A Midsummer Classic Recision
INTERIOR (INT.) SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA–2020–DAYTIME
A writer sits at his desk drinking coffee and furiously typing away at his computer. We focus on his computer screen…
THE 2020 BASEBALL SEASON SAW MANY FIRSTS AND ONE OF THOSE WAS THE LACK OF A MIDSUMMER CLASSIC. THAT’S RIGHT, 2020 WAS THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1933 THAT THE ALL-STAR GAME WASN’T PLAYED.
The writer leans back in his chair and scratches the top of his head. His iPhone, on silent mode, starts to vibrate. He looks at the phone, makes sure it’s not a spam risk, and answers it.
I am returning your
call about the 2020
I wanted to let
you know that 2020,
as terrible as it has
been, is not in fact
the first time the
All-Star game has
It’s true. The Classic
was also cancelled in
Okay, thanks for the
The writer sets down his phone and looks at what he has written. He presses down the “backspace” key until his screen is blank and then picks up his phone and searches “1945 All-Star Game”.
INT. SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA–2020–TWO HOURS LATER
The writer is still at his desk. He is writing in his notebook, glancing at his computer screen, and then writing down pertinent information. He has switched to water and caffeine-free tea. A cat jumps up on the back of his chair and curls into a ball. He stops writing, pets the cat, and perches his fingers on the keyboard. We focus on his computer screen as he types…
IT WAS FEBRUARY 21, 1945. MOST PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT A TELEVISION WAS AND THE ATOMIC BOMB WAS ABOUT TO BE USED FOR THE FIRST AND SECOND TIME. THE DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL OFFICE OF DEFENSE TRANSPORTATION, A MAN NAMED MONROE JOHNSON, INFORMED ALL U.S. ATHLETIC TEAMS THAT THEIR COOPERATION WAS REQUESTED IN THE WAR EFFORT. THEY NEEDED TO CUT DOWN ON 25 PERCENT OF THEIR TRAVEL FROM THE PREVIOUS SEASON.
THIS INCLUDES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL. THE OWNERS, SNIFFING A LOSS IN INCOME, TRY TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO KEEP AS MUCH OF THEIR FULL SEASON IN PLACE AS POSSIBLE. NATIONAL LEAGUE PRESIDENT, FORD FRICK, HAS THE ANSWER: GET RID OF THE ALL-STAR GAME.
THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS OUTRAGED. THEY WANT ANSWERS. FRICK HAS THEM: TRAVEL DISTANCES FOR PLAYERS, PRESS, AND VARIOUS CLUB EMPLOYEES TO MAKE IT TO BOSTON (WHERE THE 1945 ALL-STAR GAME IS TO BE HELD) WOULD TOTAL SOME 500,000 MILES. BY APPLYING THESE MILES TO REGULAR SEASON TRAVEL, THE SCHEDULE WOULD REMAIN INTACT.
INT. SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA–2020–DUSK APPROACHES
The writer leans back in his chair and finally takes a breath. He rereads what he has written. His cat rests a paw on his shoulder.
I know, I know,
kitty, we dodged
a bullet there.
The writer gives the cat another pet and turns his attention back to writing. We focus back on the screen as the clicking of the keyboard resumes…
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DECIDED TO CONDUCT A POLL TO SELECT AN ALL-STAR TEAM. 13 OF THE 16 MANAGERS CHOSE A PSEUDO ALL-STAR TEAM FOR BOTH LEAGUES. THE AMERICAN LEAGUE AND NATIONAL LEAGUE TEAMS CONSISTED OF SUCH STARS AS MEL OTT, PREACHER ROE, HANK GREENBERG, AND LOU BOUDREAU.
THE OWNERS DECIDE TO SCHEDULE A SERIES OF GEOGRAPHICALLY DESIRABLE EXHIBITION GAMES IN LIEU OF THE ALL-STAR GAME. THERE WERE SEVEN GAMES IN TOTAL, ALL OF WHICH WERE BETWEEN ONE AMERICAN LEAGUE TEAM AND ONE NATIONAL LEAGUE TEAM, FOR EXAMPLE THE NEW YORK GIANTS VS. NEW YORK YANKEES. $240,000 WERE RAISED AND ALL PROCEEDS WERE DIVIDED BETWEEN THE AMERICAN RED CROSS AND THE NATIONAL WAR FUND.
FENWAY PARK AND LUCKY BOSTONIANS WOULDN’T MISS OUT ON THEIR CHANCE TO SEE THE MIDSUMMER CLASSIC. THE GAME WAS RESCHEDULED FOR BOSTON THE FOLLOWING SEASON.
INT. SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA–2020–EVENING
We are watching the writer get up from his chair. He stretches, cracks his neck, and bends over his desk. We focus on the screen. He moves the cursor to “save” and clicks it. Then he moves the cursor to the “X” in the corner of the screen and closes out. He turns, smiles at his cat that is still curled up on the back of the chair, and turns off the lamp.
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images