The squads in the 86th Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Cincinnati Tuesday were loaded with talent, and the American League prevailed over the National League, 6-3.
But imagine whether either one would be able to handle an all-time, all-star team of Pacific Northwest natives in their primes.
Five Hall of Famers grew up in the Northwest, including Spokane’s Ryne Sandberg, Seattle’s Ron Santo and Snohomish’s Earl Averill. Northwest natives have led leagues in various hitting, pitching and fielding categories. They’ve also won league awards for Most Valuable Player, Cy Young (pitching), Gold Glove (defense) and Silver Slugger (hitting).
Position by position, we’ve put together an all-star team consisting of Washington, Oregon and Idaho natives. Baseball-Reference.com was the primary source for some players’ high schools; debate exists over the alma maters of a few old-timers. Cities are listed if a player’s high school and hometown are different.
Mickey Lolich (Lincoln, Portland): The portly southpaw led the American League with 25 victories in 1971, but that may have been the least impressive of his league-leading numbers that season. Lolich also ranked first with 376 innings pitched, 308 strikeouts, 45 starts and 29 complete games. By comparison, last year’s major league leaders recorded 21 wins, 248 innings, 271 strikeouts, 34 starts and six complete games. Lolich compiled a 217-191 record in 16 seasons. That doesn’t count his 3-0 record in the 1968 World Series, when he was named Series MVP after leading Detroit past St. Louis.
No. 2: Mel Stottlemyre (Mabton): Stottlemyre had the misfortune of playing for the New York Yankees during a down period, but few active pitchers will approach his 40 shutouts or 152 complete games. The right-hander from tiny Mabton in south-central Washington compiled a 164-139 record (with three 20-win seasons) and 2.97 earned run average from 1964-74 before an arm injury ended his career. Stottlemyre, a former Mariners pitching coach, played junior college ball at Yakima (WA) Valley under Bobo Brayton before the latter began his legendary coaching career at Washington State.
John Olerud (Interlake, Bellevue): The former Mariners and WSU star won three Gold Gloves and played in two All-Star Games. In 17 seasons, Olerud hit .295 with 255 home runs and 500 doubles. Olerud keyed world champion Toronto in 1993 by leading the AL in batting (.363).
No. 2 Jack Fournier (Aberdeen): Hit .313 with 136 homers in 15 seasons. A notoriously poor fielder, Fournier led the National League with 27 homers for the 1934 Brooklyn (now Los Angeles) Dodgers.
Ryne Sandberg (North Central, Spokane): The Hall of Famer, who recently quit his post as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, hit .285 with 282 home runs and 344 stolen bases in 16 seasons. Sandberg won nine consecutive Gold Gloves and played in 10 All-Star Games in a row for the Chicago Cubs. The 1984 National League MVP won seven Silver Slugger awards, and led the league at least once in home runs, triples, runs, fielding percentage, assists and double plays.
No. 2 Joe Gordon (Jefferson, Portland): Another Hall of Famer, Gordon hit .268 with 253 home runs in 11 seasons with the Yankees and Cleveland. He claimed American League MVP honors in 1942. Gordon was selected to play in nine consecutive All-Star Games, excluding three years of military duty during World War II.
Ron Santo (Franklin, Seattle): Santo overcame diabetes to make the Hall of Fame, batting .277 with 342 home runs in 15 seasons. He won five consecutive Gold Gloves, hit 25 or more home runs eight years in a row and was named to the NL squad in the All-Star Game nine times with the Cubs.
No. 2 Ron Cey (Mount Tahoma, Tacoma): Cey hit .261 with 316 home runs in 17 seasons. He belted 22 or more homers 10 times and represented the Dodgers in six All-Star Games after moving on from Washington State.
Johnny Pesky (Lincoln, Portland): The Boston Red Sox star led the AL with 200-plus hits each of his first three years in the bigs. Pesky hit just 17 home runs in 10 seasons, but he was a career .307 hitter with a .394 on-base percentage.
No. 2 Willie Bloomquist (South Kitsap, Port Orchard): He played anywhere and everywhere for 14 seasons, making himself useful at the plate, in the field and on the basepaths. At 37, Bloomquist was recently let go by the Mariners.
Bob Johnson (Stadium, Tacoma, formerly Tacoma High): Bob and older brother Roy recorded identical .296 career batting averages. Bob had far more power and clubbed 288 homers, 95 triples and 396 doubles in 13 seasons in the AL. He drove in more than 100 runs each year from 1935-41 with the Philadelphia (now Oakland) Athletics. Johnson earned seven All-Star Game invites.
