The Midsummer Classic. A game bringing together the best talent from both National and American league teams, convoluting baseball fans’ fantastic imaginations everywhere.
This year, the Chicago Cubs had the most players selected to the All-Star game, sending seven players, including their entire starting infield.
It may come as a surprise to long-time Cubs fans, but the Cubbies have a stout history at the Midsummer Classic. Here are some facts to chew on while you watch the game Tuesday night:
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Jenkins, Maddux, and Sutter also won the Cy Young award in the same year they were All-Stars.
Other players such as Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, and Ernie Banks were Cubs All-Stars that, later, were inducted into the Hall of Fame as Cubs. The most players selected to be All-Stars from the Cubs came in 1945 when 11 players were selected.
Two players are tied for the most All-Star appearances as a Cub: Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandburg. Banks went from 1956-62 and then again in 1965, 67, 69. Sandburg went to nine consecutive All-Star games from 1984-93.
But there are some players that were selected from Cubs teams that some may not remember or realize.
Joe Girardi, current manager of the New York Yankees, made the All-Star in 2000 as a Cubs catcher. Girardi was the first catcher selected from a Cubs squad since Jody Davis in 1986. The last Cubs catcher selected was Geovany Soto in 2008.
In 1988, the Cubs sent a scrawny left fielder named Rafael Palmero to the All Star Game, along with Shawon Dunston, and Vance Law. That year, the Cubs sent seven total players to the Classic, the same number they sent in 2016. Six of those seven players from 1988 made it to the Hall of Fame as well, with Vance Law being the only exception.
Hands down, the Cubs player with the best name to become an All Star was Peanuts Lowrey in 1946. That year Ted Williams and the American League smacked the National League 12-0 while only allowing three hits.
Cubs players certainly have a lot to live up to when they’re selected to the All-Star game. If history is any indication of the future, though, their impact on the game and franchise will significantly outlive their playing days.