The Midsummer Classic is a special game where the best players from around Major League Baseball come together to play an exhibition game, which in recent memory has had home-field advantage implications in the World Series. Because of the game's importance, the idea is to have the league's best players in the game. However, sometimes some unlikely players fall through the cracks and make the team. Here are 12 of the most surprising All-Stars since 2000.
12. Brad Hawpe, Colorado Rockies (2009)
Brad Hawpe exemplifies what a true Coors Field hitter is. Hawpe made his lone All-Star appearance in 2009 after several years of 20-plus homers. But once he left Colorado, he was never the same, hitting a total of 13 home runs in his final three Major League seasons.
11. Omar Infante, Atlanta Braves (2010)
This is the same Omar Infante who was recently released by the Kansas City Royals. However, in 2010 as a member of the Atlanta Braves, Infante was selected to be a part of the All-Star team as the "utility" player. He had a pretty good season for a player who relies on slapping the ball around, but he has a career OPS of .695.
10. Jack Wilson, Pittsburgh Pirates (2004)
Jack Wilson is the true definition of an all-glove, no-offense shortstop. But for one season he put it all together and represented the Pirates in the Midsummer Classic. In 2004, Wilson hit .308 and tallied 201 hits, which led to his one and only Silver Slugger. For his career, Wilson slashed .265/.306/.366 with the lone All-Star appearance. If the guy could hit more he would've had a couple Silver Sluggers.
9. Dan Kolb, Milwaukee Brewers (2004)
Dan Kolb was a reliever in the big leagues for nine seasons and had a 4.36 ERA for his career. He would make his only All-Star appearance in 2004, and on the season, he saved 39 games to the tune of a 2.98 ERA. Kolb was never a flamethrower who struck out many batters, making an All-Star Game appearance that much more impressive, but after a couple good seasons with the Brew Crew, his career quickly went down the toilet.
8. James Baldwin, Chicago White Sox (2000)
James Baldwin lasted 11 years in the big leagues and posted a career ERA of 5.01. Even in 2000 when he made the All-Star team, he finished the season with a 4.65 ERA, despite winning 14 games. Baldwin is the perfect example of why the win is irrelevant. In the first half of that season, Baldwin went 11-4 with a 4.28 ERA. Talk about pitcher's luck.
7. Evan Meek, Pittsburgh Pirates (2010)
Evan Meek has pitched 196 career innings in the big leagues, and 80 of them came in 2010 when he made the All-Star team with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Meek is one of those random relievers who got the nod because every team has to be represented. Nice moment for the guy, but it was pretty surprising.
6. George Sherrill, Baltimore Orioles (2008)
At the age of 31, left-handed reliever George Sherrill made his one and only All-Star team with the Baltimore Orioles in 2008. Sherrill ended the season with a career-high 31 saves, but he did post an incredibly high ERA of 4.73. Sherrill would retire in 2012 with the Mariners after pitching 1-1/3 innings and surrendering four runs.
5. Junior Spivey, Arizona Diamondbacks (2002)
Infielder Junior Spivey lasted only five seasons in the big leagues, but in 2002 he had his moment in the sun. Spivey was an All-Star and finished the season hitting .301 with 16 home runs and 78 RBI. He even received some MVP votes that season, but it quickly went downhill from there.
4. Mark Redman, Kansas City Royals (2006)
You know the Royals were a disgrace back in 2006 when Mark Redman was their selection for the All-Star team. He had won six games and posted a 5.27 ERA in the first half of that season. That is pretty sad if those numbers are worthy of an All-Star appearance.
3. Lance Carter, Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2006)
Lance Carter was the supposed "closer" of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays back in 2006. Since the team needed a representative, he was the only choice, despite having an 4.33 ERA for the season. Carter recorded 29 saves in his brief six-year career, and 26 of them came in 2006.
2. Derrick Turnbow, Milwaukee Brewers (2006)
You guys remember that Brewers closer who had an nice 2005 season where he recorded 39 saves with a 1.74 ERA? Well, it was Derrick Turnbow and he was essentially rewarded the next season with an All-Star nod, despite posting 6.87 ERA for the season. His career was short-lived, as the Brewers released him two years later.
1. Bryan LaHair, Chicago Cubs (2012)
Bryan LaHair is the poster boy for this list. LaHair put up very good numbers for a dreadful Chicago Cubs team in the first half of the 2012 season (.286 with 14 home runs and 30 RBI), earning himself an All-Star appearance. Well, he played so poorly in the second half that he lost his starting spot, and after that season he never played in the big leagues again. But guess what? The guy can still say he was an All-Star at the highest level, something plenty of big leaguers can't say.