Major League Baseball is without a doubt the most unique of the four major North American leagues. Their games are untimed and teams play all of their opponents during the year in the form of a 3 or 4 game series.
And even more interesting, all 30 teams get at least one All-Star representative each season. This has led to many guys who were average or worse to play in the midseason classic. Read on as we go through a few of the ‘random’ selections.
Cesar Izturis (2005)
Cesar Izturis and his brother Maicer, were never known as great players. The Izturis brothers could both do some beautiful things with their gloves in the field, but when it came to hitting, not so much. Here’s where the focus shifts to Cesar.
A career .254 hitter, you knew what to expect when Cesar stepped up to the plate. He would either slap a single up the middle, or ground out. He smacked just 17 home runs in 4,300 at-bats. But in 2005, for some reason, he was selected to represent the Dodgers in the All-Star game.
Cesar was batting .275, and had just nine hits in the team’s previous 20 games heading into the break. Perhaps, he was just selected for his glove??
Zach Duke (2009)
Zach Duke was never known as a ‘great’ pitcher. He posted a 69-91 record in his career with a 4.31 ERA, never striking out more than 117 batters in a season. He was converted to a reliever after he left Pittsburgh. But the voting committee liked him in 2009.
In the first half of that ’09 year, Duke posted an 8-8 record with a 3.29 ERA. Not bad, but not great. Being a ground ball pitcher, he usually didn’t get too much love from voters. Just ask Chien-Ming Wang.
He was actually elected to play in the midseason classic that year. He would post a 3-8 record and his final ERA for 2009 was over 4.00. Duke did not appear in the 2009 All-Star Game.
Or, voters just like the name Zach. Personally, I do. No bias, of course. (Wink, wink)
Mark Redman (2006)
If you look at Mark Redman’s career, two things stand out. He won the 2003 World Series with the Marlins, and he was voted as an All-Star in 2006. Given that he had a 68-85 record with a total ERA of 4.85 over 203 starts, both of those accolades are startling.
There was not a single reason for Redman to get the nod in 2006. Literally, not one. He wasn’t a hard thrower, and he had an ERA north of 5.00 at the midway point. He had won just six games for a Royals team that was going nowhere fast.
Of course, Redman didn’t get to pitch in the All-Star Game, and rightfully so. It’s hard to figure out how exactly he got in. There were other players on that Royals team more deserving. Honestly, they should have chosen Doug Mientkiewicz just for his great name.
Kosuke Fukudome (2008)
As soon as he got to Chicago, Kosuke Fukudome was in the starting lineup. The Japanese outfielder was supposed to help the Cubs compete for a World Series. The 30-year-old was actually voted in as an All-Star in that 2008 year, joining fellow rookie Geovany Soto there.
At the time of the midseason break, Fukudome was batting .279, a far cry from the .311 average he had just a month earlier. Honestly, it was surprising to see him get this nod. Back In 2008 though, there wouldn’t be too much debate.
12 years later though, it’s wild to think that Kosuke Fukudome was in fact an MLB All Star. His career in Chicago lasted just three more years, and by the end of 2012, he was done in the majors. It’s cool that the ’08 Cubs had two rookies in the midseason classic. But, perhaps it wasn’t deserved.