Back in the day—long before the Home Run Derby, the Futures Game, and tons of commercialization—the All-Star Game seemingly had a different type of meaning. It really wasn’t about the money, but more of a sense of comradery alongside opportunities for players to represent their respective teams. Such games were played when there was a huge amount of team loyalty among their participants, unless, of course, a player was jettisoned away by means of an unwanted trade to a rival squad.
The Dodgers, rich in their strong heritage and tradition, have been represented extremely well by many outstanding players over the years. While it’s very tough for a pitcher to showcase his talents during a limited appearance of an inning or so, there have been some position players who have made excellent showings at the plate during the Midsummer Classic’s long history.
I decided to take some time to try and determine the best three performances ever by a Dodger player in an ASG. I did my best not to overlook any potential outstanding achievements; but in just case I have, shoot me a note, and I’ll do my best to fix the list below.
The All-Star Game MVP Award was not created until 1962, so it’s hard to say who would have won the award during 1951’s contest. Still, one of the big bats in the game was Dodgers legend Gil Hodges, who ended up going 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored.
In the end, Hodges’ bat helped propel the NL squad to an 8-3 victory.
There were a handful of other Brooklyn players who played in the 1951 affair. Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese and Don Newcombe all made appearances, donning the magnificent Dodger Blue.
Robinson went 2-for-4 with two singles, a run scored and one RBI.
Likewise, the Dodgers were well-represented in the 1973 Midsummer Classic, highlighted by appearances by Manny Mota, Bill Russell, Jim Brewer, Don Sutton and Claude Osteen.
However, it was Willie Davis who stole the show in the end. Davis, who went 2-for-2 with a home run and two RBI, was eventually edged out by fellow outfielder Bobby Bonds in the voting for the game’s MVP Award.
Bond’s went 2-for-2 with a double, a home run and two RBI in the NL’s 7-1 victory.
Many fans will argue that 1996 was Hall-of-Famer Mike Piazza’s best overall year. While most of the players around the league very much look forward to a few days of rest and time with their families, Piazza packed his bags and headed to Veteran’s Stadium in Philadelphia, where he was ultimately crowned with the games’s MVP Award.
In that game, Piazza went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer and two RBI.
Over the entirety of the 1996 season, the Norristown, PA native slashed an insane .336/.422/.563 with 36 bombs and 105 RBI, and he still ended up finished second in the league’s MVP voting to Ken Caminiti of the Padres.
On a side note, our very own Andy Lane Chapman attended that game. If you happen to have a Twitter account, shoot her a note and tell you how you heard all about her experience.
And, be sure to tune into tonight’s version of the game, when Cody Bellinger will get his fair share of hacks while attempting to make history. You never know—maybe Max Muncy will make a cameo at some point and deposit a ball or two into the outfield bleachers.
32 thoughts on “Dodgers All-Stars: Ranking the Top 3 Hitting Performances Ever”
Gil Hodges….5 ABs in an All Star Game!? Almost unheard of today. :/
It may be “hard for a pitcher to showcase his talents,” but Fernando Valenzuela did in 1986 by striking out five straight All Stars. That is notable.
Well, how about Steve Garvey 1974. He was a write in all star, 2-4 with a HR and he was the game MVP. Garvey had 11 hits in all of his All Star games, and 6 of those were for extra bases. 2 doubles, 2 triples and 2 homers. Duke Snider is so far the only Dodger I have seen who had 3 hits in an all star game. 1954. Duke had no HR’s in all star competition, but he in that same game had a double, 2 singles and a walk. 5 plate appearances. Something that does not happen now. Drysdale started both games in 1959 when they played 2 all star games. He went 3 scoreless in game 1 and was rocked in game 2 and got the loss.
Snider hit a homer in that 1951 game
Ken Caminiti winning the MVP over Piazza reminds me of Ryan Braun winning it over Matt Kemp! Both Caminitti and Braun were using performance enhancers, the MVP should have gone to the Dodger in both cases.
