Monday, July 2, 2012

Best Players Who Were Never All Stars

Kirk Gibson: World Series Hero, Never an All Star

Yesterday, the All Star rosters were announced for this year's game. There were some snubs and strange picks like every other year. I was thinking after that, who were the best players to never be an All Star selection. Today, I'll put together a list of the best non-All Stars.

Catcher-Chris Hoiles(1989-98, Orioles)

Hoiles was the Orioles catcher for most of the 90's, and flew under the radar. His finest year was in 1993, when he batted .310 and hit 29 home runs. Hoiles was the Orioles starting catcher when the made the playoffs in 1996 and 1997.

First Baseman-Eric Karros(1991-2004, Dodgers, Cubs, Athletics)

Karros was the Dodgers first baseman for a decade, and still holds the LA Dodgers record for home runs with 270. Karros won the NL Rookie of the Year in 1992, and hit over 30 home runs five different times during his career.

Second Baseman-Tony Phillips(1982-1999, A's, Tigers, Angels, White Sox, Blue Jays, Mets)

Phillips was a valuable utility guy throughout his career, playing second, third, and outfield. His primary position was second base. Phillips was a patient hitter and led the league in walks two different times. Phillips was the second baseman of the 1989 World Champion Athletics, and signed a free agent deal with the Tigers following that season.

Shortstop-John Valentin(1992-2002, Red Sox, Mets)

Injuries cut Valentin's career short, and he only played 7 full seasons. In 1995, Valentin finished 9th in AL MVP voting. That was a career year for him, he batted .298, hit 27 home runs, 102 RBIs, and stole 20 bases.

Third Baseman-Eric Chavez(1998-current, Athletics, Yankees)

It's amazing that Chavez never made an All Star team, considering he was one of the best all around third baseman in the league for awhile. Chavez won six straight Gold Gloves from 2001 to 2006. He also has four 100 RBI seasons. Injuries took a toll on Chavez, and he hasn't been a fulltime player since 2007. He now serves as A-Rod's backup in New York.

Left Fielder-Kirk Gibson(1979-1995, Tigers, Dodgers, Royals, Pirates)

Gibson is the only MVP to never be an All Star. He was selected in both 1985 and 1988, but declined the invitation. Gibson had power and speed, hitting 255 home runs and stealing 284 bases during his career. Gibson was best known for his leadership, and that played a big role in him winning the 1988 NL MVP. During the postseason, Gibson also hit one of the most famous World Series home runs off of Dennis Eckersley to win Game 1. He did so with a bad knee, and it was his only at bat during the 88 World Series.

Center Fielder-Garry Maddox(1972-1986, Giants, Phillies)

Maddox was known as the "Secretary of Defense" because of all the ground he covered in center field. Maddox won 8 Gold Gloves during his career, and was a good base stealer. He was the 70's version of Shane Victorino.

Right Fielder-Tim Salmon(1992-2006, Angels)

Perhaps the best player to never make an All Star team, Salmon finished his career with 299 home runs and 1016 RBIs. Salmon was the 1993 AL Rookie of the Year, and finished in the top ten of the MVP voting twice. Salmon hit over 30 home runs five different times during his career. Salmon was a slow starter, and that could of played a role in him getting shut out of the All Star game. Salmon was also part of the 2002 Angels, who won the World Series. He batted .346 with 2 home runs in that series.

Designated Hitter-Kevin McReynolds(1983-1994, Padres, Mets, Royals)

McReynolds hit over 20 home runs six times during his career. His best season was in 1988, when he finished 3rd in NL MVP voting. He hit .288, with 27 home runs, 99 RBIs, and 21 steals that year.

Right Handed Starting Pitcher-Bob Forsch(1974-1989, Cardinals, Astros)

Forsch accomplished a lot during his career, winner of 20 games, World Series champion, third most wins in Cardinals history, and author of two no-hitters; but he never made an All Star team.

Left Handed Starting Pitcher-John Tudor(1979-1990, Red Sox, Pirates, Cardinals, Dodgers)

In 1985, Tudor was absolutely dominant. He went 21-8, with a 1.93 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, in 275 innings pitched. Most seasons that would win a Cy Young, but Doc Gooden had an even better year in 1985. Tudor pitched in 2 World Series with the Cardinals in 1985 and 1987, and was traded to the Dodgers in 1988 for Pedro Guerrero. Tudor finally was part of a World Series winner in 1988, and re-joined the Cardinals for a final season in 1990.

Starting Pitcher-John Denny(1974-1986, Cardinals, Indians, Phillies, Reds)

Denny started his career in St. Louis, and was the NL ERA champion in 1976 with a 2.52 ERA. He was traded to the Indians in 1980, and spent three years in Cleveland. In 1983, with the Phillies, Denny won the NL Cy Young Award. Denny was 19-6, with a 2.37 ERA, and the Phillies were NL Champions that year.

Relief Pitcher-Gene Garber(1969-1988, Pirates, Royals, Phillies, Braves)

Garber was a good reliever for a long time, having his best years with the Phillies and Braves. His best season was in 1982, saving 30 games, with a 2.34 ERA in 119.1 innings pitched. He finished 7th in Cy Young Award voting, and the Braves won the NL West that year.

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