Narrated by gossip columnist Walter Winchell, "All the Stars Came Out That Night" a book by Kevin King, paints a vivid and moving portrait of Depression-era baseball—its raw joy and elegance but also its cursing, boozing, womanizing, and racism, and its odd relationships with bootleggers, racketeers, Hollywood stars, kidnappers, and even Dominican dictators.
The date was October 20, 1934, just days after Diz's Cardinals won the World Series. The place was Boston's Fenway Park, under portable lights. The money behind it was Henry Ford's, who yearned to see an all-White (and non-Jewish) team defeat the Black all-stars. And the force behind it all was Clarence Darrow, the legal genius who pulled the political levers to make it happen.
For Diz's team there was Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Shoeless Joe Jackson (overweight and still banned from the game), and a lanky minor-leaguer named Joe DiMaggio. Paige's all-stars featured Josh Gibson, Cool Papa Bell (the fastest man from first to third), Turkey Stearnes, and Buck Leonard.
With a gimlet eye for historical detail and a passionate love for the game, Kevin King chronicles this epic game between Diz's and Satch's all-stars—and the epic struggle to put it together. No trophies or championships were on the line, only the two most important things in life to any ballplayer—respect and redemption.
That October night in Fenway a ball did disappear, but it wasn't a throwed ball, it was a hit ball, the legend of which is finally being told.