the West, Jud Wilson and Alejandro Oms singled. A walk to Biz Mackey loaded the bases. Fats Jenkins grounded to Wells at short, who erred to let one run in. Ray Dandridge pinch-hit for Dick Seay and singled in two more. With one out, Stephens singled in Jenkins for the East's 4th run of the 10th inning, seemingly locking it up.

In the bottom of the 10th, Chester Williams drew a walk from Luis Tiant Sr.. Josh Gibson singled to right, sending Williams to third. A walk to Mule Suttles loaded the bases. Felton Snow pinch-hit for Griffith and Martin Dihigo moved from center field to the mound to face the right-hander and got two quick strikes. After a ball was issued, Snow singled to center to plate two and put the tying run aboard. Alec Radcliffe grounded into a force, Stephens to Dandridge, Suttles scoring on the play and Snow safe at first. Turkey Stearnes singled to center, bringing Radcliffe 90 feet from tying the game. Webster McDonald, the East manager, began to throw in the bullpen. Dihigo then got Buck Leonard to fly out to left, but Radcliffe beat Jenkins' throw home to tie the score.

After a scoreless relief inning by Sug Cornelius (aided by a great running catch by Suttles to rob Mackey), the West attack continued in the bottom of the 11th inning. Dihigo walked Cool Papa Bell and Sammy T. Hughes bunted Bell over. Martin threw inside to Chester Williams, who "raved as though someone had stuck him with a hypodermic syringe" according to a newspaper account, but the umpire said it was a foul. Williams struck out. McDonald decided to walk Gibson to face Suttles instead. After two fouls, Mule then hit a dramatic game-ending three-run shot to right-center field.

For the East, four players had two hits, but the surprising hitting star was pitcher Slim Jones (2 for 2 with their only extra-base hit, the home run). Three of the starting position players did not get hits despite playing all game, but each of those drew a walk. The most likely goats were the pitchers - Day allowed 4 runs in 4, Tiant 3 runs in 2 and Dihigo 4 runs in 1 2/3. Additionally, Dihigo had two errors in the field.

For the West, the offensive attack was clearly powered by Gibson (4 for 5, 2 doubles, 3 runs, RBI, walk) and Suttles (1 for 2, 4 walks, 3 runs, 3 RBI, the big home run). Ted Trent was their most effective pitcher, throwing two scoreless innings; Cornelius was the only other one of the five they used who did not allow a run. The weakest efforts among position players came from the most popular vote-getter, Wells (0 for 3, an error) and player-manager Oscar Charleston (0 for 3, an error and a run). Neither finished the game. Griffith (4 runs in two, seven baserunners) was the hurler who helped the club the least.


East Starting Lineup

Backups used


West Starting Lineup

Backups used


Source: Black Baseball's National Showcase by Larry Lester