Indians’ All-time All-Star team

Given some of the incredible numbers being put up around baseball in this season’s first half — Miguel Cabrera’s quest for a second Triple Crown, Chris Davis’ power onslaught, Manny Machado’s quest for the all-time double mark, Yasiel Puig’s incredible rookie debut, etc; — I got to thinking about which players might make up an all-time All-Star team for the Indians.

Now, All-Star teams are generally compiled bases on the first-half performance of players. So, what I was contemplating wasn’t a Mount Rushmore of all-time Cleveland greats (that would include someone like Larry Doby, who didn’t make the cut for this list), or the best lineup based on the top overall seasons in Tribe history. This little project was based on the best first-half showings in the history of the Indians franchise.

I established a few ground rules for my search. I’d try to find the best first-half by a player at each position, and no player could make the All-Star team twice. For example, just because Tris Speaker had a handful of incredible first-half showings, I couldn’t name him as the starting center fielder and left fielder. Only one Speaker could make the cut. And, as it happens, Speaker only made the all-time All-Star bench.

That leads me to the next ground rule, which dealt with the construction of the roster. I wasn’t going to compile a 30-plus player team here. What I did instead was went with a more traditional 25-man roster. The roster would include a starting nine, including a designated hitter, a five-man rotation and a seven-man bullpen. The bench required a backup catcher, outfielder and infielder, and a fourth player. For hitters, I limited the search to those with at least 250 at-bats, with one exception (Sandy Alomar Jr.’s 1997 first-half of 240 at-bats).

To find the all-time Indians All-Star team, I used, which includes first-half split data dating back to 1916. Under the circumstances, someone like Nap Lajoie (with Cleveland from 1902-1914) didn’t make the cut. I tried to select as many players as I could from different eras, but the 1990s (obviously) dominated this list in the end.

That is how I went about this, and here are my picks, which you can surely debate.


1. Kenny Lofton, CF
Year: 1994
Slash line: .378/.443/.578/1.021
Other stats: 10 HR, 24 2B, 7 3B, 43 RBI, 45 SB, 82 R, 129 H, 42 BB, 40 K

2. Roberto Alomar, 2B
Year: 1999
Slash line: .324/.420/.517/.937
Other stats: 12 HR, 22 2B, 2 3B, 60 RBI, 21 SB, 78 R, 104 H, 55 BB, 49 K

3. Albert Belle, LF
Year: 1994
Slash line: .357/.445/.692/1.137
Other stats: 25 HR, 32 2B, 1 3B, 76 RBI, 8 SB, 70 R, 116 H, 50 BB, 52 K

4. Jim Thome, 1B
Year: 1998
Slash line: .326/.435/.655/1.090
Other stats: 23 HR, 29 2B, 1 3B, 73 RBI, 66 R, 99 H, 62 BB, 93 K

5. Manny Ramirez, RF
Year: 1999
Slash line: .333/.423/.640/1.063
Other stats: 25 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B, 96 RBI, 71 R, 101 H, 46 BB, 69 K

6. Travis Hafner, DH
Year: 2006
Slash line: .322/.461/.650/1.112
Other stats: 25 HR, 17 2B, 1 3B, 74 RBI, 68 R, 92 H, 71 BB, 60 K

7. Al Rosen, 3B
Year: 1950
Slash line: .302/.404/.639/1.043
Other stats: 25 HR, 13 2B, 4 3B, 74 RBI, 62 R, 86 H, 46 BB, 34 K

8. Victor Martinez, C
Year: 2007
Slash line: .324/.382/.553/.936
Other stats: 16 HR, 23 2B, 68 RBI, 44 R, 100 H, 28 BB, 40 K

9. Lou Boudreau, SS
Year: 1948
Slash line: .355/.463/.527/.991
Other stats: 8 HR, 19 2B, 2 3B, 54 RBI, 55 R, 97 H, 53 BB, 4 K



1. Tris Speaker, OF
Year: 1920
Slash line: .408/.500/.578/1.078
Other stats: 5 HR, 25 2B, 6 3B, 77 RBI, 5 SB, 72 R, 125 H, 53 BB, 6 K