Well now, our “defensively challenged” second baseman, Mr. Muncy, made what were probably the two best defensive plays of the AS Game tonight and also was the middle man on a nicely turned double play.
Kersh and Buehler each gave up a run and potential bullpen acquisitions Smith and Hand looked pretty ordinary. I was hoping to see Vazquez but he never made it in.
All in all, Cleveland did itself proud. Our turn next year.
Well, nobody from tonight’s game will make the list Dennis.
Range factor answers a pivotal question long unanswered by fielding percentages – how many plays can a given player make? Max Muncy at 2b – less than league average. Maybe it just doesn’t matter anymore as more fly balls are being hit. If he’s our second baseman we are better for it not because of his ability to field ground balls, but rather his ability to hit fly balls.
Go home and get some sleep guys. We have a tough East Coast road trip starting soon.
Will Smith just cracked the Top 100 Prospects list. Ruiz is 28, Smith is 100. Lux 31, May 51. Dodgers ranked somewhere between 7-9 depending on where you look. Some lists still show Verdugo on it. Without him we are 9th. An updated BR list has Lux as our #1, followed by May, Ruiz, Smith and White. You know, Smith at third and Ruiz behind the plate could still be in the plans.
Although he was originally an infielder, I could see Smith easily adapting to the outfield as well (left field if nothing else).
Maybe we will be the first to adopt a slow pitch defensive outfield strategy. Just go with a left side infielder, a right side infielder, and a first baseman to catch the throw after the occasional ground ball is fielded.
Tell you what I would emphasize – fork balls, two seam sinkers, circle change ups and knuckle curves
– all pitches that spin DOWN. No more fastballs unless they are letter high. Pitchers need to find the bottom half of the barrel 27+ times a game. With juiced balls, small parks and hyper inflated bodies, what used to be warning track fly balls are all flying 400’ or more. Pitchers have to compensate. This is why we have guys like Garcia – high spin rate throwers. His problem is command. Throw a spinner center cut and these hitters are going to hammer it.
As you know Scoop, I’m working on a starting nine who are all catchers. Once we found out how good a pitcher Martin is, the rest should be fairly easy. We just signed another good young catching prospect out of Venezuela, Yeiner Fernandez. I just googled to verify that we actually did sign him and found this article which goes into some pretty good depth on the guys we signed in the past couple of weeks. An interesting read, for those who are into this kind of stuff.
Here’s the link: https://dodgerblue.com/2019-20-international-signing-period-dodgers-make-another-splash-with-catcher-luis-rodriguez-kristian-cardozo-more-prospects/2019/07/07/
Excellent find Jefe.
That sure SOUNDS like a boatload of talent. I think our system will be bumped from 9 to 2 by tomorrow. That’s 5 hours. No wait…. it’s 7 steps up…. we won’t catch San Diego until all their current top prospects make it to the big club… which also might take about 5 hours. They are stacked.
I’ll be shocked if Preller doesn’t get himself a very good starter with some control remaining by the end of the month. Names like Bauer, Syndergaard or Stroman sound like they might be right up his alley.
Best part of the game was Freeman being miked up in his at bat against Verlander. That was pretty funny. Guys were there to have fun. The game itself means nothing. Kershaw taking the loss? Meah…..who cares. What is important is getting off to a good start when they come back on Friday. No starter for the Dodgers announced. Red Sox will throw Eduardo Rodriguez. 9-4 with a 4.65 ERA in 18 starts. 106 K’s in 102 innings. So you can surmise that Taylor, Kike and Pollock will definitely be in the lineup against this lefty. Lots of rumors about trades. But nothing concrete. The Padres have asked the Mets about Syndergaard.
Indians seem to be on the rebound and playing better. They might be buyers instead of sellers. Looks like Bauer and Hand may not be on the block at all. So many teams still in the wild card hunt. The deadline is going to be pretty interesting.
