On April 3rd, 1911, Addie Joss, Cleveland’s great pitcher, fainted during warm-ups for an exhibition game against the Chattanooga Lookouts. It was said to be heat prostration, but Joss did not seem to fully recover. After a few days his doctor suspected food poisoning, or perhaps pleurisy. Eleven days later Joss was dead, at 31, from tubercular meningitis.
Shortly after his funeral, members of the Cleveland club decided to organize a all-star game to benefit Joss’ widow Lilian and their two children, and on July 24th, 1911, the Cleveland Naps played a benefit all-star game against a team of American League All-Stars for the benefit of Joss’ family. The best players in the American League came to Cleveland for the July 24th game. Joss was a much-loved and respected player across the League, and perhaps Walter Johnson spoke for everyone when he said, “I’ll do anything they want for Addie Joss’ family.” Johnson was joined on the all-star team by Ty Cobb, Smokey Joe Wood, Tris Speaker, Sam Crawford, Eddie Collins, and more – and this link will take you to a great panoramic picture of the players. I love that shot. Cobb’s Tiger uniform got lost in transit, so he’s wearing a Cleveland uniform.The All-Stars won the game, 5-3.
Joss’ career stats are staggering. In nine years of baseball he went 160-97, with a 1.89 career ERA. In 1906 he went 21-9 with a 1.72 ERA. In ’07 he went 27-11, with a 1.83 ERA, and in ’08 he went 24-11 with a 1.16 ERA. Yes. He was one of the best. Good game, Addie.