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Top Tribe All-Star Performances #2: Al Rosen, 1954

Al Rosen went 3-for-4 in the 1954 All-Star Game - with a broken finger.
Al Rosen went 3-for-4 in the 1954 All-Star Game - with a broken finger.

Box Score

Sandy Alomar's home run in 1997 wasn't the first All-Star home run by a Cleveland player in front of his hometown fans. In 1954's game two Indians hit home runs; Larry Doby hit a solo homer in the eighth inning. And Al Rosen hit two home runs, part of a 3-for-4 day that might not have happened had Rosen's pre-game request been granted.

Rosen started the 1954 season as a first baseman, moving from third in order to give Rudy Regalado more playing time. Regalado didn't work out, and Rosen would move back to third, but more difficulties were awaiting him. Rosen broke his right index finger in late May, which sapped his power; and he came into the All-Star Break struggling at the plate. He was slated to start the 1954 All-Star Game, and before the game he requested that he be removed from the starting lineup (or at least pulled quickly) so that the AL had a better chance of winning the game. AL manager Casey Stengel took the request to Commisioner Ford Frick, and the two decided to at least keep him in the starting lineup.

Rosen struck out in the first inning, which spurred him to ask to remain in the game. He next came to the plate with runners on second and third and two outs. He blasted a three-run homer off Robin Roberts to give the AL a 3-0 lead, and after that, there was no question of him being taken out.

The NL took a 7-5 lead with two runs in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the inning, Yogi Berra led off with a single, bringing Rosen to the plate. He pulled a two-run homer into the left field grandstand, tying the game. Rosen got an infield hit in the sixth, loading the bases with two outs. The AL would not score, and the game remained tied at 7. Later, with the NL up 9-8, Larry Doby tied the game with a pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning (Doby's home run just missed the cut for this list). Rosen walked later in the inning, loading the bases. Nellie Fox broke the tie game with a two-run single, finally ending the scoring.

Rosen's two home runs tied an All-Star Game record  (Arky Vaughan (1941), Ted Williams (1946)), and his five RBIs tied a record as well. Since then, two more players have hit two home runs in an All-Star Game (Willie McCovey in 1969, and Gary Carter in 1981).