Listed below are the 10 worst All Stars of the 1980s. To qualify for the list the player had to:
- Make an All Star game in the 1980s
- Make no more than one career All-Star appearance
- Be painfully mediocre
10. Matt Nokes (1987): Nokes had exactly one good year his entire career and it was his rookie season, 1987. Nokes helped lead the Detroit Tigers back to the playoffs as he crushed 32 homers and finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting. He had some decent power numbers later in his career but at the cost of a low batting average and miserable on-base percentage numbers.
9.Ron Davis (1981): Davis made the 1981 All Star game as a member of the New York Yankees. He was a reliever, and saved six whole games that season. He retired with a career ERA+ of 101, making him almost completely average. He is the father of Mets prospect, Ike Davis.
8.Jerry Mumphrey (1984): Jerry Mumphrey was “okay”. He stuck around the big leagues for 15 seasons and made one All-Star game. In 1984, “Jer” hit .290 and slugged nine home runs. He was a man amongst boys. He had better seasons earlier in his career, and retired with an OPS+ of 108, just a tick above average.
7.Ken Reitz (1980): Ken “Zamboni” Reitz was good with the glove, but the guy couldn’t hit a lick. In 11 big league seasons, he hit .260 (OPS+ 79). In 1980, he hit .270, which was darn close to his career best. In ended up being his final big league season. While a deft fielder, Reitz had a reputation as one of the slowest runners in history.
6.Vance Law (1988): I have a few Vance Law baseball cards, and I remember him as the guy that wore really creepy glasses. These things were huge with thin frames, dude looked weird (pictured). Personal attacks aside, The Long Arm of the Law was a pretty mediocre ballplayer. He played above-average D, but struggled with the stick. Law is currently the head baseball coach at BYU (that explains his weird look, no offense).
5.Tom Hume (1982): Tom Hume was a first round pick that ended up being a mediocre relief pitcher. Not what you’re looking for with your first round pick. Hume was decent enough to play in the bigs for 11 seasons. Over that time, he lost 14 more games than he won and finished with an ERA+ of 98. Tom worked as the Reds bullpen coach for 11 seasons.
4.Bob Walk (1988): Bob Walk had a very decent career. He was a major piece for Jim Leyland on some of those good Pirates teams of the late 1990s as he could start and relieve at a pretty average level. Walk won 105 games, more than he lost, and finished with a ERA+ of 91. Bob now does radio work for the Pirates.
3.Kevin Bass (1986): Don’t ask me why, but I always though my Kevin Bass baseball cards were “good”. I thought they would be worth some serious cash. Turns out that Mr. Bass was downright average, hitting .270 for his career (OPS+ 105), while hitting about eight home runs a year. He made the 1986 squad as he hit .311 with 20 home runs on a pretty good Houston Astros club. Two of Bass’ son’s were drafted by a big league team.
2.Pat Tabler (1987): Pat Tabler was another first round pick, that just kind of fizzled. Tabler, drafted in 1976, made his big league debut in 1981 and started a bit in the mid-1980s. He played all over the diamond with varying degrees of success. In 1987 he hit .307 with 11 home runs (a pathetic career high). For his career, Tabler had an OPS+ of 99, almost exactly mediocre. Tabby Cat (seriously, that’s his nickname) does TV work with the Blue Jays.
1. Greg Swindell (1989): Greg Swindell was an effective pitcher for good chunks of his big league career, both as a starter and as a reliever. Swindell played 17 seasons, which is damn impressive. He played in one All-Star game, which is damn hilarious. Swindell made the mid-summer classic in 1989 as a young starter with the Indians. He went 13-6 that season with an ERA+ of 118. He transitioned from starter to reliever in 1996, winning a ring with the D’Backs in 2001. He now does TV work with the Diamondbacks.