2010 MLB All-Star Game: The All-Time AL All-Star Starting Lineup
Yesterday we did the All-Time National League All-Star Game Starting Lineup, based on which players had the most All-Star Game starts, by position.
Today, we look at the American League team.
Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez (12)
For decades, Yogi Berra was the standard bearer at catcher with 11 starts. Pudge surpassed Berra in 2007 when he was voted to start as a Detroit Tiger.
First Base: Rod Carew (7)
And Boom goes the dynamite.
In the history of the MLB All Star Game, no first baseman has had more starts for the American League than Rod Carew, a player we generally remember as a second baseman.
Carew's seven starts are two more than Gehrig and four more than Mickey Vernon.
Oddly, Carew had eight starts at second base and is tied for second all time there.
Second Base: Roberto Alomar (9)
Not bad for a guy who only spent 13 seasons in the American League.
Alomar's nine is one ahead of Nellie Fox and Rod Carew, who both have eight.
No one active is even close: 2010 will see the seventh different starter for the AL in seven years.
Third Base: Wade Boggs and Brooks Robinson (11)
You know, considering Brooks Robinson's wild popularity, I was expecting him to have run away with this, and for the number to be higher.
Third place on this list is George Brett, with nine starts, which gives rise to this interesting stat: from 1964 to 1996, only six players started at third base for the AL—Robinson, Brett, Boggs, Graig Nettles, Sal Bando, and Harmon Killebrew.
Shortstop: Cal Ripken, Jr. (14)
A testament to Cal's longevity and popularity, made even more impressive by the fact that he tacked on three starts at third base at the end of his career.
The second place finisher at short was Luis Aparicio, with eight.
Right Field: Reggie Jackson (9)
Reggie Jackson made it nine times, which bests Dave Winfield by four.
Ichiro Suzuki moves into sole possession of second place this season when he makes his sixth start for the American League. He'd be closer if not for three starts in center field.
Center Field: Mickey Mantle (12)
Another guy I would have expected to see a lot more of, not that 12 is anything to sneeze at.
Ken Griffey Jr. had eight starts for the AL when he left for the NL.
Left Field: Ted Williams (12)
Ted Williams had 12 starts in left field for the American League despite missing three years of his prime for World War II and two years when he was still excellent for Korea.
Safe to say he'd probably be in the Willie Mays stratosphere if not for going to war.
Williams has more than second place Manny Ramirez (5) and third place Rickey Henderson (4) combined.
Starting Pitcher: Lefty Gomez (5)
How hard is it to consistently start All-Star Games if you are a pitcher?
Consider this: Gomez started five of the first six All-Star Games for the American League, and no one has had more than four starts (Jim Palmer) since. Billy Pierce is third with three starts.
Don't make too big a deal out of this, though. Remember, every team only has one starting first baseman, but four or five starting pitchers. It is a bigger pool to draw from, and being the best pitcher in the league at the All-Star Break can be a crap shoot.
Still, nice work, Lefty.