2. Juan Gonzalez, OF/DH
Year: 2001
Slash line: .347/.391/.640/1.031
Other stats: 23 HR, 21 2B, 83 RBI, 61 R, 107 H, 25 BB, 49 K

3. Joe Sewell, INF
Year: 1923
Slash line: .347/.464/.458/.923
Other stats: 2 HR, 21 2B, 2 3B, 44 RBI, 7 SB, 52 R, 96 H, 57 BB, 8 K

4. Sandy Alomar Jr., C
Year: 1997
Slash line: .375/.408/.608/1.016
Other stats: 11 HR, 23 2B, 44 RBI, 40 R, 90 H, 13 BB, 26 K


1. Bob Feller, RHP
Year: 1946
Win-loss/ERA: 15-5, 1.90
Other stats: 180 IP, 19 CG, 190 K, 65 BB, 1.14 WHIP, .215 AVG

2. Gaylord Perry, RHP
Year: 1974
Win-loss/ERA: 15-3, 1.47
Other stats: 189.1 IP, 17 CG, 140 K, 55 BB, 0.88 WHIP, .175 AVG

3. Luis Tiant, RHP
Year: 1968
Win-loss/ERA: 14-5, 1.24
Other stats: 152.2 IP, 14 CG, 157 K, 44 BB, 0.87 WHIP, .166 AVG

4. Sam McDowell, LHP
Year: 1968
Win-loss/ERA: 8-8, 1.55
Other stats: 145.1 IP, 8 CG, 168 K, 59 BB, 1.06 WHIP, .183 AVG

5. Cliff Lee, LHP
Year: 2008
Win-loss/ERA: 12-2, 2.31
Other stats: 124.2 IP, 1 CG, 106 K, 20 BB, 1.04 WHIP, .234 AVG


1. Doug Jones, RHP
Year: 1990
Win-loss/ERA: 4-2, 1.41
Other stats: 23 saves, 44.2 IP, 27 K, 9 BB, 1.01 WHIP, .225 AVG

2. Jose Mesa, RHP
Year: 1995
Win-loss/ERA: 1-0, 1.84
Other stats: 21 saves, 29.1 IP, 25 K, 8 BB, 1.06 WHIP, .223 AVG

3. Don McMahon, RHP
Year: 1964
Win-loss/ERA: 3-1, 1.68
Other stats: 5 saves, 48.1 IP, 53 K, 25 BB, 1.14 WHIP, .179 WHIP

4. Rafael Betancourt, RHP
Year: 2007
Win-loss/ERA: 1-0, 1.13
Other stats: 39.2 IP, 36 K, 3 BB, 0.66 WHIP, .169 AVG

5. Dave LaRoche, LHP
Year: 1975
Win-loss/ERA: 3-1, 2.05
Other stats: 7 saves, 44 IP, 50 K, 33 BB, 1.25 WHIP, .152 AVG

6. Julian Tavarez, RHP
Year: 1995
Win-loss/ERA: 5-0, 1.18
Other stats: 45.2 IP, 34 K, 10 BB, 1.01 WHIP, .217

7. Vinnie Pestano, RHP
Year: 2011
Win-loss/ERA: 1-0, 2.97
Other stats: 1 save, 33.1 IP, 47 K, 13 BB, 1.05 WHIP, .185 AVG



Sad Pronk was snubbed by Ozzie in 2006.

Sorry, but no way Vizquel and Sabathia don’t make my all-star team.

and I agree – and I’m an old codger that thinks the 54 team was the best in baseball – ever.

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New Year was quiet for us too. We were in bed by 11:30pm. New Year’s Day we spent the day moving tnhigs around and cleaning. Kudos on your progress, E., you’re amazing! My two big goals this year are to write and read. That’s it. If along the way I find my WIP is worth submitting to a contest I’ll decide then. So far I’m ahead with my reading goal, I read two books back to back, and now a research related bio on Georgianna, Duchess of Devonshire. As for the writing part, I’m tying up loose ends on a work related project and then I’ll head right in, 1000 words a day.

this lineup is only based off 1st half numbers by each player – so in that regard, yes Boudreau does get in over Vizquel.. sorry, but the numbers say it all..

