While watching the All Star Game last night and not seeing a Halo getting a sniff of playing time, I wondered when was the last time that a team leading their division at the All Star break and had no player play in the actual game? Here are the notes, compiled courtesy of the great human being Aaron Charlton from STATS LLC.
Teams in 1st at All-Star Game But 0 Players Play in All-Star Game, All-Time
Season Team # of AS Situation at Break Situation at End of Season Manager of AS
1943 NY Yankees 6 Led AL by 4.5 Won AL by 13.5 (Won WS) Joe McCarthy, NYY
1978 Cal Angels 1* Led AL West by 1.0 Lost AL West by 5.0 Billy Martin, NYY
1988 Det Tigers 2 Led AL East by 3.0 Lost AL East by 1.0 Tom Kelly, Min
1994 Cin Reds 2** Led NL Central by 2.5 Strike Ended Season Jim Fregosi, Phi
2002 StL Cardinals 1*** Led NL Central by 2.0 Won NL Central by 13.0^ Bob Brenly, Ari
2003 KC Royals 2**** Led AL Central by 7.0 Lost AL Central by 7.0 Mike Scioscia, Ana
2009 LA Angels 3 Lead AL West by 1.5 ?????????????????????? Joe Maddon, TB
* Frank Tanana (P) was lone All-Star for California Angels in 1978
** Both Barry Larkin (SS) and Jose Rijo (P) were unable to play due to injury
^ Lost in NLCS, 4-1 to San Francisco Giants
From a book called "The Midsummer Classic" I got an explanation for why none of the 6 Yankees selected to the team played in the 1943 All-Star game. One of the six Yankees was hurt (Charlie Keller - OF) and replaced by a player from Detroit. The other 5 NY players that did not get into the game were Tiny Bonham (P), Spud Chandler (P), Bill Dickey (C - made HOF), Joe Gordon (2B), and John Lindell (OF).
The book says that the AL won 7 of the first 10 All-Star games and it was widely believed that the reason for the AL's dominance was the Yankees' players. In order to show that the AL as a whole was better than the NL, Manager Joe McCarthy deliberately kept the five healthy Yankee All-Stars on the bench the entire game. Bobby Doerr of the Red Sox hit a 3-run homer and the AL won 5-3. It was the first scheduled night game in All-Star game history.
The two Tigers in 1988 were Doyle Alexander (P) and Alan Trammell (SS).
I suspect we all know who the three Angels are in 2009 that didn't get in and why. Hunter hurt, Fuentes - warmed up but didn't get in, Figgins - came late and was an emergency replacement for Longoria.