Except when it doesn’t.
Last week, I explored possible replacements for Ross on the All-Star roster this year. Seeing as how Smith was
denied not chosen, that got me thinking: When was the last time a position player from the Padres started an All-Star game?
The last time a position player actually started the All-Star Game was 1998 at Coors Field in Denver, when Tony Gwynn was voted in by the fans. Andy Ashby, Kevin Brown, Trevor Hoffman, and Greg Vaughn joined Gwynn as All-Star reserves.
1998? That long ago? Have the Padres really sucked that bad? Well, yes and no. Part of the problem with having the fans vote is players that get national attention tend to get the most votes. And the Padres have rarely gotten national attention since 1998. Not for anything positive, that is.
Not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, just that’s the way it is.
So, what happened between 1998 and today? How many players have been All-Stars since?
In 1999 at Fenway Park in Boston, Gwynn was the last Padres position player selected to start an All-Star Game by the fan vote, but he was injured at the time and could not play. Pitchers Ashby and Hoffman were selected as reserves.
In 2000 at Turner Field in Atlanta, only Hoffman was selected.
In Seattle’s Safeco Field in 2001, Ryan Klesko & Phil Nevin were selected as reserves. This was also Gwynn’s last year as a player. He was on the disabled list at the time, but he was named an Honorary Captain for the National League team by Major League Baseball.
At Miller Park in Milwaukee in 2002, Hoffman was once again the lone All-Star for the Padres.
In 2003, in Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field, Rondell White* was the only Padre selected. Which should tell you something about the Padres last season in Qualcomm Stadium.
*That’s right, Rondell White. I almost forgot he played for the Padres. I definitely forgot he was an All-Star for them!
At Minute Maid Park in Houston in 2004, it was Mark Loretta‘s turn, as he was selected as a reserve.
Jake Peavy was the only player from the Padres in 2005 at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
In 2006, Hoffman made it five straight years with only one Padre selected for the All-Star Game, at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
San Francisco’s AT&T Park in 2007 saw the closest the Padres have come since 1999 to having a player voted in, as Chris Young won the Final Vote as the last player selected for the National League team. That year was also notable for being the first time since 1998 (Gwynn, Brown, Ashby, Hoffman, & Vaughn) that more than two Padres were selected as All-Stars, as Young joined Peavy and Hoffman on the roster. National League manager Tony LaRussa selected Peavy to start the game as well, making him the first Padres pitcher to start an All-Star Game since LaMarr Hoyt in 1985.
2008 in New York at Yankee Stadium saw the Padres go back to having just one representative, with Adrian Gonzalez named as a reserve.
At Busch Stadium in St Louis in 2009, Heath Bell joined Gonzalez on the National League roster.
Bell and Gonzalez were both All-Stars in 2010 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Bell was the lone Padres representative in 2011 at Chase Field in Phoenix, most notable for sliding into the infield grass as he ran in to take the mound late in the game. He only pitched 1/3 of an inning.
At Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City in 2012, Huston Street was the Padres All-Star, although he never got into the game.
In 2013, Everth Cabrera was all by himself in New York at Citi Field. He never got into the game, either. So the fact that the Padres have started a new trend of sending players across the country to not play in the All-Star Game is nice. Right? RIGHT?
2014 in Minneapolis’ Target Field, Street is named as a replacement on the active All-Star roster for Ross, who pitched the Sunday before the break, making him ineligible to pitch. Turns out, it didn’t matter, as Street didn’t make it into the National League’s 5-3 loss. That’s three straight years of no All-Star Game appearances by a Padre.
Will next year’s game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati make it four straight?
What have we learned? Beats me. The fact remains that the Padres haven’t had more than two players in the All-Star Game for most of their 45-year history. And I don’t see their luck changing very much over the next few years, either. Maybe we should just hope the players selected from now on actually get into the game.
Then again, Johnny Manziel might make a NFL Pro Bowl in the near future. So the Padres
will might hang their hat on that, if and when it ever happens.
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