Here is the 25 man roster of Best All-Star seasons from 1954-1963. Remember, if a player didn’t make the All-Star game that season, it wasn’t considered.
1955 Roy Campanella: In 1955 Campanella won his 3rd MVP award. His .318 batting average, 32 homers, and 107 runs batted in easily put him on the roster.
1961 Elston Howard:
For the 3 straight period, we have a catcher from the Yankees, this time it’s Howard’s turn. Howard did win league MVP in 1963, but DTB felt his 1961 season was more impressive as he complied a career best .348 batting average and 155 hits.
1961 Norm Cash: How good was the talent in 1961? Cash hit .361, belted 41 Home Runs, drove in 132 runs had an OPS of 1.148 and finished FOURTH in the MVP voting. This breakout season for the Tigers slugger was also his first as an All-Star.
1961 Jim Gentile: Here is one of the players to finish ahead of cash for the MVP voting. Gentile blasted 46 long balls, led the league with 141 runs batted in and hit .302 in the 1961 season.
1954 Bobby Avila: Avila led the American League in 1954 with a robust .341 batting average, while showing some pop at the plate as well with 27 doubles and 15 round trippers.
1958 Ernie Banks: With a player like Banks, an 11-time All-Star it’s just a matter of which season to choose. DTB went with the first of his back to back MVP years in 1958. .313/47/129/.614 AVG/HR/RBI/SLG…..yeah that works for us.
1956 Harvey Kuenn: Very close call between his 1956 and 1959 seasons, but we went with his 12 homers and 88 runs batted in season of 1956 because we love the power numbers.
1959 Eddie Mathews: Mathews makes a second team in our selection process. In 1959, Mathews hit 46 taters, drove in 114 and hit a respectable .306 and finished as runner-up for the National League MVP award.
1960 Ken Boyer: Boyer set a career high with 32 homers in 1960, add to it a .304 batting average and .932 slugging percentage and he finds his way on the roster.
1956 Mickey Mantle: Win an MVP and the triple crown, yeah very easy pick here. This was only one of four…yes FOUR seasons that Mantle drove in over 100 runs, very hard to believe for a guy who hit 536 homers in his career, but in 1956 he sent 130 guys across with a run.
1954 Willie Mays: While he hit more dingers and drove in more runs in 1955, we felt 1954 was a better all around year for Mays. He hit .345 had 33 doubles and 13 triples to go with 41 homers, and oh yeah, won the MVP award.
1954 Duke Snider: You didn’t think we’d have Willie and Mickey without the Duke, did you? Snider earned his way onto the team by posting up numbers as .341/40/130 AVG/HR/RBI in 1954. Add in a league leading 120 runs scored and he’s in.
1962 Frank Robinson: Despite winning the MVP the year before in 1961, we rate his 1962 season just a tad higher as he better in just about every offensive category.
1959 Hank Aaron: Hank Aaron as the 5th outfielder, boy is this a loaded group. Aaron was at his best in 1959 by Hammering 39 homers, driving in 123 and hitting a career best .355.
1963 Juan Marichal: Marichal won 25 games in 1963, posted a 2.41 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in becoming the de facto ace of this staff. Was a workhorse throwing 321 1/3 innings.
1962 Hank Aguirre: Another player who makes the roster in his only All-Star appearance. Aguirre went 16-8 in 1962, led the league with a 2.21 ERA and also contributed 3 saves.
1954 Johnny Antonelli: The southpaw led the National league with a 2.30 ERA in 1954 to go with his 21-7 record. He tossed 6 shutouts and 18 complete games.
1955 Billy Pierce: Once again a double digit loss pitcher makes a roster, while 15-10 isn’t exactly a horrible record, his 1.97 ERA and 1.10 WHIP (both led the AL) tell the story of how little run support he received.
1958 Whitey Ford: We understand we may take some heat on this one for picking Ford’s 1958 season over his Cy Young Award winning year of 1961 when he went 25-4. In 1958, Ford had a much lower ERA 2.01 to 3.21 had more complete games 15 to 11, had a lower WHIP 1.08 to 1.18 and hurled 7 shutouts compared to 3.
1960 Lindy McDaniel: McDaniel not only led the American League with 26 saves in 1960, he recorded a dozen wins as well. He finished 3rd in the Cy Young voting on the strength of his 2.09 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.
1961 Luis Arroyo: As closer for the ’61 Yankees, Arroyo was solid with 29 saves to go with his 15-5 record. He finished a league high 54 games in the campaign.
1956 Ray Narleski: 1.52 ERA, 0.93 WHIP 4 saves were just good enough to make the squad in an era where they weren’t many relievers.
1958 Ryne Duren: Duren barely missed out on Rookie of the Year homors in 1958 as he saves 20 games, had a 2.02 ERA, went 6-4 and only allowed 4 home runs in 75 2/3 innings pitched.
1963 Hal Woodeshick: The lefty only made the All-Star game once, but that was good enough to earn a spot on this teams roster. Woodeshick went 11-9, had a 1.97 ERA and saved 10 games in 1963.
1954 Ted Kluzewski: 49/141/326 HR/RBI/AVG is very tough to ignore, but the 1961 seasons of both Cash and Gentile did just enough to exclude Kluzewski from the 25-man roster.
1955 Roy Campanella
1961 Elston Howard
1961 Norm Cash
1961 Jim Gentile
1954 Bobby Avila
1958 Ernie Banks
1956 Harvey Kuenn
1954 Eddie Mathews
1960 Ken Boyer
1956 Mickey Mantle
1954 Willie Mays
1954 Duke Snider
1962 Frank Robinson
1959 Hank Aaron