Answering the snub
Making All-Star team isn't prerequisite for winning MVP
Posted: Sunday July 09, 2000 07:29 AM
By Ryan Hunt, CNNSI.com
White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas -- or any other player left on the outside looking in to this year's All-Star Game -- can just look to Chipper Jones for inspiration.
Jones is the reigning National League MVP -- finishing with .319 average, 45 homers and 110 RBIs. Jones, however, did not make the All-Star team.
Since the All-Star began in 1933, Jones is one of only the nine players who weren't selected to play in the game to still win the regular-season MVP award.
Jones was bypassed in favor of Ed Sprague, the Pirates' lone mandatory representative, last season. The same rule cost Thomas -- who is having an MVP-caliber season with a .341 average, 25 homers and 73 RBIs -- as Tampa Bay's Fred McGriff was the Devil Rays' only All-Star.
While Sprague and McGriff clearly didn't have the credentials of Jones and Thomas, respectively, the All-Star snub hasn't always been as egregious.
Hank Greenberg didn't make the 1935 team thanks to a guy named Lou Gehrig. Greenberg finished the season with 170 RBIs and the MVP.
An early season injury cost Texas' Juan Gonzalez in '96. He was on the disabled list from May 9 to June 1, killing his All-Star chances despite a torrid June.
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 five players since 1955 to win both.
Mike Schmidt (1980), Reggie Jackson (1973), 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.