Target Field

Tuesday, July 15 • 7 p.m.


On one special day each year (except from 1959-62, when two games were played) the best baseball has to offer gather to display their immense skills. Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Stan Musial are at the front of the pack of those who made the All-Star Game their second home. All three appeared in a record 24 All-Star Games, with Mays starting the most (18).

They are not the only ones who have built a lengthy All-Star Game résumé. Warren Spahn pitched in a record 17 All-Star Games. Mariano Rivera was second with 13 appearances. Rivera never gave up an earned run in the game.

Other players have had stretches of their career during which the Midsummer Classic was part of their natural seasonal cycle. We take a positional look at the players who have been to the most All-Star Games.

First base: Stan Musial (24 games, 14 as a starter). Stan The Man began his career as an outfielder but started four games as a first baseman. All-time leader with six home runs.

Second base: Rod Carew (18 games, 15 as a starter). Carew played 12 All-Star games in a Twins uniform, six as an Angel. Batted .244 and is fourth in runs scored in the game.

Shortstop: Cal Ripken (19 games, 17 as a starter). Moved to third late in his career but played shortstop for an inning in his final All-Star Game in 2001 in Seattle, when Alex Rodriguez vacated the position for him.

Third base: Pete Rose (17 games, eight as starter). Rose was an All-Star in left, right and at first, second and third. Hit just .212 in 39 plate appearances.

Catcher: Yogi Berra (18 games, 11 as a starter). Batted just .195 as an All-Star. If this were for best player at catcher, it would be Johnny Bench.

Outfield: Hank Aaron (25 games, 17 as a starter). Aaron was named to the team the most times but hit just .194 with two home runs in 24 games.

Outfield: Willie Mays (24 games, 18 as a starter). All-time leader in hits, runs, stolen bases, singles, triples and total bases. “They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays,” Ted Williams said.

Outfield: Mickey Mantle (20 games, 13 as a starter). Not all great players shine at the All-Star Game. The Mick hit just .233 in 52 plate appearances. All-time strikeout leader, too.

Pitcher: Warren Spahn (17 games, three as a starter): Posted a 3.21 ERA in 14 innings and was the winning pitcher in 1953. His first All-Star Game was in 1947, his last in 1961.