Friday, December 28, 2012

1944 Dodgers vs. Yankees vs. Giants Tri-Cornered Baseball Game


I learn new stuff about Dodgers history all of the time.  For instance, I was cruising around reddit a few weeks back and came across a thread that I found intriguing.  It referenced a Tri-Cornered Baseball Game that featured the Dodgers, Giants and Yankees.  I wondered to myself, "what the heck is a Tri-Cornered Baseball Game?"

Well, a little bit of research and some post from some helpful redditors provided an answer.

On June 26, 1944, in the midst of WWII, a three-way exhibition Baseball game between the New York area teams was put together to benefit the sale of War Bonds.  Per Keyman Collectibles,
Admission to the game was by purchase of series E, F, and G war bonds. The 40,000 general admission unreserved seats cost one $25 war bond; the 5,809 reserved seats in the lower stands went for a $100 bond; the box seats both upper and lower cost the fan a $1,000 war bond. Bleacher seats were free to servicemen. 
Approximately 50,000 fans attended. The day started off with a skills competition, then Al Schacht, the Clown Prince of Baseball, hit the field to perform his magic.  Milton Berle was also there to entertain the crowd.  In all, $56.5Mil was collected; including $50Mil in bonds purchased by the City of New York, $1Mil contributed by the Bond Clothing Company in exchange for a signed copy of the Baseball program from the day, and $5.5 Mil from attendees.  Per a Daily Times report, it was their hope to collect up to $60Mil in funds.

Featured above is the cover of a program from the event.  As you can see, it features a Willard Mullin drawing of each teams mascot. There are 16 pages and it includes rosters, player descriptions and stats.  Go to Keyman Collectibles story to see a handful of pages from the program.  BTW, this program in rough (VG) condition would run you about $50.00 to $100.00.

Now, on to the actual Baseball game. The rules are as follows:
The Dodgers and Yankees played the first inning while the Giants sat out; the Dodgers and Giants played the second inning while the Yankees sat out; the Yankees and Giants played the third inning while the Dodgers sat out. The same order continued to the game's end. 
So, each team batted three times, played the field on three occasions, and sat out waiting their turn for three innings. The entire match last about 3 hours, and at the end of the afternoon the Dodgers won! 

I have yet to find a play-by-play account of the game, but I'll continue to look.  Below is the line score from the game.

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