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Dean's injury marred 1937 All-Star Game

Yankees' Gehrig, Gomez led American League to win

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

Although Franklin Roosevelt was the first U.S. President to attend an All-Star Game, the fifth edition on July 7, 1937, at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., is best remembered for an injury suffered during the game by baseball's premier attraction of the time.

On the last play of the bottom of the third inning, National League starting pitcher Dizzy Dean, 27, who had won 133 games in his first 5 1/2 Major League seasons while leading the league in strikeouts four times, was struck on his left foot by a line drive hit by outfielder Earl Averill.

• 2016 All-Star Game

Averill was thrown out and Dean left the game as scheduled. But an examination showed the line drive had broken Dean's big toe. Attempting later in the season to come back before the toe was completely healed, Dean altered his delivery because of the toe, injured his arm and was never the same.

Dean won only 17 more games in his career before being forced into retirement in 1941 at the age of 31. Dean was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1953 and later became among the first national television voices of Major League Baseball.

As for the game, the American League won for the fourth time in five years, defeating the National League 8-3 behind a Yankees-led attack.

First baseman Lou Gehrig opened the scoring with a two-run over off Dean in the third - one hitter before the pitcher suffered the injury. Gehrig later added a two-run double.

Yankees third baseman Red Rolfe was 2-for-4 with a two-run triple and two runs scored. Yankee catcher Bill Dickey was 2-for-3 with a RBI. Tigers second baseman Charlie Gehringer was 3-for-5.

But the top hitter in the game was National League left fielder Joe Medwick of the Cardinals, who went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a RBI. He was the first player to have four hits in an All-Star Game.

Two pitchers set records for the American League.

Making his fourth start in the five-year history of the All-Star Game, Lefty Gomez of the Yankees allowed one hit over three otherwise perfect innings to pick up his third All-Star Game win - a record that still stands.

Mel Harder of the Indians pitched three scoreless innings, despite allowing five hits, to end the game - stretching his run of scoreless innings over four All-Star Game appearances to 13.

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