On August 3rd, 1959, a group of All-Star players gathered beside the batting cage before an unusual All-Star game at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. It was the first All-Star game played on the West Coast, and the first time two All-Star games were held in the same season. Appreciative Pacific coast fans turned out in large numbers, swelling the crowd to approximately 55,000 spectators. A percentage of the broadcast revenue from the two games and the Los Angeles gate receipts yielded $300,000 for the players’ pension fund. The controversial practice of holding an All-Star “doubleheader” continued through the 1962 season.
Baseball fans were excluded from the starting lineup selection process between 1958 and 1969 after a ballot-box stuffing incident in 1957. In 1959, Hank Aaron (second from the left) was unanimously chosen as a starter on 208 ballots submitted through a poll of players, managers, and coaches. Aaron’s companions Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Willie Mays all played in the previous All-Star game in Pittsburgh on July 7th, 1959. Charlie Neal (to Aaron’s right) replaced injured Cardinal Bill White on the National League team.