Ernie Banks, Ron Santo, Ryne Sandberg, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo. We all know the big-name Chicago Cubs All-Stars known for carrying the franchise to greatness. These are the guys that were always in consideration and are at the front of our minds when we think of the North Siders’ myriad of All-Star caliber seasons since the inception of the Midsummer Classic in 1933.
What about the random guys that put together a career year for the Cubs and got an All-Star nod for their efforts? Or the once-great players in the twilight of their careers that got one more accolade under their belt in a short stint at the Friendly Confines? Sometimes, all it takes is a really strong first half to earn a permanent little All-Star marker on your Baseball Reference page.
Let’s take a look back at the guys who were celebrated for their moment of greatness while in Chicago, but for one reason or another, don’t stick around in the minds of fans today.
#5: Vance Law’s steady, high average bat earned him a nod in 1988
To put it bluntly, Vance Law is an example of a somewhat unremarkable All-Star player. He had a fine little career for himself complete with 10.6 career WAR over the course of 11 seasons in the majors, but he only hit for a mere 94 OPS+.
Law started his career out in Pittsburgh, but only ever played in a limited capacity in two years with the Pirates. It was with the White Sox that he got his first real crack at the Majors, though his bat left a lot to be desired. Outside of his 1982 campaign in which he hit .281, he lacked any real upside in his bat and left the Sox for the Expos following the 1984 season.
Again, Law didn’t do much, but he actually posted his best season in Montreal with a 266/.369/.405 slash line to give him a solid 122 OPS+. Still, the Expos were done with him after three years and he came to the Cubs in 1988, his first and only All-Star season. Law was actually part of a slew of Cubs All-Stars that year, joining Sandberg, Andre Dawson, Greg Maddux, Shawon Dunston and Rafael Palmeiro in perhaps the most Cubs-centric Midsummer Classic outside of 2016.
Law’s .303/.359/.414 slash line in the first half of 1988 was pretty solid overall, making him a steady fixture in the Cubs lineup. He didn’t light up the world with a flashy power bat, but it was enough to be recognized as one of the better players of the year. He’d go on to play one more year with the Cubs before joining the Chunichi Dragons in 1990 and eventually closing out his career in Oakland in 1991.