All good comments. Every time I read about Piazza, it makes me irritated all over again that he was traded and goes into the Hall of Fame as a Met! I know, long time to hold a grudge, but…
We all know the Piazza trade was a total fiasco. Even though they got 5 players in return, a couple were abysmal, Bonilla and Johnson, Jim Eisenreich was damaged goods, and the only player who ever contributed to the Dodgers in any way was Sheffield. And he was and always has been a jerk. He later admitted that he never gave 100% when he played with the Dodgers. The Marlins almost immediately traded Mike to the Mets, and the rest is history. The 5th player in the deal, a minor league pitcher, never made the LA roster. Todd Zeile also went to the Marlins. Still makes me sick to think about it all these years later. Trade was made without the GM’s knowledge. Fred Claire had no clue what the FOX execs were up to. It was one of the reasons that Claire left the team. In my book it is the worst trade in Dodger history. Far worse than losing Martinez for DeShields.
I agree dodgerblonde. May I shorten that to dblonde? It’s even worse for me when you ad the fact they traded him because he wanted $100 million then they turned around and gave that money to the Unthinkable Kevin Brown.
He would be a bargain at that price today. FOX made the biggest mistake of their ownership. Seager activated today and Beaty sent to OKC….the 3 Amigos return.
No baseball today and only one game on the schedule tomorrow. Need my baseball fix so I went back and picked out a few games to re watch over the next couple of days. Those 3 walk offs by the rookies to begin with.
Match ups for the series in Boston announced. Maeda-Rodriguez, Stripling-Sale, Ryu-Price. 3 lefty’s going for the Sox and I do not think that is accidental. I think the Dodgers best chance in this series is getting into the ox pen, which has been less than stellar. Of course they can say the same thing about the Dodgers. Roster back at full strength with the return of Freese, Pollock and Seager. 2 solid RH bats and a SS who hits lefty’s well. Will be a fun series to watch.
Assuming that Kelly gets into one or more of those games, that should be fun.
Yeah, that could be epic. They also have to make a roster move before Friday. Seager, and Freese have already been activated, but since Pollock was on the 60 day, and the roster is now at 40, they have to move someone off. Rosscup was added when Pollock was moved. Most rumors say it will be Rocky Gale who losses his spot.
I’m going to guess that they’ll finally do Brock Stewart a favor and let him go. He has an ERA of almost 9.00 at AAA and a WHIP of almost 2.00. As I’ve said before, they have totally broken him.
FREE BROCK STEWART!
That would be fine with me. He will never really get another shot anyway. I also read that DJ Peters spent a little time up there and played in 12 games at OKC. He went 14-41 with 3 homers and 13 ribbies, a triple and 4 doubles. He also struck out 11 times, but that’s not a bad line for a kid just sent up from AA. May, Gailen and Lux are listed as temporarily inactive. Think that has something to do with the Futures game or all star stuff. They also have a ton of guys on the 7 day IL, including Gale. Smith is on the active roster again. These guys at OKC are out, Allie, Broussard, Gonsolin, Head, May, McAllister, Sierra, Solbach, Thierren, Vazquez, Gale, Moore, Castro, Lux, Gailen, and Perkins.
I hope Pollock is now fully healed. This year’s splits vs LHP ain’t all that but his career splits are pretty good. If he’s healthy he will help vs lefties. As for the 40 move, it really doesn’t matter. #40 is 15 removed from a roster spot. Adios 41.
He was 1-13 in his re-hab starts, but he looks to be healthy. He got his hit in his last at bat, it was a homer. Hopefully that portends good things. Since Ol AF loves to dumpster dive, how about a project for Honey in Tyler Thornburg? Guy has some nasty stuff and seems to have lost his way. Just a thought.
Thornburg – wouldn’t cost much. Worth a shot. Sign him up! Unless he doesn’t have any options left. Can’t afford to give him a spot on the 25-man roster unless he’s cured.
He was released. So he could be signed to a minor league deal.
Thanks for clarifying Bear. In that case, I’ll repeat, “Sign him up!”
Thornburg was a former governor of Pennsylvania. 😮
It must have been difficult going to work every day in Harrisburg while at the same time traveling with the Red Sox. 🙂