Given the storied history of the franchise, it should come as no surprise that since the first game in 1933, the Yankees have had the most All-Star players (121) and most total All-Star selections (411) of any MLB team.
Here are a few fun facts and nuggets to get you ready for tonight’s game.
Let’s start with The Captain…
Derek Jeter is making his 14th All-Star Game appearance and ninth start.
Among Yankees, only Mickey Mantle (20, 13) and Yogi Berra (18, 11) have more selections and starts than Jeter. The only major-leaguers to have started more All-Star games as a shortstop are Cal Ripken Jr. (14) and Ozzie Smith (11).
Jeter won the All-Star Game MVP Award in 2000, the first Yankee to take home that honor (Mariano Rivera joined him last year). When he was later named the World Series MVP that year, Jeter became the only player in MLB history to win the World Series MVP and All-Star Game MVP in the same season.
Jeter has never disappointed the fans when playing in the All-Star Game, compiling a .440/.481/.600 line with one homer and three RBI in 25 at-bats.
There have been 105 players who have accumulated at least 15 plate appearances in the All-Star Game. Among them, only Charlie Gehringer has a higher batting average (.500) than Jeter.
Jeter already owns the most All-Star Game hits in Yankees history (11) and needs only three hits to tie Ted Williams and Nellie Fox for the most among all American League players. Jeter has gotten three hits in the game twice, in 2000 and 2004.
He is one of three players to have multiple three-hit games as an All-Star, along with Carl Yastrzemski and Mays.
Finally, we can’t forget about the point of this game…to win. The American League is 9-2-1 (yes, the regrettable tie) when Jeter plays in the All-Star Game, compared to 30-41-1 when he doesn’t.
Now, onto The Rookies…
Dellin Betances and Masahiro Tanaka are the first Yankee rookies to be named to the All-Star team since Hideki Matsui in 2003. This is the first time in franchise history that the Yankees have had two rookies selected as All-Stars.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the duo is also the first set of rookie teammates in major-league history to be named to the All-Star team as pitchers. Three other teams have had two rookies named to the team in the same season, regardless of position: 1951 White Sox (2), 1960 Orioles (3) and 2008 Cubs (2).
If Betances takes the mound, he would be just the second Yankee rookie to pitch in the All-Star game: Spec Shea pitched three innings, allowing one run on three hits, to earn the win in 1947.
Regardless of whether he pitches in the game, Betances is having a historic season. His 1.46 ERA is the third-lowest ever by a Yankee pitcher at the All-Star break (min. 50 IP), behind only Sparky Lyle (1.07 in 1972) and Jim Konstanty (0.89 in 1955).
Even more impressive is his ridiculous WHIP of 0.71. That is the lowest mark by any Yankee heading into the break, and the second-lowest in major-league history, behind only the Rangers’ Jeff Zimmerman (0.55 in 1999).
But the biggest “wow” stat about Betances’ first half is the fact that he has struck out an amazing 40.8 percent of the batters he’s faced so far this season. That is the highest mark in baseball history of any pitcher prior to the break with 50-or-more innings pitched.