St. Louis Cardinals: The Day Enos Slaughter Started to Run

Ralph Kiner of the Pittsburgh Pirates started in left field and Hank Sauer of the Chicago Cubs started in right field. They were two powerful sluggers that found running a challenge.

Both had been voted to start for the National League in the 1950 All-Star game.

There was a problem. Kiner and Sauer both were left fielders. All-Star manager Burt Shotton of the Brooklyn Dodgers wanted to replace Sauer with his own center fielder, Duke Snider, but he was overruled by baseball commissioner Happy Chandler.

And that’s how St. Louis Cardinals great Enos “Country” Slaughter got to start the 1950 All-Star game in center field.

Slaughter staked the National League to the lead in the second inning when he tripled home Jackie Robinson and then scored on Hank Sauer’s fly ball. Slaughter walked in the seventh inning and singled in the ninth. He moved from center field to his normal position in right field in the fifth inning.

Casey Stengel was managing the American Leaguers.

In the first inning, George Kell hit a drive to deep center field. Slaughter raced back, stuck out his glove and robbed the Detroit Tigers third baseman of an extra base hit.

After the game, Stengel spoke about Slaughter. ‘Now you know,” he said, ”why I been ravin’ about this fella to you American League writers.”

In the 14th inning, another St. Louis Cardinals future Hall of Famer, Red Schoendienst, who had replaced Slaughter in the 11th inning, hit a home run to give the National League the win.

Slaughter never stopped running.

In 1936, he was playing for the Cardinals Columbus, Georgia farm club. Early in the season, Slaughter hit a routine ground ball to the second baseman. Slaughter trotted to first base.

When he returned to the dugout, manager Eddie Dyer, who would manage the 1946 World Champion Cardinals, asked him, “Are you tired, son?”

Slaughter, who was 20-years-old was a little confused at first.

“No, why?”

”The way you ran, you looked tired.”

That was it . Slaughter never stopped hustling.

Although he also played for the New York Yankees, Kansas City A’s and briefly for the Milwaukee Braves, Slaughter was a St Louis Cardinal.

When he told Stan Musial that he had been traded to the Yankees for Vic Raschi, the two of them broke down in tears. Musial hated to see him go.

Slaughter was a prideful winner.

A few years ago, I drove to Long Island, N.Y. to see him at an autograph show. He was sitting at a desk in a small room off the hallway. There was still some time before the show would start.

As I walked by, I looked into the room and recognized him. Not knowing if I should walk in or not, I rejected “not.”

We spoke and with great pride, he told me that no team he had played for had ever lost the World Series.

I hesitated for a second.

“But the Yankees beat the Cardinals in 1943.”

“I was in the army in 1943.”

Enos Slaughter didn’t lose.


Sauer to start in all-star game, says chandler, reversing decision. (1950, Jul 08). New York Times (1923-Current File), pp. 8. Retrieved from

Anderson, Dave. “SPORTS OF THE TIMES; Country’s Life Complete Now.” New York Times 7 Mar. 1985. Infotrac Newsstand. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.

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