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Midwest League Reference Pages

All-Star Games

A short history of the Midwest League All-Star Game. If the year is hyperlinked, this site has a more thorough account of the game as part of the season history.


The MWL predecessor Illinois State League played All-Star Games in both of its seasons. In both cases the team leading the league at mid-season played a team selected from the other teams.

1947  All-Stars 5, Belleville 1         @ West Frankfort
1948  All-Stars 1, Mattoon 0            @ Mattoon

Wins: All Stars 2.



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MWL Fan's Guide

The ISL's successor Mississippi-Ohio Valley League continued the tradition for most of its seasons. There was, however, little year-to-year format consistency. 1949 had two games, in different formats, about a month apart. In 1950 and 1951, two All-Star games were played, on consecutive nights in different ballyards. The 1952 contest was cancelled about a week before the scheduled game date.

1949  South 5, North 2                  @ Paducah
      All-Stars 9, Centralia 2          @ Mount Vernon
1950  South 12, North 8                 @ West Frankfort
      South 6, North 4                  @ Mattoon
1951  South 5, North 4                  @ Mount Vernon
           10 innings
      Paris 8, All-Stars 6              @ Paris
1952  *game cancelled by league directors*
1953  Decatur 5, All-Stars 2            @ Decatur

Wins: South 4, All-Stars 1, Paris 1, Decatur 1. One game cancelled.


The games lapsed for a decade.


The first Midwest League All-Star Game was played in 1964, and pitted teams created by arbitrarily dividing the league geographically.

1964  South 6, North 3                  @ Davenport

No All-Star Game was played in 1965.


Beginning in 1966, the games returned, with a new format: The Midwest League team with the most wins in the first half of the season hosted the best players on the other teams. Predictably, the All Star team usually won these contests. This format lasted 8 seasons:

1966  Appleton 1, All Stars 0           @ Appleton
1967  All Stars 6, Wisconsin Rapids 5   @ Wisconsin Rapids
1968  All Stars 5, Quad Cities 1        @ Davenport
1969  Appleton 5, All Stars 3           @ Appleton
1970  All Stars 10, Quincy 7            @ Quincy
1971  All Stars 5, Danville 1           @ Danville
1972  All Stars 1, Wisconsin Rapids 1   @ Wisconsin Rapids
           10 innings
1973  Wisconsin Rapids 4, All Stars 3   @ Wisconsin Rapids

Wins: All Stars 4, Appleton 2, Wisconsin Rapids 1. 1 tie game.


There was a new format in 1974: Our best players faced a Triple-A team. All of these games were played in Iowa ballyards. Our guys were surprisingly successful against the older players.

1974  All Stars 3, Iowa Oaks 2          @ Cedar Rapids
           13 innings!
1975  All Stars 6, Iowa Oaks 2          @ Davenport
1976  Iowa Oaks 5, All Stars 3          @ Clinton
1977  All Stars 5, Iowa Oaks 2          @ Burlington
1978  All Stars 11, Omaha Royals 7      @ Waterloo

Wins: All Stars 4, Iowa Oaks 1.


Since 1979, the League has played a divisional (or regional) contest. From 1982 to 1987, and again from 1995 to 1999, the Central Division was split to make two equal geographic divisions. From 2000 to 2009 the Eastern team included members from an arbitrarily-selected West Division team.

1979  Southern Division 9, Northern 2   @ Cedar Rapids
1980  Northern 6, Southern 1            @ Davenport
1981  Southern 5, Northern 4            @ Cedar Rapids
1982  Southern 4, Northern 2            @ Davenport
1983  Southern 1, Northern 0            @ Madison
1984  Southern 5, Northern 4            @ Burlington
1985  Southern 4, Northern 2            @ Cedar Rapids
1986  Northern 4, Southern 2            @ Beloit
1987  Northern 9, Southern 8            @ Wausau
1988  Northern 5, Southern 2            @ Clinton
1989  Southern 4, Northern 1            @ South Bend
1990  Southern 10, Northern 5           @ Davenport
1991  Northern 6, Southern 6            @ Cedar Rapids
          10 innings
1992  Northern 7, Southern 5            @ Peoria
1993  Northern 3, Southern 2            @ Geneva
1994  Southern 3, Northern 2            @ Fort Wayne
1995  Eastern 7, Western 5              @ Grand Rapids
1996  Eastern 10, Western 4             @ Appleton
1997  Eastern 6, Western 5              @ Lansing
1998  Western 7, Eastern 4              @ Clinton
1999  Western 1, Eastern 0              @ Lansing
2000  Western 5, Eastern 3              @ Geneva
2001  Eastern 7, Western 3              @ Dayton
2002  Eastern 6, Western 3              @ Lansing
2003  Eastern 5, Western 4              @ Grand Rapids
2004  Western 6, Eastern 3              @ Cedar Rapids
2005  Eastern 4, Western 2              @ Peoria
2006  Eastern 7, Western 1              @ Davenport
2007  Eastern 8, Western 2              @ Geneva
2008  Western 5, Eastern 4              @ Midland
          10 innings
2009  Eastern 6, Western 3              @ Clinton

Wins: 6 Northern, 9 Southern, 10 Eastern, 5 Western. 1 tie game.


