Detroit Tigers: Five best Tigers who weren’t All-Stars

NEW YORK - JULY 18: Outfielder Bobby Higginson #4 of the Detroit Tigers at bat during the game against the New York Yankees on July 18, 2002 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. TheYankees won 5-3. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 18: Outfielder Bobby Higginson #4 of the Detroit Tigers at bat during the game against the New York Yankees on July 18, 2002 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. TheYankees won 5-3. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /
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LAKELAND, FL – MARCH 01: A view from the Tiger spring training home Joker Marchant Stadium before the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 1, 2016 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Jim Northrup, OF (21.4 bWAR)

Northrup spent a solid decade with the Tigers from 1964-1974. He twice earned votes for MVP, even finishing 13th in 1968.

1969 was Northrup’s best season. He blasted 25 home runs and had 66 RBI with a .295/.358/.508 slash line and a 136 OPS+.

Still, Northrup didn’t get a chance to play in the All-Star game in 1969. His first half was a solid .274/.343/.469 with 13 home runs, 15 doubles and four triples.

However, the 1969 American League All-Star team boasted a starting outfield trio of Frank Howard, Reggie Jackson and Frank Robinson. The backup outfielders were Paul Blair, Roy White, Tony Oliva, Mike Hegan, Carlos May, Reggie Smith and Carl Yastrzemski. That’s a pretty solid crew.

Hegan is one of he least notable names, but he was the lone representative for the expansion Seattle Pilots. With Denny McLain, Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan all representing the Motor City, Northrup was a casualty of the All-Star games rule that one player from each team must be named an All-Star.

Northrup’s Legacy

Northrup is around the top 20 -25 in nearly every Tigers offensive category, and will be remembered a fan favorite who hit two home runs in the 1968 World Series. It’s hard to say he was ‘snubbed’ from any All-Star appearances however, as he played in an era with elite outfielders, particularly in the American League.