Ranking every MLB team’s greatest All-Star, from No. 1 to No. 30
The MLB All-Star Game is Tuesday night on FOX and, as per baseball rules, every team gets a representative. That got us thinking about which teams have had the most representatives in the history of the ASG. But rather than just add up the raw totals and be disappointed when the Yankees win, we looked at every franchise and found which player has made the most appearances in that uniform. The answers are below and, hurrah, the Yankees don’t win.
1. Atlanta Braves – Hank Aaron (20)
What, you were expecting Jeff Francoeur?
1. St. Louis Cardinals – Stan Musial (20)
Stan The Man has the most homers in All-Star Game history, knocking six in his two decades of appearances. The aforementioned Mr. Aaron, the one-time home-run king, had just two.
3. Baltimore Orioles – Cal Ripken (19)
He certainly had a flair for the dramatic, didn’t he?
4. San Francisco Giants – Willie Mays (18)
For everybody who likes to use "Willie Mays with the Mets" as an example of a player who held on too long – well, yeah, it’s not a bad example. He was awful in 1973, with an OPS+ of 81. But even with all that, dude was still an All-Star. It took a special exemption by Bowie Kuhn to get him a spot on the team (the commish added one roster spot per league) but, dude was still an All-Star – from 1954 to 1973, without interruption.
4. Boston Red Sox – Carl Yastrzemski (18)
Yes, it’s Yaz, not Ted Williams – he "only" made 17 teams. Williams played 19 years and missed three years of his prime during World War II. Among the All-Star record Teddy Ballgame has, or shares: Runs scored (game), total bases (game), home runs (game), RBI (career), RBI (game) and walks (career).
6. New York Yankees – Mickey Mantle (16)
The Yankees have the most players with double-digit All-Star appearances: Yogi Berra (15), Derek Jeter (14), Joe DiMaggio (13), Mariano Rivera (13) and Bill Dickey (11). (From 1959-1962 there were two All-Star games and guys like Berra made two per season, but only one per year was counted.) Also, we know that Mantle’s career was hindered by injuries, which makes it kind of amazing that he played in 16 All-Star games. He also played 140+ games in 12 of his 18 seasons, even with most of them being in the 154-game era. I’d blame the New York media on sensationalizing that narrative but it’d never do that.
7. Detroit Tigers – Al Kaline (15)
This is probably like the way-too-recent moment I figured out hitting spacebar in a browser scrolled the page, but I just realized Al Kaline spells alkaline. How did no one come up with a battery-related nickname?
7. San Diego Padres – Tony Gwynn (15)
Ted Williams was part of two of the most famous moments in All-Star history, the first when he hit a walk-off homer in 1941 and then in 1999, when he threw the first pitch at Fenway Park as part of a star-studded celebration of MLB’s all-century team. A footnote to that moment: Tony Gwynn was the one who helped a fragile Williams throw that first pitch, a great, deserved honor.
9. Cincinnati Reds – Johnny Bench (14)
Only two catchers make the list and it’s no surprise that the best ever is at the top.
10. Kansas City Royals – George Brett (13)
I’m just going to leave this here.
11. Pittsburgh Pirates – Roberto Clemente (12)
Clemente homered in his final All-Star bat in 1971, the first of his 11-year All-Star career. He made the team in 1972 but didn’t play. Five months later, he’d die in a New Year’s Eve plane crash while on a relief mission.
11. Chicago White Sox – Nellie Fox (12)
How many guesses would it have taken you to get to Nellie Fox? Ah, it’s a trick question as it assumes you’ve heard of Nellie Fox.
11. Philadelphia Phillies – Mike Schmidt (12)
Schmidt was named The Sporting News‘ player of the decade in the 1980s, though he was robbed of Vogue’s fashion icon of the decade award.
14. Chicago Cubs – Ernie Banks (11)
Not surprisingly, Ernie Banks did play two (All-Star Games) four times in his career, making it to both ASGs those odd 1959-1962 seasons that featured multiple affairs.
15. Minnesota Twins – Kirby Puckett (10)
This is one of my all-time favorite baseball plays, even though it’s sort of ruined by the presence of Plexiglass, thus robbing Puckett of a home-run robbery.
