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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DETROIT, MI – APRIL 8: Former Detroit Tigers player Kirk Gibson throws out the first pitch prior to the start of the Opening Day Game against the New York Yankees during the game on April 8, 2016 at Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI – APRIL 8: Former Detroit Tigers player Kirk Gibson throws out the first pitch prior to the start of the Opening Day Game against the New York Yankees during the game on April 8, 2016 at Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Kirk Gibson, OF (27.7 bWAR)

Kirk Gibson may not be the best player to never make an All-Star team, but it’s possible he’s the most famous. Gibson played from 1979-1995, blasting 255 home runs and stealing 284 bases. He won the 1988 MVP award, finished in the top 20 three other times, and was a Silver Slugger Award winner. Yet somehow, he never played in a midsummer classic.

For his career, Gibson hit better in the second half (.275/.363/.465) than he did in the first half (.263/.343/.462). Still, with how famous he became after his excellent first go-round in Detroit, and of course his infamous walk-off home run for the Dodgers in 1988, it’s surprising he didn’t earn even one All-Star nod. Particularly since he was an MVP winner.

Let’s start with 1988. Believe it or not, Gibson actually hit better in the first half than he did in the second half. Yet he still was not named an All-Star. He was slashing a blistering .299/.384/.517 with 15 home runs, 15 stolen bases and 46 RBI. He was on pace for a 30/30 season and nearly had an OBP of .400.  However, Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog selected Cardinals outfielder Willie McGee over Gibson. McGee was hitting .312 with 26 stolen bases, so it’s not like it was a terrible pick, but Gibson clearly deserved it.

Detroit Gibby was All-Star caliber as well

Gibson’s time in Detroit spanned from 1979-1987 and 1993-1995. Gibson finished sixth in MVP voting in 1984, when he hit .282/.363/.516 with 27 home runs and 29 stolen bases. The Tigers had five All-Stars that year, including fellow outfielder Chet Lemon, so Gibson was probably overlooked for someone on a different team.

Gibson is a baseball legend, and will go down as one of the best to never make an All-Star game. He’s certainly the best Tiger to never earn a nod. Hopefully the same fate won’t await his son, Cam Gibson, who is currently in Detroit’s farm system.

Next: 2006 Tigers: Where are they now?

This list features some excellent former big leaguers. However, it’s not a list that anyone wants to find themselves on.

It’s still possible that Castellanos finds his way onto the 2018 All-Star roster. If not, he has plenty more time to make his way into an All-Star game in a Tigers uniform.