The 20 Best Baseball Players To Never Start An All-Star Game

Alan Trammell

Players snubbed from a well-earned starting spot in Major League Baseball’s All-Star game are nothing new, but some players have been robbed more than others in their career.

On the next few pages we will take a look at 20 players that had at least 50 career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) during the All-Star era (1933-present) and were never elected to start an All-Star game (for position players) or chosen as a starting pitcher by the squad’s manager.

These players, which includes three Hall of Famers would make for a pretty good All-Star team in their own right.

#20 Johan Santana

Teams: Twins, Mets

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 12

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 50.7

All-Star Reserve: 4 times

Key stats: 2-time Cy Young Award winner

#19 Orel Hershiser

Teams: Dodgers, Indians, Mets, Giants

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 18

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 51.7

All-Star Reserve: 3 times

Key stats: Four times finished in the top-4 in Cy Young voting including one win in 1988 when he went 23-8 with a 2.26 ERA. In 1985 he went 19-3 with a 2.03 ERA.

#18 Mariano Rivera

Teams: Yankees

Position: Relief pitcher

Seasons: 19

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 55.4

All-Star Reserve: 12

Key stats: Unfortunately for Mo Rivera there is no 'starting' closer. Four times he has finished in the top-3 in Cy Young voting.

#17 C.C. Sabathia

Teams: Indians, Brewers, Yankees

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 13

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 55.6

All-Star Reserve: 6 times

Key stats: Four times has finished in the top-5 of Cy Young voting including one win (2007). Already has 200 career wins and he is only 32.

#16 Robin Ventura

Teams: White Sox, Mets, Dodgers, Yankees

Position: Third base

Seasons: 16

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 55.8

All-Star Reserve: 2 times

Key stats: 6-time Gold Glove winner. In 1999 he finished 6th in MVP voting. Hit at least 30 home runs in a season twice and had six seasons with an OBP of at least .370.

#15 Jerry Koosman

Teams: Mets, Twins, White Sox, Phillies

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 19

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 57.1

All-Star Reserve: 2 times

Key stats: Twice has finished in top-6 of Cy Young voting including one 2nd place finish (1976). Won at least 19 games in a season three times.

#14 Frank Tanana

Teams: Angels, Tigers, Rangers, Mets, Yankees, Red Sox

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 21

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 57.5

All-Star Reserve: 3 times

Key stats: Three top-10 finishes in Cy Young voting. Struck out at least 200 batters three times including the 1975 season when he went 16-9 with a 2.62 ERA and a league-leading 269 strikeouts.

#13 Chuck Finley

Teams: Angels, Indians, Cardinals

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 17

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 58.5

All-Star Reserve: 5 times

Key stats: Only once finished in top-10 of Cy Young voting (#7 in 1990).

#12 Darrell Evans

Teams: Braves, Giants, Tigers

Position: Third base, First base

Seasons: 21

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 58.5

All-Star Reserve: 2 times

Key stats: Never finished in the top 10 in MVP voting. Best season came in 1973 when he hit .281 with 41 home runs and a .403 OBP.

#11 Andy Pettitte

Teams: Yankees, Astros

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 18

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 58.8

All-Star Reserve: 3 times

Key stats: Finished in the top-6 of Cy Young voting 5 times. Has won 251 career games including at least 18 in a season four times.

#10 David Cone

Teams: Mets, Yankees, Royals, Blue Jays, Red Sox

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 17

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 61.7

All-Star Reserve: 5 times

Key stats: Won the 1994 AL Cy Young when he went 16-5 with a 2.94 ERA and finished in the top-4 of voting four times.

#9 Tommy John

Teams: Yankees, White Sox, Dodgers, Angels, Indians, A's

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 26

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 62.3

All-Star Reserve: 4 times

Key stats: Twice finished as the runner-up for the Cy Young Award. Won 20 games three times.

#8 Andruw Jones

Teams: Braves, Yankees, Rangers, Dodgers, White Sox

Position: centre field

Seasons: 17

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 62.7

All-Star Reserve: 5 times

Key stats: 10-time Gold Glove winner and finished as the runner-up for the MVP award in 2005 when he led the NL with 51 home runs.

#7 Dwight Evans

Teams: Red Sox, Orioles

Position: Right field

Seasons: 20

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 66.7

All-Star Reserve: 3 times

Key stats: Twice finished in the top-4 of MVP voting and has won eight Gold Glove Awards.

#6 Alan Trammell

Teams: Tigers

Position: Shortstop

Seasons: 20

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 70.3

All-Star Reserve: 6 times

Key stats: Much of his career overlapped with Cal Ripken Jr., a fixture as the starting shortstop for the AL. Was the MVP runner-up in 1987 and finished in the top-10 in voting three times.

#5 Rafael Palmeiro

Teams: Rangers, Orioles, Cubs

Position: First base

Seasons: 20

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 71.8

All-Star Reserve: 4 times

Key stats: Was chosen to start at DH for the AL in 1999. Won three Gold Glove Awards and three times finished in the top-10 of MVP voting. Hit 569 career home runs.

#4 Mike Mussina

Teams: Orioles, Yankees

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 18

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 82.7

All-Star Reserve: 5 times

Key stats: Won 270 games including six seasons with at least 18 wins. Finished in the top-6 of Cy Young voting nine times.

#3 Fergie Jenkins

Teams: Cubs, Rangers, Phillies, Red Sox

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 19

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 82.8

All-Star Reserve: 3 times

Key stats: Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991. Won the 1971 Cy Young Award and finished in the top-3 five times. Won 20 games seven times and led the league in complete games four times.

#2 Bert Blyleven

Teams: Twins, Indians, Pirates, Angels, Rangers

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 22

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 96.5

All-Star Reserve: 2 times

Key stats: Elected to the Hall of Fame in 2011. Finished in the top-4 of Cy Young voting three times. Recorded at least 200 strikeouts in eight seasons.

#1 Phil Niekro

Teams: Braves, Indians, Yankees, Blue Jays

Position: Starting pitcher

Seasons: 24

Career Wins Above Replacement (WAR): 97.4

All-Star Reserve: 5 times

Key stats: Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997. Finished in the top-6 of the Cy Young voting five times. Won 20 games three times.

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