When Baseball Had Two All-Star Games

The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is the oldest one in American professional sports. It was first held in 1933 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park, and the American League team knocked off the National League squad, 4-2. Although it was played before baseball started appearing on television, it was broadcast nationally on CBS Radio and NBC Radio.

The All-Star Game has consisted of that format ever since and has been held on an annual basis since 1933 with the exception of 1945 as that year’s contest was cancelled due to flight restrictions that were in place as World War II neared its conclusion.

However, that cancellation was more than made up for in 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962 as two All-Star Games were played in the middle of each of those seasons, something that hasn’t happened in any other sport. As often explains decisions such as these, money was the primary factor behind adding a second game each season as that contest helped improve the players’ pension funds after they had fallen into the red.

The games were played more than two weeks apart in three of those seasons and two days apart in 1960. They were both played at NL parks in 1959, both at AL stadiums in 1960 and then split between AL and NL fields in 1961 and 1962.

However, it seemed that by the third season of doing this, it was starting to get to be too much of a good thing, and it became clear that a return to one All-Star Game per season was preferred by the fans. But the players were enjoying the extra money, so it continued for a fourth go-around. However, the owners finally put a stop to it in November 1962, agreeing to increase the players’ share from the one All-Star Game still being played each year.