On July 8, 1941, Ted Williams hit perhaps the most famous All-Star Game home run. His two-out, three-run, walk-off bomb at Briggs Stadium in Detroit gave the American League a 7-5 win over the Nationals. The victimized pitcher was Waynesboro native Claude Passeau. Passeau wore No. 13 most of his big league career and wore it well. The right-hander won 162 games – third-most ever for a Mississippi native – and threw a one-hitter in the 1945 World Series for the Chicago Cubs. He earned five All-Star Game nods. But luck frowned on the Millsaps College alumnus in the Midsummer Classic. In the ’41 game, his first, a botched double play would have ended the game before Williams batted. In 1942, he worked two scoreless innings in relief in a game the NL lost 3-1. He didn’t get in the ’43 game and the ’45 game wasn’t played. In 1946, Passeau, now 37 years old, got the start and went three innings, yielding just two hits. One of them, however, was a two-run homer in the first inning by Charlie Keller. The NL never scored and Passeau was saddled with another loss.
There were no walk-off homers, or any homers at all by Mississippi-connected players. Nobody had a bunch of hits or drove in a bunch of runs. No quality starts were delivered, no holds or saves recorded. And yet, Mississippians made their mark in Tuesday’s MLB games, splattering numbers all over the 17 box scores. Twelve Mississippians (natives or college alums) played on Tuesday, and they collectively delivered six hits, five walks, five runs, two steals, a sac fly, a win and 2 2/3 scoreless innings of pitching. The line of the day belongs to Southwest Mississippi Community College product and McComb native Jarrod Dyson. In Kansas City’s 7-1 win over Tampa Bay in Game 2 of a twinbill, Dyson put up a 2-3-1-0 with two walks and a stolen base. P.S. On this date in 1941, Ted Williams hit his legendary three-run, ninth-inning, game-winning home run in the All-Star Game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. The pitch was delivered by Claude Passeau, one of the greatest pitchers Mississippi has produced. The Waynesboro native and Millsaps College alum, who won 162 games in the big leagues, was working his third inning for the National League and would have been a winner (by a 5-3 score) had a double play been turned before Williams’ at-bat. Hall of Fame broadcaster Red Barber of Columbus called the game for Mutual Radio.