1938 East-West Game - Second Game (Negro League)

From BR Bullpen

After the West team won the East-West Game in 1938, an unofficial second game was organized to be played after both leagues had officially finished their seasons, but was plagued by a number of problems, not the least of which was the fact that the NAL did not approve it. Originally set up to be played September 18 at the Polo Grounds, it was postponed for a week because of bad weather and the inevitable problem that the Negro Leagues faced when scheduling their games in a major league venue around the plans of the host team. While the game was finally played on the 25th before a crowd reported at 12,000 (a healthy attendance for Negro Leagues games), the western squad lacked most of the names from the first contest, consisting almost entirely of players from the Memphis and Birmingham teams. It is not considered to have been an official part of the East-West game canon, but was advertised at the time as being another East-West Game at the time.

Line score[edit]

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R H E
West 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 4 7 2
East 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 1 5 8 1
none out when winning run scored
W: Barney Brown  L: Jack Bruton
HRs: Bert Johnston


West Starting Lineup

Backups used


  • Larry Brown

East Starting Lineup

Backups used


  • Vic Harris

Game highlights[edit]

Ted Trent pitched six hitless innings for the West, and had a shutout for the first seven innings. Ray Brown started for the East and pitched three strong innings, holding the West scoreless and fanning six. Johnny Taylor followed in the fourth, allowing the West's first run on four walks. In the fifth, Johnston's long drive into the left field corner bounced back into play, and it took an umpires conference to decide it had hit the foul pole, giving him a home run and doubling the West's lead. The West squad added two more tallies in the seventh on an error, a walk, and two singles.

Trent's no-hitter was broken in the seventh by a scratch single, and he weakened in the eighth. Willie Wells led off with a walk. Dandridge fanned. Jake Dunn doubled to the right field wall, sending Wells to third. Barney Brown's single scored both men, cutting the East's deficit in half. Wright doubled to center, and both men scored on Williams' single, tying the score at four. Trent allowed two more singles in the ninth without a score, and was removed for pinch-hitter Jack Bruton in the top of the tenth. In the bottom of the tenth, Bruton replaced Trent on the mound and gave up a lead-off double to Wright. He then could not find the plate, walking Williams, Bankhead, and pinch-hitter Harris in order, forcing in the winning run. The Pittsburgh Courier called it a "drab climax to a Grade-A thriller".

Josh Gibson, who had not played in the August game at Comiskey, started the game, but left after striking out in his only at bat, Pepper Bassett replacing him.


Six players from the West team were fined $25 each by the Negro American League office for having played in an unsanctioned game while billed officially representing the league. the owner of the Birmingham Black Barons, Henry L. Moore, was the organizer and promoter of the game and was forced to forfeit his team back to the league as a result of this and other incidents. Whether the fines (or suspensions in lieu of fines) were enforced against the players was not reported.

However, the idea of having two East-West games each year, one in Comiskey and one at another site, took hold as a result of this game, and two games were held in 1939, 1942, and 1946-48.