That’s correct, D.J. I explained the reasoning behind the picks in the intro. It was purely numbers based on what I viewed as the best first-half showings in team history. If some of you think Rocky, CC, Omar (or others) should’ve made the cut over my picks, I’d love to hear the debate. I actually think I could’ve left Cliff Lee off, but I felt the recent era of starting pitching should be recognized. It’d be too easy to pick five guys who logged 150-200 innings before the All-Star break way back when. Things have changed so much, especially when it comes to bullpen specialization. The bullpen was the hardest to pick, because there are great arguments for other players. Shoot, Cody Allen’s 2013 first half could’ve knocked Pestano’s 2011 off this list, but I thought Pestano’s tremendous K/9 rate was worthy of being included.

I do have to ask though, where did guys like Cy Young or Napoleon Lajoie fit with their first half stats?… couldn’t a case have been made for those 2 legends to be on the Indians all time Allstar roster? (who i believe should also have their own statues at the stadium as well lol.)

good stuff…

Please refer to the 1916 notation regarding available splits. Sheesh.

D.J., as I wrote in the intro, the baseball-reference data only goes back to 1916, so guys like Nap and Cy didn’t qualify for this project. We don’t have game log data for those seasons, so can’t calculate what they did in the first half in their years with the Tribe.

oops, sorry about that – must’ve glossed over that one part of your piece.

Boudreau was probably the better (than Vizquel) overall player anyway, regardless of split. Although Omar would be my 4th best Tribe infielder of all time behind Boudreau, Rosen and Alomar.

This team looks about right, CC’s best season was probably 2008 when he hauled the Brewers into the playoffs, and he started poorly. Vizquel was a below average offensive player nearly his entire career, his glove may make the bench, but not the starting 9. No Nap Lajoie or Earl Averill? I would probably slot Nap before Sewell.

Woops, missed the ‘no player before 1916’ bit which would explain Nap and Elmer Flick’s absence.

So basically you set you own rules and then decided not to follow them to come up with a totally meaningless thing that was obviously meant to be slanted toward the more recent players.

betancourt pitched 79 innings in 2007

and…now i’ve read the whole thing and it makes sense.

If the ball is over the fence it would be a homerun and the final score would be 7-3. If it did not go over the fence, on the fly, than the first run that secord ended the game, the hitter would get a single and the final score would be 4-3.

can’t pass up early wynn, mike Garcia, bob lemon. I agree with your position player choices

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Um, scratching my head as to why Paul Assenmacher is not in your bullpen (who might be solely responsible for recording countless batters and pitching the Indians past the Boston Red Sox in the ’95 post season and the Orioles in the ’97 ALCS). Paul made some of the most amazing pitches against some of the most devastating hitters in the american league in so many pressure cooker situations. Should have been a no-brainer. But yes, I agree with you on Doug Jones being the top closer.

Correction, the Red Sox Series in ’95 was a a sweep. The series I needed to mention was ’95 ALCS against the Mariners where Assenmacher retired Tino and Edgar Martinez like a dozen times and made pitches that were amazing.

No way Lofton was better than Speaker. Lofton was good, don’t get me wrong, but Speaker is on of the best 15 players EVER. While his average is elevated due to when he played, he still translates into being about a .320 hitter today. If they had Gold Gloves back then, Tris would’ve won about 15 of them. His OBP and SLG (power was better measured by doubles then, unless your last name was Ruth.) are considerably better than Loftons. Like I Lofton..but comparing him to Speaker is like trying to compare the Cleveland Fine Arts museum to the Louvre. Like comparing the Monkees to the Beatles. There really isn’t a comparison. I don’t think Tris should be penalized because no one here saw him play. The numbers “Speaker” for themselves.🙂

Should clarify. I do mean Speaker was better in 1920 than Lofton in 1994. The average OPS in 1994 was 50 points higher than in 1920(.730 to .780) Despite that, Speaker still had a higher OPS than Lofton. Throw in the defense, and I do not see how anyone can pick Lofton.

sudden sam? could have had more win if he would have covered first base on balls hit to the right side

What are you smoking?

1B Trosky
2B Lajoie
SS Sewell
3B Thome
C Martinez
LF Jackson
CF Speaker
RF Ramirez
DH Belle

OF Doby
SS Boudreau
3B Rosen
2B Baerga
C Alomar


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