Plenty of stars, but no HR leaders

Originally Published: July 12, 2005
By Jayson Stark | ESPN.com

DETROIT -- Look out. It's time once again for another All-Star Game edition of our Useless Information Department.

• How different is this All-Star Game? Not one of the top 10 on the active career home-run list started the game. And of the top 10 active pitchers on the lifetime-wins list, just two were in uniform (Roger Clemens and Kenny Rogers).

So how many times have we EVER witnessed an All-Star Game in which none of the top 10 home-run hitters started? Only three, according to the Sultan of Swat Stats, SABR's David Vincent: 1992, 1976 and 1943.

• Meanwhile, the game was started by two pitchers not even in the top 50 on the active victory list -- Mark Buehrle (No. 58) and Chris Carpenter (No. 64). Last time that happened: 1992 (a much younger Tom Glavine, then just 26, versus a much younger Kevin Brown, then just 27).

• You sure see some strange stuff in All-Star Games. Mark Teixeira hit a home run right-handed Tuesday. All 25 of his REGULAR-season homers had been hit left-handed. He hadn't homered right-handed since last Oct. 1, against Ron Villone.

• And the very next hitter, Pudge Rodriguez, walked against Dontrelle Willis. In the regular season, Pudge hadn't drawn a walk in over a month -- since June 11.

Miguel Tejada's home run off John Smoltz was the first by an American League shortstop in an All-Star Game since an Alex Rodriguez bomb off Andy Ashby in the 1998 game.

True, Cal Ripken hit a farewell home run in Seattle in 2001. But he was playing third base at the time, not shortstop. And the really big Ripken-Tejada story is that Tejada matched Ripken in career All-Star homers as a shortstop, at one apiece. This was Tejada's second All-Star Game as an Oriole. Ripken played shortstop in 14 of them.

Oh, and when was the last home run by a National League shortstop? In 1982, by Dave Concepcion.

And who's the only shortstop with MORE than one All-Star homer? Arky Vaughn, with three.

• As many high-profile middle infielders as the Orioles have had over the years, this was only the second Orioles double-play combination to start an All-Star Game together. The other: Ripken and Roberto Alomar in 1996.

Johnny Damon was just the fourth player to enter an All-Star Game with a hitting streak of 25 games or more, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The others: Joe DiMaggio, 48 (1941); Sandy Alomar Jr., 30 (1997), and Pete Rose, 25 (1978).

Damon got a hit Tuesday -- and so did everyone on that list.

• When Pedro Martinez asked out of his NL All-Star reservation, he became just the eighth player ever to be named to three different All-Star teams and then be replaced. Here's the list, courtesy of SABR's David Vincent:

George Brett
Jose Canseco
Rod Carew
Ken Griffey Jr.
Pedro Martinez
Mark McGwire
Eddie Miller
Carl Yastrzemski

• Terry Francona may be the first Red Sox manager to manage an All-Star team after WINNING the World Series. But he's actually the fifth Red Sox manager ever to manage in an All-Star Game. The others: Joe Cronin, Dick Williams, Darrell Johnson and John McNamara.

The last Red Sox manager to win an All-Star Game: Cronin, in 1947.

Bobby Abreu did something in Monday's Home Run Derby that no one has ever done: He hit more homers in the Derby (41) than he'd ever hit in a season (31).

• Speaking of the Derby, this was the second straight year that a player homered in both the Derby and the game. Andruw Jones, Tejada and Mark Teixeira all did it this year. David Ortiz did it last year.

• Both leagues' home-run leaders homered in this game: Jones for the NL, Teixeira for the AL. ESPN research whiz Mark Simon reports it's the first time ever that both league leaders got to practice their trots in the All Star Game.

• Jones was the first major-league leader in homers to hit one out in the All-Star Game since Jim Rice went deep off Atlee Hammaker in 1983 -- and the first big-league leader from the NL to hit an All-Star homer since Willie Mays (off Milt Pappas) in 1965.

Jones hit his home run off Kenny Rogers. It wouldn't exactly be the first time they faced each other. The last pitch of Game 7 of the 1999 NLCS was thrown by Rogers to Jones in the 11th inning. It was ball four, forcing in the series-deciding run.

The National League grounded into three double plays -- the first time any team had racked up three GIDPs in one All-Star Game since the American League did that in 1976.

• Leaders since the last All-Star Game, courtesy of baseballmusings.com's day-to-day database:

RBIs -- Miguel Tejada and Mark Teixeira (137). NL -- Albert Pujols (132).
HRs -- Derrek Lee (47). AL -- Teixeira (45).
Runs -- Pujols (131). AL -- Derek Jeter (128).
Average -- Ichiro Suzuki (.368). NL -- Pujols (.348).
Wins by RHP -- Roy Oswalt (24). AL -- Bartolo Colon (23).
Wins by LHP -- Johan Santana (20). NL -- Dontrelle Willis (16).
ERA -- Roger Clemens (2.34). AL -- Santana (2.72).
Bullpen ERA -- Chris Hammond (1.55). Just NL -- Billy Wagner (1.68). Just AL -- Mariano Rivera (2.09)
Strikeouts -- Santana (272). NL -- Jake Peavy (236).
Saves -- Jason Isringhausen (51). AL -- Joe Nathan (46).

Jayson Stark is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Jayson Stark | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com