Josh Harrison will represent the Pittsburgh Pirates in tonight’s All Star Game in Miami. Harrison will also be representing the Cincinnati Bearcats, as the second baseman was a standout for UC, earning 2008 Big East Player of the Year honors among other accolades. But Harrison is not the only former Bearcat to go on to glory in The Show. Here is the best starting nine UC alum have to offer.
Catcher - Russ Nixon
Nixon, who was originally from Cleves, Ohio, wasn’t an entirely prolific batter, producing 27 home runs in his career. However, he played in parts of 12 seasons with the Red Sox, Twins and Cleveland from 1957 to 1968. His career slash line of .268/.310/.361 isn’t all that impressive, but that durability certainly was.
First Base - Kevin Youkilis
Youkilis was a three-time All Star during his 10-year career, during which he accumulated 32.7 bWAR. Noted for his keen eye at the plate, Youkilis finished his career with an on-base percentage of .382 to go with 150 home runs and 618 runs batted in.
Second Base - Miller Huggins
Huggins wasn’t just an All Star, he was a Hall of Fame talent, playing second base at a stellar level for 13 seasons split between Cincinnati and St. Louis from 1904 to 1916. Like Youkilis after him, Huggins was exceptional at getting on base, leading the league in walks four times and OBP once.
Shortstop - Ed Brinkman
In 1973, Brinkman made the All Star Game for the first and only time of his career. However, that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a lengthy tenure in the bigs, as he played 15 years, primarily with the Texas Rangers. A light-hitting shortstop, Brinkman was worth 13.1 bWAR in his career, accumulating a slash line of .224/.280/.300.
Third Base - Josh Harrison
Luckily, Harrison plays all over the field. His usual position is second base, but he has played 232 games at third during his seven seasons with the Pirates. He has actually put in his best offensive work while playing the hot corner, slashing .288/.318/.444 with 19 of his 38 career home runs.
Outfield - Ethan Allen
Allen was a journeyman of sorts, as he hung around for 13 years at the MLB level, but never stuck with a team for more than five years. During his run from 1926 to 1938 he hit .300/.336/.410 with 255 doubles and 47 home runs. He actually led the league in doubles in 1934 and clobbered 46 the following year when he came in 17th in the MVP race.
Outfield - Mike Hershberger
With just 2.3 bWAR to his name over 11 seasons, Hershberger wasn’t exactly a Hall of Famer, but he was a consistent outfielder for more than a decade. He stole at least 10 bases three times and posted an OPS+ above 100 twice, including a career best 122 in 1968 with the Oakland A’s.
Outfielder - Skeeter Barnes
Not only did Barnes have a great baseball name, he was also a pretty effective utility player for a four-year stretch from 1991 to 1994. In those four years, all with the Detroit Tigers, he slashed .281/.319/.420 during his age 34 through 37 seasons. The late resurgence allowed him to finish his career with a positive value in bWAR.
Pitcher - Sandy Koufax
As if it could be anyone else. The Hall of Famer won three Cy Young awards and was named MVP in 1963 when he went 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA. He led the majors in FIP in each of his last six seasons, and won back-to-back Cy Youngs before hanging up his cleats at the age of 30. Considered one of the best pitchers in MLB history, Koufax is easily the best MLB player to have a connection to UC.