Where the games have been held

  • Davenport 7
  • Cedar Rapids 6
  • Clinton 4
  • Appleton 3
  • Geneva 3
  • Lansing 3
  • Wisconsin Rapids 3
  • Burlington 2
  • Grand Rapids 2
  • Mattoon 2
  • Mount Vernon 2
  • Peoria 2
  • West Frankfort 2
  • Beloit 1
  • Danville 1
  • Dayton 1
  • Decatur 1
  • Fort Wayne 1
  • Madison 1
  • Midland 1
  • Quincy 1
  • Paducah 1
  • Paris 1
  • South Bend 1
  • Waterloo 1
  • Wausau 1

The only clear pattern is that new parks usually host the game in their second MWL season. It's not been unusual for a single stadium to host several games in a relatively short period.


Star of Stars

The League (and, usually, Howe SportsData) have recognized the MVP of the All-Star game since the 1982 season--and an official MVP was selected for one of the earlier games. This award has usually been called "Star of Stars." Here's the list of winners:

Year  Player            Pos   Team          Affil       AB-R-H-BI (comments)
1966  Bob Von Epps        C   Fox Cities    White Sox    3-0-0-1

1982  Mark Grant          P   Clinton       Giants       2 IP     (no baserunners)
1983  Shawon Dunston      SS  Quad City     Cubs         4-1-1-0  (game score was 1-0)
1984  Greg Steen          2B  Peoria        Angels       4-2-3-2
1985  Darcy Walker        DH  Peoria        Cubs         5-2-3-2
1986  Mark Howie          2B  Madison       A's          3-1-3-2
1987  Rafael Delima       OF  Kenosha       Twins        5-2-3-3
1988  Jorge Pedre         DH  Appleton      Royals       1-1-1-2
1989  Tom Redington       3B  Burlington    Braves       4-2-2-1
1990  Roger Miller        1B  Clinton       Giants       4-1-1-2
1991  Chris Hatcher       RF  Burlington    Astros       4-2-3-2
1992  Tyrone Horne        LF  Rockford      Expos        4-2-2-2
1993  Steve Sisco         2B  Rockford      Royals       2-0-1-1
1994  Bob Henley          DH  Burlington    Expos        2-0-1-1
1995  Chris Allison       2B  Michigan      Red Sox      3-2-2-0
1996  Jeff Liefer         OF  South Bend    White Sox    2-2-2-3
1997  John Barnes         OF  Michigan      Red Sox      4-2-3-2
1998  Ross Gload          1B  Kane County   Marlins      3-1-1-2
1999  Jon Schaeffer       DH  Quad City     Twins        3-2-2-0
2000  Matt Padgett        RF  Kane County   Marlins      5-1-4-0
2001  T.J. Soto           DH  Michigan      Astros       2-1-2-4  (grand slam)
2002  Steve Checksfield   DH  Michigan      Astros       4-1-3-2
2003  Kevin Beavers       ??  Lansing       Cubs         3-1-3-1  (game winning RBI)
2004  Mitch Maier         ??  Burlington    Royals       3-1-2-1
2005  Jereme Milons       CF  South Bend    Diamondbacks 2-0-2-3
2006  Jay Bruce           RF  Dayton        Reds         5-3-3-2  (home run, single, double)
      Vincent Bongiovanni P   South Bend    Diamondbacks 2 IP     (no baserunners)
2007  Deik Scram          DH  West Michigan Tigers       2-2-1-0  (steal, walk)
2008  Tim Smith           LF  Clinton       Rangers      2-1-1-1  (game winning HR)
2009  Sawyer Carroll      CF  Fort Wayne    Padres       4-1-4-0

Jay Bruce's game, in 2006, was probably the best performance on this list. Beyond serious debate the best MWL All-Star performance was the 3 homer effort by Dubuque's Jim Dodders in 1967, but no MVP was selected for that game.

Most of these guys went on to play Double-A ball, and many played at the Triple-A level.

Shawon Dunston's the only major league star on the list (even that's debatable). Mark Grant and Ross Gload are the only other players who have had significant careers in the bigs, so far. A few others have made brief appearances in The Show. It's far too soon to rule out the recent winners--and Jay Bruce certainly looks promising.

The game format makes it difficult for any pitcher to win this award; it happened the first year, and hasn't happened since. In 2006 this issue was addressed by adding a second winner.


Sources:

The 1995 League Yearbook has box scores of all of the MWL games through 1994. In extremely small print. (Thanks, Jon.)

Results of more recent games are from my files.

The first ISL game is mentioned in Kevin Saldana's This Date in Minor League Baseball History. The other ISL and Valley League games are from contemporary newspaper accounts; see the pages I'm creating for those for detailed references.

Brad Seward was kind enough to report an error shortly after this page was posted on the site. Thanks.


This page originated as the June 19 and June 26, 1999, Midwest League Tidbits on the Midwest League Mailing List.




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The Midwest League plays Single-A, professional baseball in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. 16 teams play a 140 game schedule which begins in early April and ends Labor Day weekend.

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This website is a private project and has no official relation with or sanction from the Midwest League or Minor League Baseball.
The opinions expressed on this page are mine, and are worth about that.


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