Bryce Harper and 10 of the Youngest MLB All-Stars of All Time

Corey Noles@@coreynolesCorrespondent IJuly 8, 2012

Bryce Harper and 10 of the Youngest MLB All-Stars of All Time

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    The 2012 MLB All-Star Game received another dose of youth on Saturday afternoon when Bryce Harper was tapped to replace Giancarlo Stanton.

    Stanton was removed following a Friday injury and is slated for knee surgery on Sunday, July 8.

    Harper joins a colorful list of rookie All-Stars. While he will be the youngest position player of all time, he is not the youngest All-Star.

    But he’s close.

    Following is a list of 10 of the youngest players to make the MLB All-Star roster.

Starlin Castro

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    Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is the youngest member of the team ever to make the All-Star roster.

    Castro, now 22, made his first appearance at the midsummer classic in 2011 at the age of 21.

    In his first All-Star Game, Castro was 0-for-1 at the plate with a strikeout. While his bat didn’t put on a show his speed did when he stole a pair of bases.

Jason Heyward

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    A first-round draft pick by the Atlanta Braves in 2007, Jason Heyward quickly made his way to the big leagues.

    With his MLB debut in April 2010, Heyward made a quick impression and joined the All-Star roster that year at the ripe age of 20.

    Sadly, due to an injury in his right thumb, Heyward never took the field in his first All-Star game.

Alex Rodriguez

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    Alex Rodriguez, in his third year in the major leagues, was given his fist spot on the All-Star roster.

    Even at the age of 20, there were high hopes for A-Rod.  

    In the first of his 12 All-Star games to date, Rodriguez went 0-for-1. The Midsummer Classic hasn’t been very kind to him over the years. His overall batting average is only .269, with one home run, two RBI and an OBP of .296.

Cal Ripken, Jr.

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    The Iron Man, Cal Ripken, Jr., made his first trip to the All-Star Game in 1983 at the age of 22.

    Little did he know at the time that it would be the first of 19 consecutive trips for him.

    In his first year, as has been the common theme, the Iron Man was 0-for-1 with a walk.

Albert Pujols

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    At age 21, budding slugger Albert Pujols made his MLB debut. Only months later, he also made his All-Star debut.

    In his first All-Star game, Pujols was 0-for-1 with a walk, but he picked up the slack in his next seven games.

    Despite the fact that he has never hit an All-Star home run, he does have an impressive average of .316.

Joe DiMaggio

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    “Joltin’” Joe DiMaggio was another rookie All-Star when he took to the field in 1936 at the age of 21.

    As good as he was for the New York Yankees, it didn’t always translate as an All-Star.

    Like almost every other player detailed, his first All-Star Game was quite the dud. He put together an 0-for-5 night and never made too much progress in his other 10 games. He put together a career All-Star average of .225.

Johnny Bench

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    In his first full season in the major leagues, Johnny Bench also made his first trip to the All-Star Game.

    When he made the roster for the first time at age 20, Bench never stepped to the plate. In the 11 appearances that followed, however, he made up for it several times over.

    He has a career All-Star average of .357, a .400 OBP and a .679 slugging percentage. He managed to put together three home runs, six RBI and a total of 10 hits in 28 at-bats.

    As if a Hall of Fame career wasn’t enough, Bench is one of few who carried his success over to the All-Star Game.

Frank Robinson

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    Similar to Bench, Frank Robinson was also 20 years old when he made his first All-Star appearance.

    His first trip, as a left fielder in 1956, wasn’t a big showing. Robinson was 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts on the night.

    He didn’t have much success in his 10 subsequent appearances, but he never fell short on the field throughout the season.

    Robinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

Al Kaline

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    Prior to Harper’s being placed onto the All-Star roster, Al Kaline was the youngest invitee.

    At 20 years and six months, Kaline went to his first All-Star Game in 1955—as a starter.

    In his first All-Star appearance, Kaline was 1-for-4 with a walk and a double on the night.

    Over a span of 16 All-Star Games, Kaline put together a career average of .324/.375/.514 with a pair of home runs and six RBI.

    His final All-Star appearance was in 1974 at age 39.

Dwight Gooden

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    Dwight “Doc” Gooden holds a pair of All-Star records.

    When he made his first appearance in 1984, Gooden was the youngest player ever to make an All-Star roster. He put on quite the show that night, pitching two shutout innings.

    Two years later, with a Cy Young Award under his belt, Gooden became the youngest pitcher to start an All-Star Game as well.

    In a total of eight career All-Star innings pitched, he compiled a 3.38 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He gave up a total of seven hits to 30 batters.

    At least for now, Gooden will hang on to both of his records. His first appearance was made at an age one month younger than Harper’s first will be.


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