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Stuffing the ballot box
2006-07-03 13:16
by Bob Timmermann

William Rhoden had a piece in today's New York Times that I can't link to since it's an extra special "Times Select piece". But Rhoden decried ballot box stuffing in the All-Star game. He brought up the example of 1957 when Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot box.

In 1957, Ford Frick, the baseball commissioner, stepped in after Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot boxes and voted eight Reds to the N.L. starting lineup. Frick removed the Cincinnati players Gus Bell, George Crowe and Wally Post from the lineup, replacing them with Stan Musial, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.

"Yeah, I thought it was unfair," Crowe, a first baseman, said yesterday from his home in California, referring to Frick's decision. "The fans voted me in, I thought I should have been there. My feelings weren't hurt. We had a system that was in place, and I thought they should have abided by it."

Actually, in 1957, Cincinnati fans were able to get starters voted in at seven of the eight positions. The only Cincinnati player on the ballot who did not win the vote at his position was George Crowe. Musial outpolled him by about 90,000 votes.

The Los Angeles Times story about the voting is headlined "Musial Elected by Fans Despite Cincy Vote".

Ahh, fact checking, it's so hard to do. It took me about, oh, I'd say, 45 seconds to verify the fact that Crowe hadn't been elected.

2006-07-03 13:32:52
1.   Penarol1916
So did Crowe didn't get elected, he still went along with Rhoden's piece and acted like he had been removed? Did he forget or did he just like the attention?
2006-07-03 14:42:03
2.   Bob Timmermann
I remember reading an interview with Crowe from the 1980s where he spoke about why he was the only Red who didn't get selected and he thought that the Reds fans didn't want to choose two black players. Frank Robinson did win his contest.
2006-07-03 14:51:49
3.   Bob Timmermann
I would also add that the online edition of this story has a photo of STAN MUSIAL and the caption mentions how he didn't win election.

The print version fortunately avoids this.

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