Stating the obvious, the All Star Game is tonight – weather permitting – in Minneapolis; would mother nature conspire to ruin Bud Selig’s last All Star soirée? Anyway it’s the week where MLB squeezes all serious news until after their marquee event is in the books. It seems an appropriate time to look back at All Star selections and see how Braves faired amongst starters. I emphasize starters here so Brain McCann’s winning hit and the like aren’t mentioned hereafter.
All Star Game Gee Whiz Stuff
Some All Star numbers in general before I jump into the Braves stuff. The first All Star Game was held in 1933 and tonight’s game will the 85th meeting. Quick math will tell you that doesn’t add up. The right number would be 81 but from 1959 through 1962 they held two All Star Games a year and there was no game held in 1945. More generic stuff later.
All Star Starting Pitching
Two Braves pitchers gave started the mid-season classic three times; Warren Spahn and Greg Maddux. Spahn waited nine years between starts one and two (1949, 1958) and made his last start in 1961 at the age of 40. he would gone to post his fifth consecutive season with at least 21 wins – he won 22 in his previous All Star starting year (1958) – while posting a league leading 3.02 ERA, 1.142 WHIP, with 21 complete games in 33 starts including 4 shutouts. Did I say he was 40? I did? Okay.
Greg Maddux first start was the 1994 Classic. He followed that with back to back starts in 1997-98, a feat running mate Tom Glavine had done in 1991-92. the 94 season was the strike shortened year but Mad Dog still managed to go 16-6 with a 1.56 ERA, 0.896 WHIP and 10 complete games in 28 starts including 3 shutouts posting an ERA+ of 271. All of those were league leading numbers.
Out In The Field
As you might guess Hank Aaron has the most appearances of any Brave with 17. Only 16 of those were in the outfield, he started at first base in 1974. Put that in your trivia file for future bar bets. Hank’s best All Star year of all years (and he never had a bad one) was probably 1959 when he posted a .305/.401/.656/.1.037 line due to 223 hits including 39 homers, 46 doubles, and 7 triples for 400 total bases and a 182 OPS.
The closest to Aaron is Milwaukee Braves catcher Del Crandall who was starting catcher 8 times between 1955 and 1962. Behind him is 7 time third baseman Eddie Matthews while Dale Murphy and Chipper Jones come in at 5 each. Below is the complete lists by position in alphabetical order derived from the data at Baseball-Reference.
|Hank Aaron||17||LF(1),CF(1),RF(14) 1b(1)||1957, 1958, 1959, 1959, 1960, 1960,1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974|
|Joe Adcock||2||1B||1960 , 1960|
|Tom Glavine||2||P||1991, 1992|
|Chipper Jones||2||3B||1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2008|
|David Justice||2||RF||1993, 1994|
|Greg Maddux||3||P||1994, 1997, 1998|
|Fred McGriff||2||1B||1995, 1996|
|Dale Murphy||5||Rf(2) CF(3)||1982, 1983, 1984, 1985. 1986|
|Warren Spahn||3||P||1949, 1958, 1961|
|Joe Torre||2||3B||1971, 1972|
That’s A Wrap
The Braves have had lots of representation on the All Star teams over the years, Stars like Aaron, Matthews and Crandall were there because their peers put them on there. We don’t have a starter this year but we have a core of young players who will make their mark in future games. I hope you enjoyed this look back and have fun with tonight’s game.