No. 2 Ken Williams (Grants Pass, OR): Williams was a .319 career hitter, with 196 homers in 14 seasons. In 1922, Williams hit .332 and led the AL with career highs of 39 home runs and 155 RBIs for the St. Louis Browns (now the Baltimore Orioles). He also had a career-best 37 stolen bases that season.
Earl Averill (Snohomish): Averill entered the Hall of Fame after batting .318 with 238 home runs in a 13-year career. In 1936, Averill led the AL with 232 hits and 15 triples and batted .378 with 28 homers and 126 RBIs for Cleveland. He struck out just 35 times in 682 plate appearances that season. Averill represented the AL in the first six All-Star Games.
No. 2 Jacoby Ellsbury (Madras, OR): The former Oregon State star, now with the Yankees, put together a monster season with Boston in 2011. Ellsbury made his only All-Star Game appearance, won his only Gold Glove and established career highs with a .321 average, 32 home runs, 105 RBIs, 212 hits, 119 runs, 46 doubles, .376 on-base percentage, .552 slugging percentage and .928 OPS. He went errorless the entire season.
Dale Murphy (Wilson, Portland). Murphy averaged 36 home runs and 105 RBIs for Atlanta from 1982-87. Murphy was the NL’s Most Valuable Player in ’82 and ’83, when he received two of his seven All-Star Game invitations. He hit .265 with 398 home runs in 18 seasons.
No. 2 Roy Johnson (Stadium, Tacoma, formerly Tacoma High): Johnson led the AL with 45 doubles as a rookie with Detroit in 1929. He posted a .296 career average in 10 seasons, albeit with just 58 home runs.
Sammy White (Lincoln, Seattle): White, who starred in basketball as well as baseball for the Washington Huskies, made the AL team in the 1953 All-Star Game. That season was the best of his 11 in the majors, as he registered career bests by hitting .282, pounding 14 homers and driving in 75 runs for the Red Sox. He also threw out 47 percent of would-be basestealers.
No. 2 Mike Redmond (Gonzaga Prep, Spokane): The recently fired Miami Marlins manager hit .287 with a .991 fielding average in 13 seasons, primarily in a backup role with Florida (now Miami) and Minnesota. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Gonzaga University, Redmond had just 133 extra-base hits.
Harmon Killebrew (Payette, Idaho): A perennial all-star with the Minnesota Twins, Killebrew ranks 11th all-time with 573 homers. The Hall of Famer hit a modest .256 in 22 seasons, struggled wherever the Twins tried to hide him in the field and had nearly 1,700 strikeouts, but he blasted more than 40 homers eight times and topped 100 RBIs nine times. He was the American League MVP in 1969, when he set a career high with 140 RBIs and tied his career best of 49 home runs.
No. 2 Jeff Heath (Garfield, Seattle): Heath hit .293 with 194 home runs in 14 seasons. In 1938 and ’41, the Indians star led the AL in triples, batted in the .340’s and drove in more than 110 runs. He later worked as a broadcaster for the Seattle Rainiers in the Pacific Coast League.
Randy Myers (Evergreen, Vancouver, WA.): Myers ranks 11th in career saves with 347. He led the league in saves three times and was twice named Relief Pitcher of the Year. Myers, who played JC ball for his hometown Clark Penguins, posted a career-high 53 saves with the Cubs in 1993.
No. 2 Gerry Staley (Battle Ground, WA): Staley helped the 1959 Chicago White Sox reach the World Series (they lost to the Dodgers) by going 8-5 with a 2.24 ERA. He led the AL with 15 saves and 67 appearances. Staley recorded just 61 saves in 15 seasons, but he spent much of his career as a starter during an era when dominant relievers were uncommon. He finished his career with a 134-111 record and 3.70 ERA.
