One of the best measuring tools we have in baseball for judging players in a historical context is who has the most MLB all-star appearances.
Obviously, this isn’t a perfect system because the voting and selection processes are somewhat flawed and have changed with time. However, it’s a safe bet that the players with the most All-Star selections are also going to be some of the greatest MLB players of all time.
Most MLB All Star appearances of all-time
But what players have the most MLB All-Star appearances in baseball history? We scoured generations of players going back to the early days of the Midsummer Classic to find those with the most seasons on an All-Star roster.
Let’s take a look at what we found as we explore our list of the baseball players with the most MLB All-Star appearances ever.
Ozzie Smith, 15
Who says defense doesn’t make you an all-star? At least in the case of Ozzie Smith, being one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball history was enough to make him an all-star 15 times, making the team almost every year between 1981 and 1996.
After missing out in 1993, Smith would make it back to the All-Star Game three more times. Oddly enough, the 1993 season was also the first year that Smith didn’t win the Gold Glove after winning that award 13 times in a row.
Tony Gwynn, 15
In a 20-year career, Tony Gwynn was an all-star 15 times. An injury early in the 1988 season kept him from going to the Midsummer Classic that season, although Gwynn came back from the injury and still won the batting title.
If not for that injury, Gwynn would have had a streak of 16 consecutive all-star appearances because that was his only absence from 1984 to 1999. During that time, Gwynn took home eight batting titles, seven Silver Sluggers, and five Gold Gloves, which explains why he was an automatic for the All-Star team every year.
Brooks Robinson, 15
Brooks Robinson was one of several players in baseball history who enjoyed being an all-star so much that once they did it once, they never wanted to stop. To be fair, Robinson first joined the Orioles in September 1955 but didn’t become an all-star for the first time until 1960.
But he became addicted to it, earning an all-star selection for the next 15 years. In addition to being an all-star every year from 1960 to 1974, Robinson also won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1960 to 1975. He also won MVP in 1964 and helped the Orioles win the World Series twice during his Hall of Fame career.
Al Kaline, 15
Who knew that Al Kaline’s combination of speed and power would pay off so well for him? He spent two decades playing for the Tigers from 1953 to 1974 and was an all-star in 15 of his 20 seasons.
Kaline was an all-star for the first time in 1955 and wasn’t left off again until 1968. He also earned a couple of all-star selections late in his career, including in his farewell season in 1974. Don’t forget that Kaline also has 10 Gold Gloves and 399 home runs on his resume, so nobody should be surprised that he spent 15 years as an all-star.
Yogi Berra, 15
Like so many of the great Yankees of his era, Yogi Berra was a virtual shoo-in for the All-Star Team for most of his career. He broke in with the Yankees in September 1946 and became an all-star for the first time in 1948.
Berra then became an automatic for the All-Star Team every year until 1962, earning that recognition in 15 straight seasons. Along the way, Berra also won MVP three times and was a part of 10 teams that won the World Series.
Mickey Mantle, 16
As one of the great hitters in baseball history, Mickey Mantle was a regular on the All-Star Team. He was first selected as an all-star during his second season in 1952, beginning a run of 14 consecutive seasons in which Mantle was selected as an all-star.
Naturally, that 14-year stretch also included three MVPs, a Triple Crown, and seven World Series rings. In 1966, that streak ended with Mantle struggling early in the season, only picking things up in June and July. But he managed to rebound and make the All-Star Team in what would become his last seasons in the majors in 1967 and 1968.
Pete Rose, 17
In addition to being the all-time hit king, Pete Rose also made 17 all-star appearances. Despite finishing the 1972 season with a .307 average, Rose was left off the All-Star Team that year.
But he came back strong the next year, winning MVP honors and his third batting title while also starting a run of 10 consecutive all-star selections that run until 1982. Even after that streak ended, Rose made his final All-Star Team in 1985 in what would become his penultimate season.
Ted Williams, 17
Like so many of the things Ted Williams accomplished during his career, his all-star appearances could have been even higher if he hadn’t missed three years in the prime of his career while serving in World War II. Williams had established himself as an all-star in his second season in 1940 and then won batting titles in 1941 and 1942, even winning the Triple Crown in 1942.
But even after sitting out three years during the war, Williams reclaimed his spot on the All-Star Team as soon as he returned in 1946. The only other year he was left off the All-Star Team for the rest of his career was in 1952 when he once again missed time while serving in the Korean War.
If Williams had played and been an all-star in those four seasons, he would be tied for the all-time record for all-star seasons.
Carl Yastrzemski, 18
Over his 23 seasons in the big leagues, Carl Yastrzemski made the All-Star Team 18 times. He missed it in 1964 despite a solid season and was left out again in 1980 and 1981 on the backside of his career.
But to his credit, Yastrzemski bounced back and did earn a selection in his final two seasons. Of course, Yastrzemski was something special in his prime, winning three batting titles, seven Gold Gloves, and even winning the Triple Crown in 1967.
Rod Carew, 18
Few players in baseball history could put the ball in play the way Rod Carew did. He didn’t need to hit home runs to make a difference, which is why he finished his career with 3,053 hits with just 92 of them being home runs.
Carew’s other accomplishments include seven batting titles and 18 consecutive All-Star appearances. Keep in mind that six of his batting titles came in a seven-year span, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Carew was also able to find himself in 18 straight All-Star Games.
Cal Ripken Jr., 19
The Iron Man himself has an unbreakable record of 2,632 consecutive games played. That record is slightly more impressive when you realize that Cal Ripken Jr. didn’t even get the All-Star Break off. He was an all-star every year from 1983 to 2001. That’s 19 consecutive all-star appearances for a player who was as respected as any player in baseball history.
Of course, some fans may remember that he earned All-Star Game MVP honors in his final Midsummer Classic after hitting a home run on the first pitch he saw in that game from Chan Ho Park. That honor made Ripken just one of four players with multiple All-Star Game MVP Awards.
Stan Musial, 20
Consistency was always one of the strengths of Stan Musial’s baseball resume. In 20 seasons, he was selected as an all-star, and it would have been 21 if not for his absence from the 1945 season.
In January 1945, Musial enlisted in the Navy and served his country during the end of World War II. Assuming his performance that season was up to the standards he set for himself, Musial would have been an all-star in all 21 years of his career. While he doesn’t have that record, Musial did win three World Series, three MVPs, and seven batting titles, giving him a special place in baseball history.
Willie Mays, 20
It took Willie Mays a few years to become an all-star caliber player. He made his debut for the New York Giants in 1951 but wasn’t selected as an all-star for the first time until 1954. But once he was an all-star, he was one for life.
Mays became an all-star for the next 20 years, being selected every year from 1954 to 1973, which was his final season. Even when he wasn’t quite the same player late in his career with the Mets, Mays earned a spot on the All-Star Team.
He also won two MVPs that came 11 years apart and 12 straight Gold Gloves, two facts that also showcase just how good Mays was over an extended period of time.
Henry Aaron, 21
Nobody in MLB history was named an all-star in more years than Henry Aaron. He played 23 seasons in the big leagues and was an all-star every year from 1955 to 1975. There were no down seasons or injury-plagued years for Aaron. He brought his best effort every year, which is why he was literally a perennial all-star.
Don’t forget that the former home run king hit 755 career homers without having more than 44 in a single year. He was just consistently good at everything he did, which is why he finished his career with 755 homers and over 3,700 hits while also setting all-time MLB records for RBIs and total bases.