LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — It has not happened that often, but every now and then an MVP of either the American or National League is not selected to the All-Star team.
Here are the top 3 MLB players to win the MVP award, but not be selected to the All-Star team in the same season.
3. Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins, 2006
Not a lot of people had heard of Justin Morneau at the beginning of the 2006 season, but the Twins first basemen would go on to win the AL MVP.
Morneau hit .321 with a career-high 34 home runs and 130 RBI. The Twins slugger also scored 97 runs and collected 190 hits on his way to winning the MVP.
However, he was not selected to the All-Star team in favor of three other first basemen: David Ortiz, Jim Thome and Paul Konerko.
Thome and Konerko were reserves, and Ortiz was the starter, as all three compiled over 30 home runs on the season.
Ortiz finished fourth in the MVP voting, as he had fellow-slugger Manny Ramirez also on his Red Sox team. Ramirez had 35 home runs and 102 RBI’s himself, to go along with Ortiz’ 54 home runs and 116 RBI.
Thome and Konerko were teammates on the Chicago White Sox, and each hit over 30 home runs as well. Perhaps because Morneau somewhat carried the Twins, with help from Joe Mauer and Johan Santana, was he awarded the AL MVP.
Keep in mind that Morneau did have a stellar second half of the season, and the All-Star teams are only considering first-half stats. However, the Final Vote selection that year in the AL was White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who hit 295. with 16 home runs and 64 RBI. Morneau however, was not even featured as one of the five candidates for the AL Final Vote.
2. Hank Greenberg, Detroit Tigers, 1935
Hammerin’ Hank put together quite the season in 1935, totaling an AL-leading 36 home runs and 168 RBI. He also led the league in total bases with 389 and hit .328 on top of that.
In 1935, both All-Star teams did not carry as many roster spots as they do today. In fact, there was no backup for starting first basemen Lou Gehrig, which almost certainly would have been Greenberg.
Gehrig did put up a better WAR than Greenberg that year, but the AL team only took a backup catcher and a backup outfielder.
The Tigers, led by Greenberg, would go on to win the World Series in 1935. Greenberg would also win the MVP for the 1940 season, when he was selected to the All-Star team.
That season he hit a league-leading 41 home runs and 150 RBI. He also collected 50 doubles, a slugging percentage of .670 and an OPS of 1.103.
1. Don Newcombe, Brooklyn Dodgers, 1956
Don Newcombe won the first-ever Cy Young Award in 1956, as well as the 1956 AL MVP, but was not selected to the league’s All-Star team.
Newcombe put up an absurd season, totaling 27 wins and just seven losses, with a 3.06 ERA. His .989 WHIP led the league, and Newcombe also struck out 139 batters in 268 innings pitched.
The All-Star game had expanded its rosters by 1956, and shockingly seven pitchers made the squad ahead of Newcombe.
Warren Spahn, Robin Roberts, Joe Nuxhall, Brooks Lawrence, Clem Labine, Bob Friend, and Johnny Antonelli all were selected ahead of Newcombe.
As mentioned earlier, Newcombe would go on to win not only the first-ever Cy Young Award, but also the NL’s MVP Award.
Sal Maglie, also a pitcher on the Brooklyn Dodgers, finished second in the NL MVP voting, while the legendary Hank Aaron finished third.
If Newcombe is going to win the MVP award over Hank Aaron, who hit 26 home runs and 92 RBI with a .328 batting average and 7.1 WAR, good for second in the majors, then he definitely should have made the All-Star team.
Perhaps fellow Brooklyn Dodger, Clem Labine, should have been left off the All-Star team in favor of Newcombe. Labine did lead the NL with 19 saves and 47 games finished, but finished the 1956 season with a 3.35 ERA in just 115 2/3 innings pitched.
Or perhaps Brooks Lawrence, a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, should have been left off the squad. Lawrence had a 19-10 record with a 3.99 ERA over 218 2/3 innings pitched. The 1956 selection was Lawrence’s only appearance in the All-Star game. In his seven year career, he had an ERA of 4.81 and a record of 69-62, playing for both the Cardinals and the Reds..