Despite risking public outrage, the Major League owners collectively decided to cancel the 1945 All-Star Game due to wartime travel restrictions. Initially, the entire season was in jeopardy as the American war effort against Japan was receiving full attention and resources. In February, a memo was sent out from the Office of Defense Transportation ensuring that the season could take place if all teams reduced their travel by twenty-five percent (as compared to the 1944 season). Like most of America, both the league and its fans agreed to sacrifice and the Midsummer Classic was one of the first events to go. Originally scheduled to take place in Boston at Fenway Park, the affair was the first All-Star Game to be cancelled since its inception in 1933. According to Ford C. Frick, president of the National League, cutting out the contest would bring a significant savings with approximately 500,000-less passenger miles spent.
As a replacement, eight simultaneous "inter-league" games were scheduled between the National and American Leagues to help raise money for the American Red Cross and War Relief efforts. These games included the New Yankees versus the Giants at the Polo Grounds, the Chicago Cubs versus the White Sox at Comiskey Park, the Cincinnati Reds versus the Cleveland Indians at Cleveland Stadium, the Brooklyn Dodgers versus the Washington Senators at Griffith Stadium, the St. Louis Cardinals versus the Browns at Sportsman's Park, the Philadelphia Athletics versus the Phillies at Shibe Park, the Detroit Tigers versus the Pirates at Forbes Field (which ended up being cancelled) and the Boston Braves versus the Red Sox at Fenway.
With the cancellation, Major League Baseball did not name a formal list of All-Stars for that season. However, sports writers from the Associated Press created their own "mythical" list of standouts for the 1945 season after requesting nominations from each of the team's managers.
"Neither players nor fans considered the exhibition games a very satisfying replacement for the All-Star Game. For Tresh, O'Dea, Etten, Mayo, Grimes, Rosen, Christopher, Gromek, Barrett, Gregg, and Wyse, the 1945 All-Star Game would have been their one chance to play in the midsummer classic. None had been chose previously, nor would any be chosen in the future." - The Midsummer Classic (2001, Vincent - Spatz - Smith)
1945 All-Star Game Line-Ups
Source=The Sporting News (July 12, 1945)
National League All-Star Squad (Non-Official)
American League All-Star Squad (Non-Official)
The rosters for the 1945 All-Star Game are not considered official and the selections were made during an Associated Press poll in which thirteen of the sixteen managers participated (those who did not were Joe McCarthy of the Yankees and the two managers selected to manage the theoretical Midsummer Classic).
The plan to cancel the 1945 All-Star Game was approved on April 24, 1945 — the same date, time & location (Cleveland) where the owners selected Kentucky Governor / Senator Happy Chandler as the new Commissioner of Major League Baseball.
Those selected to the non-official All-Star rosters by the Associated Press who had not been an All-Star before and were never selected again were: Red Barrett , Russ Christopher , Nick Etten , Oscar Grimes , Steve Gromek , Eddie Mayo , Ken O'Dea , Goody Rosen , Mike Tresh & Hank Wyse .