An all-star game before there was The All-Star Game

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Despite the world getting smaller, print media dying and location not mattering all that much, I do make a point to read my local paper most mornings. Old habits die hard for old men.

Glad I read my Columbus Dispatch this morning, because there was a great story in there by AJ Mazzolini about a curious all-star game that took place well before there was any official All-Star Game in 1933. This game?  A benefit all-star game in which all of the biggest names of 1911 took on the Cleveland Naps to benefit the family of Addie Joss, the Naps’ star pitcher who died suddenly at the beginning of the 1911 season.

Unlike tonight’s game, which purports to “count” but really doesn’t, the July 24, 1911 all-star game truly did count for something special. Would that we could find a higher and better use for our current All-Star Game.

The Giants might be ready to part ways with Hunter Pence

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Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.

The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.

Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.