Tim Lincecum (Liberty, Renton): Ex-Washington Husky won back-to-back Cy Youngs with San Francisco in 2008-09. Rick Wise (Madison, Portland): Went 188-181 with 3.69 during 18-year career. Vean Gregg (Clarkston, WA.): Won 20 games each of first three seasons before arm problems took a toll. Led AL as rookie with 1.81 ERA for Cleveland in 1911. Vern Law (Meridian, ID): Won 1960 NL Cy Young with world champion Pittsburgh; 162-147 with 3.77 ERA in 17 years. Larry Jansen (Verboort, OR): Twice won 20 games for the New York (now San Francisco) Giants before encountering arm problems in 1950s. Jon Lester (Bellarmine Prep, Tacoma): Now with Cubs, Lester went 99-61 for Boston from 2008-14
Aaron Sele (North Kitsap, Poulsbo): WSU Cougar and Mariner knew how to win; 148-111 record despite 4.61 ERA in 15 seasons. Jason Schmidt (Kelso, WA): Went 35-12 for 2003-04 Giants. Bruce Kison (Pasco, WA). Sidearmer played on two World Series championship teams in Pittsburgh; 115-88 with 3.66 ERA in 15 seasons. Ray Washburn (Columbia, Burbank, WA.): In 1968, Whitworth graduate threw no-hitter and went 14-8 with 2.26 ERA for the Cardinals.
Gene Conley (Richland): Former WSU baseball and basketball star won 91 games in 11 seasons and also played in the NBA for six years. Won three NBA titles with the Boston Celtics (1959-61). Fred Hutchinson (Franklin, Seattle): Compiled 77-47 record for Detroit from 1946-50. Bud Black (Mark Morris, Longview, WA): Black finished 121-116 with 3.84 ERA in 15 seasons. Played JC ball for hometown Lower Columbia Red Devils. Ed “Lefty” Brandt (Lewis and Clark, Spokane). Weak teams limited his record to 121-146 in 11 years; averaged 17 wins for Boston (now Atlanta) Braves from 1931-34.
Earl Sheely (North Central, Spokane): Career .300 hitter; twice drove in 100-plus runs for the White Sox (1924-25) despite lack of power. Richie Sexson (Prairie, Vancouver, WA.): Often struggled with Mariners after twice belting 45 home runs with the Milwaukee Brewers. Scott Hatteberg (Eisenhower, Yakima): Ex-WSU Cougar hit .273 with 106 home runs from 1995-2008. John Jaha (David Douglas, Portland): Averaged 29 homers and 100 RBIs each of the three seasons he played more than 88 games in the 1990s.
Harold Reynolds (Corvallis): Won three Gold Gloves and played in two All-Star Games with the Mariners. Led AL with 60 stolen bases (’87) and 11 triples (’88). Wally Backman (Aloha, OR): Scrappy singles hitter batted .275 in 14 years, finishing with Seattle in 1993. Bump Wills (Central Valley, Spokane): Maury’s son averaged 33 stolen bases, hit .266 (1977-82).
Scott Brosius (Rex Putnam, Milwaukie, OR): Former Linfield College player and coach was 1998 World Series MVP with Yankees. Harlond Clift (Yakima high school unknown): Drove in 118 runs for St. Louis Browns in ’37 and ’38.
Kevin Stocker (Central Valley, Spokane): Former UW Husky faded after coming up at midseason in 1993, hitting .324 as a rookie to help Philadelphia reach the World Series.
Tom Lampkin (Blanchet, Seattle): Journeyman helped Mariners in 2001, batting .225 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 79 games. Played 13 years in bigs after starring at the University of Portland.
Billy North (Garfield, Seattle): Led AL in stolen bases three times with Oakland, including 1975, when he had a career-high 75 steals. Hit .261 with .365 on-base percentage and 395 stolen bases in 11 seasons after playing basketball and baseball at Central Washington. Ira Flagstead (Olympia): Little power, but career .290 hitter with .370 on-base percentage, primarily with 1920s Red Sox. Todd Hollandsworth (Newport, Bellevue): NL Rookie of Year with ’96 Dodgers. Hit .273 in 12 years. Woody Jensen (Chehalis, WA.): Singles hitter batted .285 in nine seasons with 1930s Pirates.
Jeremy Affeldt (Northwest Christian High, Colbert, WA): Since 2010, lefty set-up man has won three World Series rings and made 22 consecutive scoreless postseason appearances with the Giants. Larry Andersen (Interlake, Bellevue): Ex-Mariner specialized in getting right-handed hitters out with his devastating slider. Appeared in 699 games in 17 seasons, 40-39 record, 3.15 ERA, 49 saves. Steve Olin (Beaverton): Promising sidearmer out of Portland State killed in boating accident at 27 after best of his four seasons (8-5, 2.34, 29 saves, 72 games) in 1992 with Cleveland. Doug Sisk (Lincoln, Tacoma): Sinkerballer quite successful first two full seasons (6-7, 2.18, 26 saves, 117 games) with 1983-84 New York Mets.