The best starting lineups in All-Star history

Jim McIsaac

Which collection of All-Stars was the best in history? Turns out baseball peaked early ...

Not that you care, but you have no idea what I just did. There's no setting in Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index to get a report of the best starting lineups in All-Star history. I just spent four hours manually copying and pasting lineups, wrestling with formatting, running the ...

Wait, come back! I'm sorry, I'll shut up and get to the lists. You like lists. They tell you what to think. Here are the best lineups in All-Star history, by Baseball-Reference.com's Wins Above Replacement metric.

(Why WAR? Because it adjusts for era and park and you know what? I don't have to answer to you.)

Also, I went through 2000 so I didn't penalize any teams for having active players who haven't stopped racking up the WAR.

10. 1933 American League - 598 career WAR

Ben Chapman LF 41.2
Charlie Gehringer 2B 80.8
Babe Ruth RF 163.3
Lou Gehrig 1B 112.6
Al Simmons CF 68.6
Jimmy Dykes 3B 35.1
Joe Cronin SS 66.3
Rick Ferrell C 29.8

When Babe Ruth is in a lineup, there's a little bit of a head start, but this group does pretty well with least productive of the lineup, too. Rick Ferrell is a Hall of Famer, as are five others in the lineup.

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9. 1998 American League - 609 career WAR

Kenny Lofton LF 67.9
Roberto Alomar 2B 66.7
Ken Griffey, Jr. CF 83.6
Juan Gonzalez RF 38.5
Jim Thome 1B 72.9
Alex Rodriguez SS 115.7
Ivan Rodriguez C 68.3
Cal Ripken 3B 95.5

David Wells was the starting pitcher, in case you were wondering. And A-Rod hasn't stopped adding -- or subtracting -- from his WAR, so this lineup could move up or down. The second-worst WAR in the bunch belongs to a Hall of Famer.

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8. 1973 National League - 615 career WAR

Pete Rose LF 79.8
Joe Morgan 2B 100.3
Cesar Cedeño CF 52.6
Hank Aaron 1B 142.3
Billy Williams RF 63.9
Johnny Bench C 75.1
Ron Santo 3B 70.6
Chris Speier SS 30.5

Cedeño hitting third gives you a pretty good idea of how much of a beast he was back then. Also, the Reds were kind of good in the '70s. Seems like a "thing."

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7. 1985 American League - 617 career WAR

Rickey Henderson CF 110.6
Lou Whitaker 2B 74.8
George Brett 3B 88.4
Eddie Murray 1B 68
Cal Ripken SS 95.5
Dave Winfield RF 63.9
Jim Rice LF 47.3
Carlton Fisk C 68.4

When I was eyeballing the lineups, I figured that the '80s were going to dominate. That was just my own bias, though. This was basically the first page of my baseball-card binder -- at least the page that wasn't fighting each other during the Dodgers/Diamondbacks game last month.

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6. 1972 National League - 624 career WAR

Joe Morgan 2B 100.3
Willie Mays CF 155.9
Hank Aaron RF 142.3
Willie Stargell LF 57.3
Johnny Bench C 75.1
Lee May 1B 27
Joe Torre 3B 57.3
Don Kessinger SS 9

Kessinger hurt would could have been a contender for the top spot in this exercise, but it's still a ridiculous lineup. Don't forget how good Torre was as a player -- he could have made the Hall even without the managing.

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5. 1957 National League - 625 career WAR

Johnny Temple 2B 16.9
Hank Aaron RF 142.3
Stan Musial 1B 128.2
Willie Mays CF 155.9
Ed Bailey C 27.5
Frank Robinson LF 107.2
Don Hoak 3B 21.1
Roy McMillan SS 25.4

It's pretty hard to get around a head start of Aaron, Musial, Mays, and Robinson. Those are four of the inner-circliest of the inner circle, and they overcome a Johnny Temple appearance ...

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4. 1959 National League - 627 career WAR

Johnny Temple 2B 16.9
Ken Boyer 3B 62.9
Hank Aaron RF 142.3
Willie Mays CF 155.9
Ernie Banks SS 67.7
Stan Musial 1B 128.2
Wally Moon LF 24.7
Del Crandall C 28.4

... more than once. This one added Ernie Banks to the mix, along with Ken Boyer. Boyer made seven All-Star Games, and he lost his age-22 and -23 seasons to the Korean War. He has an MVP and five Gold Gloves. It's pretty shocking that he never got Veteran's Committee love. He peaked at 26 percent of the vote in his ninth year of eligibility under the BBWAA's auspices

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3. 1966 National League - 630 career WAR

Willie Mays CF 155.9
Roberto Clemente RF 94.4
Hank Aaron LF 142.3
Willie McCovey 1B 64.4
Ron Santo 3B 70.6
Joe Torre C 57.3
Jim Lefebvre 2B 17.1
Leo Cardenas SS 27.5

The bottom two messed up a chance at the top slot, but it's hard to beat that top six.

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2. 1965 National League - 659 career WAR

Willie Mays CF 155.9
Hank Aaron RF 142.3
Willie Stargell LF 57.3
Dick Allen 3B 58.6
Joe Torre C 57.3
Ernie Banks 1B 67.7
Pete Rose 2B 79.8
Maury Wills SS 39.7

Easily one of the most complete lineups. If you want to know how respected Dick Allen was, this is a pretty good example. Wills at the bottom makes this almost a sabermetric lineup, focusing on OBP at the top of the order. Gene Mauch, you dog, you.

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1. 1934 American League - 690 career WAR

Charlie Gehringer 2B 80.8
Heinie Manush LF 45.7
Babe Ruth RF 163.3
Lou Gehrig 1B 112.6
Jimmie Foxx 3B 96.4
Al Simmons CF 68.6
Joe Cronin SS 66.3
Bill Dickey C 55.9

This is probably the most famous lineup in All-Star history, too. It's famous because of what it didn't do.


Hubbell didn't just strike out a great lineup. He struck out the best lineup in All-Star Game history. There's a reason we're still talking about it 80 years later, and it's a pretty good one.

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