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The 5 Worst Cubs All-Star Selections In History

Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant are worthy All-Stars. What Cubs in history really didn't deserve the honor?

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In addition to Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant, Jake Arrieta put up All-Star-worthy numbers in the first half and should have been considered (though he wouldn't have been able to appear, since he started Sunday's game).

This is a good sign for the Cubs, having more All-Star caliber players on the team rather than having someone picked because of the rule that every team has to be represented.

Here are five Cubs All-Stars who really, truly didn't belong on the teams.

2012: Bryan LaHair

LaHair was sort of a hot-button topic around here when he won the starting first-base job in spring training 2012. He'd spent most of the previous five years in Triple-A, leading me to term him the classic Quadruple-A player. Good enough to crush minor-league pitching, not good enough to win a big-league job.

But he got off to a good start in 2012, hitting .286/.364/.519 with 14 home runs and.. uh... 30 RBI (that Cubs team wasn't very good) by the break, and I believe several N.L. first basemen were injured at that point, so LaHair joined Joey Votto as the only two true N.L. first basemen on the team that year. (David Freese, along with Votto and LaHair, played first base in the game.)

LaHair lost his starting job to Rizzo in the second half and hit just .202/.269/.303 with two homers and 10 RBI in 109 at-bats the rest of the way. His final big-league at-bat resulted in a walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth October 3, 2012, the last game of the season, so there's that, anyway.

LaHair was trying to hang on as recently as this year's spring training, with the Red Sox, but they released him just before the season began.

2008: Kosuke Fukudome

Fukudome was elected to start the 2008 All-Star Game, in part because he was popular in Japan. Yes, I know that's kind of a meme here but it really was true -- a lot of online votes were submitted for him, and he actually did have a pretty good first half in 2008, hitting .279/.383/.408 with 55 walks and 59 runs scored. Even that, though, was a decline from a hot April and in the second half of 2008 he pretty much vanished, hitting just .217/.314/.326. The Cubs' great first half also influenced voters, I presume.

The hot start would be a hallmark of Fukudome's major-league career, as he hit .333/.440/.503 in 388 April plate appearances, nothing anywhere close to that after May 1.

Fukudome has been back in Japan for the last three years, playing for the Hanshin Tigers. This year, at age 38, he's hitting .266/.337/.491 with 15 home runs in 80 games. If he'd come even close to that with the Cubs, we'd have been pretty happy.

2001: Joe Girardi

This is not a criticism of Girardi, who was a pretty good player over 15 seasons; he recorded 1,100 career hits, posted 5.7 career bWAR and was a catcher for several World Series teams. We all know how good a manager he is.

But Girardi's lone All-Star appearance didn't come from his performance. Instead, it's because he was home with his young kids while his wife was out running errands, in an era where not everyone had cellphones. Someone -- and I can't recall who -- who had been named to the N.L. All-Star team at catcher had been injured just before the date of the game and the coaching staff was desperately calling around trying to find someone who could make it to Seattle in time for the game.

Girardi was the first one who answered the phone, so he got to go.

They shouldn't have bothered. He was the only position player who didn't get into the game.

1976: Steve Swisher

This was another situation where position determined the choice. The 1976 Cubs weren't a very good team; at the break they were 36-48, 21½ games out of first place. But they did have one very good player: Rick Monday, who hit a career-high 32 homers that year and at the break was hitting .284/.366/.514 with 15 homers and 47 RBI. In those days All-Star rosters were much smaller than they are now and N.L. manager Sparky Anderson thought he had enough outfielders, but not enough catchers. Thus Nick Swisher's dad was chosen. At the break he was hitting .268/.304/.346, which isn't horrible, but isn't All-Star caliber, either.

In the second half he hit .167/.211/.283 in 120 at-bats and lost his starting job to George Mitterwald. When you look at his overall 1976 numbers, .236/.275/.326 with five home runs, you ask, "That was an All-Star season?"

It wasn't. But it's on his page, so it must be true. Like Girardi, Swisher did not play in the game.

1953: Clyde McCullough

McCullough, who was the Cubs' starting catcher in the early 1940s, left for military service and then returned in 1945 too late to play in any regular-season games, but did get one at-bat in the World Series. After three more years with the Cubs, he was traded to the Pirates and then reacquired in the 1952-53 offseason at age 36.

He wasn't really even the Cubs' starting catcher for most of the first half of the year. At the break he had started only 29 games and hit .273/.301/.374. Yet he was selected anyway by N.L. manager Charlie Dressen, who brought five catchers to the game at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.

It was kind of pointless. Starter Roy Campanella played the entire game. None of the other four catchers got into the game, even as a pinch-hitter. McCullough actually played parts of three more years with the Cubs, until he was released at age 39 in July 1956.

You might think modern All-Star selections are strange, but there are five Cubs who had no business having "All-Star" on their resumes.