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Today we toast the All-Stars, the Major League Baseball players deemed most talented, most productive and most popular. But before we get to the national anthem and those two long rows of players stretching down the baselines, let’s remember the Also-Rans, too. Some of them are pretty damn good.

A lot of worthy throwers and hitters have toiled for years without cracking an All-Star roster, including plenty in San Francisco and Oakland. Pretending I’m some combination of Dick Williams, Dusty Baker and Bruce Bochy, here are my ballots for the All-Time Bay Area Non-All-Star team — the best of the slighted.

One quick note: Eligibility is based purely on time with the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s. Seasons before those teams moved from New York and Kansas City are discounted, as are All-Star appearances with other franchises.

Here are your starters:

CATCHER: Kurt Suzuki, A’s, 2007-2012

Catcher was a tough position to fill out, because just about every middling Giants backstop of the past 50 years — Tom Haller, Dick Dietz, Bob Brenly — managed to get himself on an All-Star team. Not so for Suzuki, who solid behind the plate and with the bat, while laboring for some fairly awful Oakland teams. In 2008, for example, he hit .274 with 15 home runs and 88 RBIs. But he wasn’t an All-Star until representing the Twins in 2014.

FIRST BASE: J.T. Snow, Giants, 1997-2005, 2008

Here’s your proof that All-Star bids aren’t handed out for defense. Snow was a magician with a first baseman’s mitt, winning six Gold Gove awards (two with the Angels). He had 104 RBIs in his first year with the Giants, and twice more knocked in 95-plus. And he saved Darren Baker, Dusty’s son and now a ballplayer at Cal, from the speeding David Bell at home plate in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series.

SECOND BASE: Mark Ellis, A’s, 2002-2011

Man, this guy was solid. He was eighth in American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2002. He hit .315 and had an OPS of .861 in 2005. He logged 19 homers and 76 RBIs in 2007, and stole 14 bases in 2008. All while playing reliable second base. None of it was good enough to make Ellis an All-Star.

SHORTSTOP: Mike Bordick, A’s, 1990-96

It’s not too surprising that Bordick never was voted an All-Star; he didn’t have that kind of glamor. But A’s fans remember him as a spooky clutch hitter as his team transitioned from World Series contender to flopper. In 1992, Bordick had a batting average of .300 and an on-base percentage of .358, and got a couple of MVP votes. But he wasn’t an All-Star until he repped the Orioles in 1998.

THIRD BASE: Eric Chavez, A’s, 1998-2010

That’s right, Eric Chavez never made an All-Star roster. The dude won six consecutive Gold Gloves (2001-06), mostly for playoff teams. He went above 25 home runs six consecutive years (2000-05) and four times eclipsed 100 RBIs, with a high of 114 in 2001. That said, Chavez never fulfilled his vast promise in Oakland, and his All-Star shutout is a reminder of that.

LEFT FIELD: Bill North, A’s, 1973-78; Giants, 1979-1981

One of the best Bay Bridgers in history, North was a pure center fielder, but we’re moving him over to left for this fantasy game. He would certainly bat leadoff, as he did for most of his career. North twice led the AL in stolen bases (1974, 1976), twice more went over 50 steals and earned two World Series rings with the Swingin’ A’s.

CENTER FIELD: Dwayne Murphy, A’s, 1978-1987

This is why I moved North to left field. Because Murphy is simply one of the finest and rangiest outfielders I’ve ever seen. He had some pop, too, with 33 homers in 1984 and 27 in 1982. He was part of one the great outfields in MLB history, with Rickey Henderson to his right and Tony Armas to his left. Both of those guys were All-Stars. Murphy was not.

RIGHT FIELD: Josh Reddick, A’s, 2012-16

I’m panting over this defensive outfield. Complementing the speed of North and Murphy is the rocket-launcher arm of Reddick, a Gold Glover in 2012. That was also the year he cracked 32 home runs and drove in 85 runs. Reddick is still waiting for his first All-Star nod, though he is batting a career-high .313 for the Astros right now.

PITCHER: Jim Barr, Giants, 1971-78, 1982-83

Easy choice here. Barr was SF’s ace for most of his first stint there. Problem was, the Giants weren’t very good in that era. His modest win totals — he topped out at 15 in 1976 — and lack of strikeouts obscured some other stellar numbers. Barr’s earned run average was under 3.00 three times, with a best of 2.74 in 1974. He had a combined 23 complete games in 1974-75.

And here are my reserves:


Mike Heath, A’s, 1979-1985

Notes: No one would confuse Heath with Johnny Bench, but was a solid hitter in the Billyball Era.


Tony Phillips, A’s, 1982-89, 1999

Ray Durham, A’s, 2002; Giants, 2003-08

Dick Green, A’s, 1968-1974

Mike Gallego, A’s, 1985-1991, 1995

Jose Uribe, Giants, 1985-1992

Walt Weiss, A’s, 1987-1992

Scott Brosius, A’s, 1991-97

Notes: Heavy on the late-inning defensive replacements here, especially Green and Weiss, middle-infield Oakland wizards of different eras. Phillips could play nearly any position on the field. Durham made two All-Star teams with the White Sox, Brosius one with the Yankees. I had a hard time excluding Tito Fuentes and Dave Kingman.


Mike Davis, A’s, 1980-87

Coco Crisp, A’s, 2010-16

Brett Butler, Giants, 1988-1990

Gary Matthews, Giants, 1972-76

Notes: Davis is forgiven for drawing a walk against Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series, setting up Kirk Gibson’s devastating homer. Well, almost forgiven. Small sample size, big power for Matthews.


Bobby Bolin, Giants, 1961-69

Rich Harden, A’s, 2003-08, 2011

Kirk Rueter, Giants, 1996-2005

Jack Sanford, Giants, 1959-1965

Ed Halicki, Giants, 1974-1980

Rick Langford, A’s, 1977-1986

Frank Linzy, Giants, 1963-1970

Santiago Casilla, A’s, 2004-09, 2017; Giants, 2010-16

Felix Rodriguez, Giants, 1999-2004

Huston Street, A’s, 2005-08

Javier Lopez, Giants, 2010-16

Notes: Bolin (73-56, 3.26 in nine seasons by the bay) might be the most underappreciated Giant in history. Linzy (2.71, 77 saves) is right behind him. I was surprised Harden was never an All-Star; figured he probably had at least one great half-season before injuries caught up with him. Casilla and Lopez were half of the Giants’ “Core Four” relievers. They got the nod by a whisker over Jeremy Affeldt, while Sergio Romo was an All-Star in 2013.

You can reach columnist Phil Barber at 707-521-5263 or phil.barber@pressdemocrat.com. Follow him on Twitter: @Skinny_Post.

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