So we’ve come to another All-Star game, and given the ever-expanding rosters, we now have a situation in which one of every eight MLB regulars in an “All-Star”. But even with roster expansion and the silly rule that every team needs to have at least one representative sent to the game, there HAVE been players good enough to have long careers, who never got to spend three days in (insert All-Star host city here).
Here is a list of those batters with the most career games played but no All-Star appearances. I’ve limited the list to those with careers starting no earlier than 1933 (year of first All-Star game). The number of games played is regardless of position, but at least 50% of the games must have been at the position listed.
C: 1,766 Rick Dempsey (24 seasons … not one of them with 500+ plate appearances)
1B: 1,755 Eric Karros (ROY ’92; finished 5th in MVP in ’95)
2B: 1,832 Mark McLemore (had first 100+ OPS+ season at age 36)
SS: 1,985 Orlando Cabrera (only two seasons with OPS+ over 95)
3B: 2,158 Todd Zeile (nine seasons between 100 and 115 OPS+, only one over 120)
LF: 1,640 Pat Burrell (four seasons with 120-130 OPS+; 2002 season: 146 OPS+; 2nd-most career HR without All-Star appearance)
CF: 1,825 (and counting) Juan Pierre (career .345 OBP and 85 OPS+)
RF: 1,806 Elmer Valo (.282/.398/.391 career, 115 career OPS+)