600 HRC All-Star Memories
Written by Jim Rednour   
Monday, 29 June 2009

600 HRC Members Ruled All-Star Competition

It comes as no surprise that the only major leaguer to ever win All-Star MVP honors on two occasions was “Say Hey” Willies Mays (660 career homers), who took home the Most Valuable Player honors in both 1963 and 1968.  After all, Willie appeared in a record-tying 24 mid-Summer Classics and the great Ted Williams once observed that “They invented the All-Star game for Willie Mays!”

During the 1959 All-Star Game in Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, Willie Mays went 4-for-4, tripling home Hank Aaron with the winning run in the ninth.  Mays continued to excel on the All-Star stage.  In 1965 in Minneapolis, he homered in the first inning to help the NL win the game.  1973 marked the debut of the designated hitter and 24th and final All-Star appearance of Willie Mays, arguably the greatest all-round performer in Mid-Summer Classic history. Over the years, Mays batted .307 with 23 hits, including three homers, three triples and two doubles.  He also made many spectacular defensive plays.

Griffey, Jr. Follows In His Father’s Footsteps During All-Star Weekend 1992

Another future member of the 600 HRC, Ken Griffey, Jr. (617 and counting) also took home the best-of-the-best honors on July 14, 1992…equaling the feat that his father Ken Griffey, Sr. achieved during the 1980 season. “The Kid” went 3-for-3, including a home run deep into the upper deck of San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium off Chicago’s Greg Maddux. It marked the first time in history a father and a son smacked All-Star round-trippers—Senior hit one off the Yankees' Tommy John on July 8, 1980. After becoming the first Mariner elected to start the All-Star Game, Junior took home the game's MVP award.

All-Star-Studded Slugging Outfields

On thing All-Star Game fans can count on is that the starting outfielders will be among the most powerful sluggers of their generation.  Over the past several decades, the presence of 500 Home Run Club members on both the NL and AL rosters for the Mid-Summer Classic meant that a tremendous amount of home run power were represented by just three individuals.

Here’s a look at the most homers (at the time) by a starting All-Star outfield:

Year League Outfielders (LF, CF, RF) Total
2004 NL Barry Bonds (681), Ken Griffey Jr. (501), Sammy Sosa (554)** 1,736
1972 NL Willie Stargell (263), Willie Mays (650), Hank Aaron (659) 1,572
1971 NL Stargell (226), Mays (642), Aaron (616) 1,484
1970 NL Rico Carty (101), Mays (619), Aaron (578) 1,298
2002 NL Bonds (594), Vladimir Guerrero (189), Sosa (478) 1,261
1968 NL Curt Flood (81), Mays (576), Aaron (499) 1,156
2001 NL Bonds (533), Luis Gonzalez (199), Sosa (415) 1,147
1974 NL Pete Rose (116), Jimmy Wynn (244), Aaron (725) 1,085
1966 NL Aaron (424), Mays (525), Roberto Clemente (127) 1,076
1934 AL Heinie Manush (99), Al Simmons (235), Babe Ruth (699) 1,033
1970 AL Frank Howard (314), Carl Yastrzemski (223), Frank Robinson (467) 1,004
1933 AL Ben Chapman (43), Simmons (218), Ruth (670) 931

*   Ken Griffey, Jr. was voted to 2004 All-Star team, but was injured and did not play.
** First time in All-Star history that three 500 HRC members formed the starting outfield.