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1946 East-West Game - First Game (Negro League)

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The first 1946 East-West Game was held in Griffith Stadium on August 15, 1946. It marked several firsts - the first East-West Game after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Organized Baseball, the first East-West Game with no extra-base hits and the first East-West Game in Washington, DC. The host East team got its first win since 1942, with a 6-3 victory built off strong pitching (except for one inning). It also might have been the first time the West starting lineup had no members of either the Kansas City Monarchs or Chicago American Giants, relying instead on players from the Birmingham Black Barons, Cleveland Buckeyes and Memphis Red Sox. Attendance was 16,268.

The East got going quickly. Henry Kimbro opened the bottom of the first with a walk, courtesy of Dan Bankhead. Larry Doby singled him to third, when Howard Easterling singled in Kimbro. Buck Leonard grounded in Doby for a 2-0 lead.

After Barney Brown blanked them with three perfect innings, the West got their only offense in the 4th against Panamanian Pat Scantlebury, a future major leaguer. Artie Wilson singled, then Sam Jethroe hit a grounder to Sammy Bankhead, but Bankhead erred, blowing a potential double-play ball. Piper Davis singled in Wilson and Willie Grace singled as well to tie it. Bill Byrd relieved the ineffective Sccantlebury and yielded a RBI hit to Bubba Hyde. Alec Radcliffe, a star of the 1945 East-West Game, hit into a double play, but the West led, 3-2. They would not score again off Byrd, Jonas Gaines or Leon Day.

The lead was short-lived. In the bottom of the 4th, another Panamanian head for the majors struggled, this time Webbo Clarke of the West. Easterling bunted his way aboard then cleanup man Leonard laid down a sacrifice. Monte Irvin singled to tie it, then Josh Gibson singled him to third. Gentry Jessup relieved but pinch-hitter Lennie Pearson singled home Irvin to give the East the lead for good, 4-3.

The East tacked on some last insurance. Kimbro bunted his way aboard, then Doby hit into a force. Doby swiped second, then Easterling got an infield hit. A wild pitch by Jessup scored Doby with the 5th East run. Leonard again grounded in a run for the final margin of victory.

Star performers for the East were Doby (2 for 4, 2 R), Easterling (3 for 4, 2 R, RBI) and the pitching quarter of Brown (3 perfect innings), Byrd (2 2/3 IP, 1 H, 4 K, 0 R, the win), Gaines (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R) and Day (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R). Scantlebury (3 R in 1/3 IP) was their worst player.

For the West, Davis (2 for 4, R, RBI, throwing out Fernando Diaz-Pedroso at home) and Johnny Williams (2 shutout innings, one hit) was the stars. Lowlights included Clarke (2 R in 1/3 IP), Jessup (2 R in 2 2/3 IP), Dan Bankhead (2 R in 3 IP) and Archie Ware (0 for 4).

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
West 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 0
East 2 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 - 6 10 1

[edit] Players used

East Starting Lineup

Backups Used

Manager

West Starting Lineup

Backups Used

Manager

Source: Black Baseball's National Showcase by Larry Lester

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