Great Players that Never Made the MLB All Star Game

Posted by Mila Anderson on July 17, 2015 in

With heartfelt gratitude to our friends at Baseball-Reference Play Index for their invaluable years of compiling mind-boggling MLB betting data on various baseball players, and a big shout out to the brainy heads behind the digital age, here is our top 7 list of great Major League players that never made the cut for an All-Star team.

A Look at the Great Players that Never Made the MLB All Star Game

Tony Phillips

According to his 50.8 WAR, Philips is the big-league star in MLB history with the best WAR to have never made an All-Star team. In addition, Philips was a versatile player in his 18-year career, playing four different positions in six teams, totaling 290-plus games by the time he called it quits in his illustrious career. Moreover, Phillips was a .266/.374/.389 (109 OPS+) career hitter, with his most memorable seasons coming with the Detroit Tigers between 1990 and 1994 when he exploded for .281/.395/.405 (120 OPS+).

Rick Dempsey

Dempsey, who had a career mark of 25.4 WAR, was one of the most prolific players of his time to have never made an All-Star team. In 24 Major League seasons with six teams from the late 1960s to the early 1990s, the backstop hit .233/.319/.347 (87 OPS+), including a 94 OPS+ in the 1980s when he was at the peak of his career.

Kirk Gibson

Famously remembered for his pinch-hit home run and fist-pumping celebration in the 1988 World Series as a Dodger, the left-handed hitter was a rare talent that saw him scoop various prestigious awards, including the 1988 NL MVP award. In his 17 Big League seasons with four teams, Gibson posted career numbers of .268/.352/.463 (123 OPS+), which included the stunning run of .282/.369/.500 (139 OPS+) from 1984 to 1988 with the Tigers and Dodgers. In spite of all those numbers, Kirk Gibson (38.4 WAR) never officially made it to the All-Star Game, with reports suggesting that he declined invitations in 1985 and 1988.

Tim Salmon

Despite posting a remarkable career WAR of 40.8 and hitting .282/.385/.498 (128 OPS+), including 299 homers in 14 Major League seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Salmon was inconceivably snubbed from the All-Stars. As a consolation, Salmon won the Rookie of the Year award in 1993 and he’s been severally recognized as one of the game’s best outfielders.

Tom Candiotti

With career numbers of 42.6 WAR and 108 ERA+ from 1983 to 1999, Candiotti ranks as one of the players with the best WAR to never appear in an All-Star Game. Candiotti’s best years came between 1988 and 1993, when he posted a 74-67 record and a 3.12 ERA.

Danny Darwin

Like Candiotti, Darwins boasts of a remarkable 40.6 WAR and his career was full of worthy performances, but the star pitcher never earned a call-up to an All-Star team. In his 20 years in the MLB between 1978 and 1998, Darwin had a 106 ERA+, including a solid run of 77-67 and 3.35 ERA at the peak of his career from 1986-93.

Eric Chavez

Despite suffering a number of injuries, Chavez had a remarkable time with the A’s between 2000 and 2004, hitting .280/.357/.513 (127 OPS+) with 150 home runs. Inexplicably, he had a career 37.0 WAR and a hit record of.268/.343/.477 (115 OPS+), averaging as many as 34 home runs in any given season, but still never earned the All-Star team honors.

Other Notable Mentions

  • Garry Maddox: 36.7 WAR and had his best years between 1973 and 78 with the Giants and Phillies, going .294/.341/.431 (110 OPS+) in the five-year span.
  • Fritz Ostermueller: 34.5 WAR, a career 109 ERA+ in 15 seasons, and a strong run of 43-49 and 4.30 ERA with the Boston Red Sox from 1934-38.
  • Earl Torgeson: 32.9 WAR, was a career .265/.385/.417 (117 OPS+) hitter and posted a solid .272/.389/.447 (127 OPS+) mark with 77 home runs during his peak from 1947-51.
  • John Valentin: Had a career 32.5 WAR, was a .279/.360/.454 (109 OPS+) hitter in 11 seasons and led all position players with 8.3 WAR in 1995.

Note: All the above players enjoyed productive careers at individual and team levels. In addition, the All-Star Game was not established until 1933, so stars that played before that were not eligible for our list.