Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Dean Stone, controversial winner of the 1954 All-Star Game, dies at 88

Dean Stone, a former major league pitcher who gained notoriety for his 1954 All-Star Game victory without throwing an official pitch, died August 21, 2018. He was 88.

Stone had his best MLB season in 1954, going 12-10 with a 3.22 ERA for the Washington Senators, his efforts earning a selection to the 1954 American League All-Star team. Few, if any experts predicted that he would figure heavily in the game’s outcome.

Dean Stone / 1955 Topps
With Casey Stengel's team down a run in the eighth inning, he called upon the left-handed Stone to face Duke Snider with two men on base and two outs.

As Stone toed the rubber after taking his warm-up pitches, the National League manager Leo Durocher was cueing Red Schoendienst to be ready to break for home. On the third pitch, Schoendienst took off, and Stone calmly delivered a strike to Yogi Berra who tagged Schoendienst for the third out. In the video below, you will see National League manager Leo Durocher vigorously arguing that Stone had balked; however, his antics were fruitless. The umpire stood by his call and the American League scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to emerge with an 11-9 victory.



“I saw him go, just threw home and Yogi Berra jumped outside and slapped the tag on him,” Stone said to the Washington Times in 2011. “But you know how Durocher was; I guess he had to say something.”

To this day, Stone remains the only pitcher to win an All-Star Game without delivering an official pitch. He lasted eight seasons in the big leagues and one more in Japan, unable to recapture his 1954 touch. He retired in 1964 with a 29-39 record.

* Updated - August 22, 2018.
- Ed. Note - Due to the fact that Schoendienst was caught stealing during Snider's at-bat, Stone's official amount of pitches are registered as zero.

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