The All-Star game has come and gone, and the players are getting their final rest before the looming second half arrives. Milwaukee Brewers faithful are hoping to hold on to first place for the conclusion of the 2017 campaign.
With only one participant in this years Mid-summer Classic, who missed out on the participation part, the Milwaukee Brewers should be very well prepared to defend their position at the top of the hill. There is a feeling of being snubbed though. A first place team who only had one player representing them? On top of that, Corey Knebel didn’t even see the field.
There are memories drawn up of all those who were deserving of the honor, but fell short. It is true, being an All-Star is hard to do, and there are limited rosters. But for at least one season Bill Hall appeared to be more than ready to succeed in the task at hand.
Hall will be remembered as a versatile defender who could play just about anywhere on the field. At different times with the Milwaukee Brewers, he played second base, third base, shortstop, and every outfield position. Though the outfield venture was a rough transition, as he posted nine errors in 2007, his first season there.
The whole reason Hall had to be moved there is because he was hitting very well, and the infield was too crowded. In 2005 and 2006 he was playing well enough to be an All-Star just purely based on his stats. That leaves out his constant smile and ability to show up in the clutch moments.
The 2005 Season
Of the two years in question, this is a harder sell to make. He hit only 17 homeruns on the year, but was batting .291. The only problem with that is, the first half matters in this case. His whole season stats may warrant a good season, but not an All-Star selection.
With that in mind, Hall’s first half was better than his second. He hit 13 of his homers before the All-Star break. His .280 average and 19 doubles helped his case as well.
However even with that is pretty hard to sell that he should have been an All-Star. The roster was pretty stacked as well. So there was no room. He was outperforming only one reserve at the time of the game. That was Cesar Izturis. He was hitting only .275. But they were different types of hitters, making a true comparison difficult.
But there is a very small case to be made that Hall may have deserved at most a reserve spot. Or at least a replacement for injury.
It was the next season is when Hall really got snubbed.
The 2006 Season
Final stats on the year include a .270 batting average complimented by 35 home runs and 85 RBIs. It was a very solid year for Hall, and the reason he started centerfield for the Milwaukee Brewers the year after.
Though his first half yielded only a .263 average, he had 17 homers, 23 doubles, and even four triples. He was flat out getting the job done at the plate in 2006. The focus of his hitting shifted from more of a contact hitter to hitting more for power and it paid off.
It is hard to have one year like that and earn an All-Star bid. But he was in the midst of the best season of his career, and it was one that deserved to be recognized. The one accolade did not make or break his career. Hall was always a great defensive tool for the Milwaukee Brewers.
But the snub of putting together a year like that only to be denied is one that is sad. It is kind of like leading a division and not having a player actually play in the All-Star game.
Whether it be a tough year to break into the game, a lack of exposure, or any number of reasons, it is unfortunate that Hall never got the recognition he deserved. But, for the type of player he was on and off the field, he will forever be a fan favorite.