Being All-Star isn't prerequisite for winning MVP
Posted: Friday July 09, 1999 09:02 AM
By Ryan Hunt, CNN/SI
For Juan Gonzalez, Alex Rodriguez, Greg Maddux, Shane Reynolds or any other player snubbed from this year's All-Star Game, take heart -- your season isn't in shambles.
In fact, a select few who were not picked for the All-Star Game went on to extract big measures of revenge.
Since the All-Star Game began in 1933, eight players who weren't selected to play in the game still won the regular-season MVP award.
Gonzalez should know. He was the last do it, three years ago.
While Gonzalez's exclusion from this year's Midsummer Classic is more by his own choice, it wasn't the case in 1996, the year he took home his first MVP award.
An early season injury cost Gonzalez in '96. He was on the disabled list from May 9 to June 1, killing his All-Star chances despite a torrid June. Instead of Gonzalez, Brady Anderson, Jay Buhner, Joe Carter and Greg Vaughn were selected to represent the American League.
In 1935, however, Hank Greenberg didn't make the team thanks to a guy named Lou Gehrig. Greenberg finished the season with 170 RBIs and the MVP.
Kirk Gibson was left off the team in 1988 in favor of Andy Van Slyke and Willie McGee. Three months later, he hit arguably the most memorable home run in World Series history.
But a guy nicknamed "Pops" did them all one better.
Pittsburgh's Willie Stargell didn't make the 1979 All-Star team, in favor of Steve Garvey and Keith Hernandez.
He went on to earn the regular season (in a tie with Hernandez) and World Series MVP awards, making him one of six players since 1955 to win both.
Mike Schmidt (1980), Reggie Jackson (1973), Johnny Bench (1972), Frank Robinson (1966) and Sandy Koufax (1963) are the others.
Five players have won both the All-Star and regular-season MVPs, the last being Cal Ripken Jr. in 1991. But since the All-Star Game began recognizing an MVP in 1962, no player has won both the All-Star and World Series MVPs in the same season.
That should make the snub a little easier to take.