15. Texas Rangers – Ivan Rodriguez (10)
It wouldn’t have mattered here because Pudge is the all-time leader for any iteration of the Rangers franchise, but the rule we used to pick was as such: If a franchise moved but maintained the team name/identity (e.g. Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves) we used the whole history to find its biggest All-Star. If the franchise took on a new identity (Senators to Rangers, Senators to Twins, Expos to Nationals) we solely looked at the numbers of the new franchise.
15. Seattle Mariners – Ken Griffey Jr./Ichiro Suzuki (10)
If Ichiro had played in the United States his whole career and bested Pete Rose’s hit total, would Rose be more annoying, less annoying or at the same level of annoyance? I feel like we should all call Ichiro the hit king anyway just to see how Rose handles it.
15. Los Angeles Dodgers – Pee Wee Reese (10)
Since I doubt there are many Pee Wee Reese fans chomping at the bit to read about their fave player, now’s as good a time as any for this stat: Gary Sheffield and Moises Alou share the record for representing the most teams in an All-Star game: five.
19. New York Mets – Tom Seaver (9)
Our first pitcher! But don’t take that to mean Tom Seaver has the most All-Star appearances for a hurler though. Warren Spahn and Mariano Rivera had more appearances with a single team, 14 and 13, respectively, but others in their franchises had more. Seaver himself had a total of 12 appearances. Three were with Cincinnati, including one in the year he was traded. (When a player was traded midseason, the team he played for on the day of the ASG was used.)
19. Oakland A’s – Mark McGwire (9)
It’s odd that McGwire goes down in history as a Cardinal even though he had three times as many All-Star seasons in Oakland. Of course, McGwire had 70 and 63 home runs in his two healthy seasons in St. Louis and 30 at the break in one that was cut short.
20. Cleveland Indians – Bob Feller/Lou Boudreau (8)
Our second pitcher. (Feller, not Boudreau – I fear the current generation regards "old" baseball players as guys like Dwight Gooden and Kirk Gibson, if they even know who Gibson is). Why so few from the pitching ranks? My guess: Fan voting. It started in 1947, was stopped in 1957 after Reds fans stuffed the ballot box, and was reinstated in 1970. Given that the game began in 1933, fan voting is the dominant method by which players have been selected. And who isn’t a part of fan voting? Pitchers. They make it by manager selection, so there’s no years when a pitcher can slide into the lineup just because he’s popular (looking at you, Derek Jeter).
22. Toronto Blue Jays – Dave Stieb (7)
Dave Stieb had the second-most pitching wins in the 1980s, which is kind of like finding out Don Johnson had the second-most Oscars. Ninth on the list: Jim Clancy, a name I’ve literally never heard of and I collected baseball cards like Don Johnson collected Oscars. Jack Morris is No. 1 with 162 wins, which is the lowest lead amount for any decade in history.
22. Houston Astros – Craig Biggio (7)
I don’t know what’s more surprising, that Craig Biggio only had seven All-Star appearances or that Jeff Bagwell only had four. No, I do know. It’s Bagwell.
24. Los Angeles Angels – Rod Carew/Jim Fregosi (6)
Mike Trout will tie them next year, if you can believe that.
24. Milwaukee Brewers – Ryan Braun (6)
This must make Brewers fans proud. I’d feel sorry for Milwaukee if it didn’t have a ton of beer, Laverne and Shirley and the Packers nearby.
26. Arizona Diamondbacks – Randy Johnson/Luis Gonzalez (5)
26. Colorado Rockies – Todd Helton/Troy Tulowitzki (5)
The Brewers have been around for 47 years. The Diamondbacks and Rockies have been around for 42, combined. Even so, the Brewers have managed one more All-Star appearance for their leader – a cheater – even despite the grade-school "everybody gets a player" rule.
28. Miami Marlins – Miguel Cabrera (4)
28. Tampa Bay Rays – David Price/Carl Crawford (4)
My assumption is that Marlins Man has more appearances than both Florida teams, combined.
28. Washington Nationals – Bryce Harper (4)
Surprised? No. The Nationals have only been around for 11 years and it’s not like Cristian Guzman was exactly lighting it up in the late-aughts. Also, if you’re curious about the Expos, then you probably don’t need me to tell you their two leading All-Stars: Gary Carter and Tim Raines (7).