Not being an all-star doesn’t mean you weren’t a good player that year, this was certainly the case for these six Pittsburgh Pirates seasons
All-Star voting is extremely inconsistent. Most of the time, it comes down to popularity as it’s a fan vote. Players who don’t deserve to go sometimes are sent because they play for a big market team. That also means that players on less popular teams who do deserve to go aren’t always sent.
The Pittsburgh Pirates in their history has had plenty of those seasons in their history. Some have even been top 10 in MVP voting, but didn’t make it anyway. Out of those players, who are the most notable to not make an All-Star Game?
Dave Parker, 1978
In the history of a player winning an MVP award, but not going to the All-Star Game, it’s happened 18 times. Somehow, the Pirates’ players have managed to do it twice. Out of the two, Dave Parker’s 1978 seasons was the better of the two seasons, and is one of the best MVP seasons in Pirates history.
Parker’s 1978 season was outstanding. The slugger started out the season hitting .316/.377/.535 with 13 long balls through his first 310 plate appearances of the season. If that wasn’t good enough, Parker got even better. In the second half of ‘78, Parker slashed .353/.410/.632 with 17 home runs in his last 332 plate appearances.
Overall in 1978, Parker batted .334/.394/.585 in 642 plate appearances. He also hit 30 long balls, 32 doubles, and stole 20 bases, showing great power and speed. In total, the right fielder had a 166 OPS+, 167 wRC+ and .424 wOBA. Defensively, he might not have been the greatest with 0 total zone runs above average, but he threw out 12 runners with his outstanding arm.
It’s one of the best seasons ever where a player didn’t make an all-star game, as ne won the MVP award. He also led baseball in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, wRC+, was third in wOBA, and fWAR.