The New York Yankees are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports. There have been a healthy number of Hall of Famers and great ballplayers who have donned the pinstripes. Many have appeared in All-Star games throughout the years. However, there are some players who have worn the Yankees’ uniform who you probably forgot appeared in an All-Star Game as a member of the New York Yankees. These are the Yankees’ All-Stars you forgot about.
Phil Hughes, SP – Once upon a time Hughes was a top prospect in baseball. He was compared to Hall of Famers as he rose through the Yankees’ system and finally made his debut in 2007 as a 21-year-old. He showed promise but injuries and struggles prevented him from breaking out until 2010. At just 24, Hughes was named an All-Star. He had gone 11-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 16 starts leading up to the All-Star game in 2010. He also struck out a healthy 91 batters in 101 innings and posted a very good 1.17 WHIP. Hughes came in during the seventh inning. He got Joey Votto to ground out but then gave up singles to Scott Rolen and Matt Holliday. He was lifted in favor of Matt Thornton. Thornton got Chris Young to pop up, walked Marlon Byrd, then gave up a double to Brian McCann. Hughes was the losing pitcher that year. He also would never make another All-Star Game.
Scott Sanderson, SP – Once upon a time the Yankees’ lone representative in a Midsummer Classic was Scott Sanderson. That was 1991. The game featured a ton of former and future Yankees like Rickey Henderson, Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Danny Tartabull, Ruben Sierra, Jack McDowell, Jimmy Key, Jeff Reardon, Cecil Fielder, Mike Morgan, Paul O’Neill, Darryl Strawberry and Lee Smith. However, we all know the Yankees in 1991 were awful. Sanderson, who was 34 at the time, had signed with the Yankees as a free agent prior to that season. He would go on to win 16 games in 1991 but was 9-3 with a 3.93 ERA heading into the game. He would post a 3.81 ERA on the year. So, he wasn’t terrible. But he was the only Yankee that year and he never made it into the game. It was also the only All-Star Game he was ever chosen for in his career.
Ron Davis, RP – Yankees fans might remember Davis for his incredible 1979 season where he went 14-2 with a 2.85 ERA. Those same fans might be surprised to find out Davis didn’t make the All-Star Game that year. He did make it in 1981, however, and it would be his only All-Star nod in his fairly decent career. He would pitch one inning, yielding a home run to Gary Carter, the first batter he faced. He then got Manny Trillo on a flyball and Steve Garvey on a pop-up to shortstop before striking Pedro Guerrero out. He would be traded on April 10, 1982 to the Minnesota Twins with Greg Gagne and Paul Boris in exchange for Roy Smalley.
Johnny Kucks, SP – Let’s face it, there aren’t many fans reading this who ever heard of Kucks. Fewer will have seen him play. Kucks had debuted for the Yankees in 1955 at the age of 22. In 1956 he was an All-Star and in the middle of a season where he would go 18-9 with a 3.85 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. The future seemed bright for Kucks in 1956. However, he would never post another winning season in his career and would be traded to the Kansas City Athletics for Ralph Terry and Hector Lopez. Kucks would appear in his last MLB game in 1960 and would retire in 1963 after toiling in the minors for a few seasons. Kucks never made it into the All-Star Game.
Javier Vazquez, SP – Once upon a time the Yankees thought Vazquez would be the answer in the rotation after they lost Andy Pettitte, David Wells, and Roger Clemens. Vazquez was just 27 in 2004 and everyone thought he would blossom into a star with the Yankees after being traded from the Montreal Expos. Things started out well for Vazquez. He went 10-5 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.15 WHIP while averaging 7.2 K/9. He looked like an ace. He even entered the All-Star Game in the fifth inning and struck out Mike Lowell, then got Miguel Cabrera to ground out to shortstop, and followed that with a strike out of Johnny Estrada. All signs pointed up. Then the second half began. Vazquez’s season fell off the rails. He went 4-5 with a horrendous 6.92 ERA and 1.487 WHIP. He gave up 61 earned runs in 79.1 innings. It was ugly. It got worse in the playoffs. He gave up five runs in five innings but got the win against Minnesota. Then, he got shelled in the ALCS by the Boston Red Sox giving up seven runs in 6.1 innings including surrendering three home runs. Prior to 2005 the Yankees shipped Vazquez off to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the Randy Johnson deal. He would make a return to the Yankees in 2010 but things didn’t fare much better for Vazquez. The 2004 All-Star Game would be his only Midsummer Classic appearance even though he did finish fourth in the NL Cy Young voting in 2009. Vazquez’s Yankee tenure was so bad it is hard to remember he was an All-Star for them once.