1942 East-West Game - First Game (Negro League)

From BR Bullpen

The First 1942 East-West Game was the twelfth East-West Game, marking the tenth year the classic was played. This was the third of six times the East-West game would be played as a two-city double-header. This was played on August 16 in Comiskey Park; a second game was played two days later in Cleveland's Municipal Stadium.

The top vote-getters for the West team were P Satchel Paige (236,672), P Hilton Smith (157,823), 1B Buck O'Neil (148,390), and OF Willard Brown (133,572), all members of the Kansas City Monarchs. Eastern voting was much lower than in the mid-west, and leading vote recipients on the East team were OF Bill Wright of the Baltimore Elite Giants (59,896), Dave Barnhill of the New York Cubans, and Willie Wells of the Newark Eagles (55,096).

The East squad won its fourth consecutive game against the West before a crowd of 45,179, giving it an 8-4 lead in the series. The game was marked by an absence of long-ball hitting, and by Paige's relative ineffectiveness against the East, surrendering three runs in as many innings.

The East drew first blood in the third inning when Dan Wilson legged out a double to short center and scored on Sam Bankhead's hard double to right center. The West tied it up in their half of the inning, starting when Hilton Smith reached on third baseman Andy Patterson's two-base error and was replaced by pinch-runner Fred Bankhead. Cool Papa Bell hit a grounder to East short stop Willie Wells, who tried to trap Bankhead between the bases, but Patterson's second error of the inning allowed Bankhead reach third safely, with Bell safe at first. Parnell Woods beat an attempted double play with Bankhead scoring.

The East took the lead back in the fifth when Wilson walked, stole second, reached third on Wells' fly to center, and scored on Josh Gibson's sharp single to center. The West tied it again when Woods led off with the game's longest hit, a triple to center, and scored on Joe Greene's slow roller to second.

Paige entered the game in the seventh with a 2-2 score to what the Chicago Defender described as a "tremendous ovation". Lenny Pearson, pinch-hitting for pitcher Barnhill, dropped a hit into right and was credited with a double when Ted Strong lost it in the sun. He took second when Dan Wilson beat out a bunt and scored on Sam Bankhead's fly out. The West mounted a threat in the bottom of the inning against Barney Brown, but Leon Day relieved him with two outs and shut down all further West offense.

The East scored its last two runs in the ninth. Dan Wilson bunted and reached second on Buck O'Neil's threw wide past Paige. Second baseman Tommy Sampson dropped O'Neil's throw on Sam Bankhead's bunt, allowing Wilson to third and Bankhead to first. Josh Gibson, who already had two singles in the game, was intentionally walked to load the bases, and two runs scored when Bill Wright lined a single to right, making the final score 5-2, East.

Leon Day retired all seven men he faced, striking out five, including fanning the side in the ninth inning.

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

Players used[edit]

East Starting Lineup


West Starting Lineup


Source: Black Baseball's National Showcase by Larry Lester