So what if you could put together an all-time all-star team of Major League Baseball players who attended high school in Connecticut? We decided to give it a few years back and return with the addition of Charlie Morton and Rico Brogna. One clarification: This list does not include every high school player from Connecticut to compete at the Major League level. Also, it should be noted Mo Vaughan is not included only because he did not play high school baseball in the state. Obviously, he is a no-brainer on an All-Connecticut team, but this is a high school site. We were pleasantly surprised not only with the talent that has played in the state, but the fact we could fill each position. Heck, we even have two managers and a pitching coach.
We put together a list that spans more than 100 years. There are modern-day All-Stars and those that played before the first All-Star game in 1933. Fourteen players were selected to the actual All-Star game during their careers.
Statistics from baseball-almanac.com. Click on player’s name for complete career statistics.
P – Steve Blass (Housatonic Valley)
All-Star selection in 1972, played 10 seasons for Pirates, ending with a 103-76 record (including 3-9 in final full season when he lost control of his pitches). Three seasons had ERA less than 2.90
P – Ricky Bottalico (South Catholic)
Made All-Star team in 1996 for Phillies with 34 saves.
P – Craig Breslow (Trumbull)
In 12 seasons as reliever, had 3.45 ERA and 7 strikeouts per 9 innings average.
P – Rob Dibble (Southington)
Two-time All-Star selection with Reds in 1991-92. Finished seven-year career with 89 saves.
P – Fred Goldsmith (Hopkins)
New Haven-born Goldsmith holds claim to throwing the first curve ball in 1870. But he was also a gifted pitcher in his day, playing for six seasons in the National League, winning 98 games over a four-season span (1880-83) with the Chicago White Stockings (Cubs).
P – Matt Harvey (Fitch)
Career ERA of 2.61, started 2013 All-Star Game for National League as member of the Mets.
P – Charlie Morton (Barlow)
25-9 past two seasons and 2018 All-Star selection with the Astros. 12th season overall.
P – Charles Nagy (Fairfield)
Two-time All-Star played 14 seasons, 13 for the Indians. Ended career with Padres.
P – Carl Pavano (Southington)
Career spanned 14 seasons. All-Star selection for National League in 2004 with Marlins.
P – Frank “Spec” Shea (Naugatuck)
Eight-year career with Yankees and Senators, finishing 56-46. He was an All-Star selection in 1947 when he was the winning pitcher for the American League.
P – Joey Jay (Middletown)
First Little League player to make the Majors, pitched 13 seasons with Braves and Reds. Selected to All-Star team for National League in 1961.
C – Brad Ausmus (Cheshire)
Played 18 years in Majors with Padres, Tigers, Astros and Dodgers, earning an American League All-Star selection in 1999 while with Detroit.
C – John Ellis (New London)
Played for Yankees, Indians and Rangers during 13-year career. Named Yankees spring training player of year in 1970 and most underrated player for Indians in 1974.
1B – Jeff Bagwell (Xavier)
Hall of Famer played 15 seasons for Astros, ending career with .297 average, 449 home runs and 2,314 hits. Four-time All-Star was National League MVP in 1994 and Rookie of the Year in 1991.
1B – Rico Brogna (Watertown High School)
1st round draft pick of Tigers had 4 season with 20 or more HRs, and two with more than 100 RBIs.
1B – Roger Connor (Waterbury High School)
Held career home run record with 138 before Babe Ruth broke it. Played from 1880-1897.
1B – George “Candy” LaChance (Putnam native)
Batted .280 in 12-year career from 1893-1905.
2B: Billy Gardner (Waterford)
Played 10 years in majors, with six teams, most notably the Orioles. Had stints with Yankees, Red Sox.
2B: Dick McAuliffe (Farmington)
Played 16 Major League seasons for Tigers and Red Sox. Three-time All-Star (1965, 66, 67) was steady defensive second baseman who batted .247 for career with 197 home runs.
2B: Tim Teufel (St. Mary’s, Greenwich)
Played 11 years with Twins, Mets and Padres. Batted .308 for Mets in 1987.
SS Tommy Corcoran (New Haven native)
Corcoran set a still-standing ML record for shortstops with 14 assists in a nine-inning game.
SS / 2B: Horace “Hod” Ford (New Haven native)
Played 15 seasons for Braves, Phillies and Reds from 1919-1933.
SS/2B: Bobby Valentine (Rippowam, Stamford)
Played for five teams over 10 season, including Dodgers, Angels and Mets. Played all eight fielding positions other than pitcher during career.
3B – Joe Dugan (Hillhouse)
Played 14 seasons in Majors, including seven with the Yankees from 1922-28. Batted .280 lifetime and .322 in 1920 for Athletics. Considered one of best defensive third basemen of his generation.
OF Rajai Davis (New London)
In 13th season in Majors with a .263 career average. He has stolen 410 career bases.
OF Chris Denorfia (Southington/Choate)
In 10 seasons with 5 team in Majors batted .272. Six seasons with 100 or more games played.
1B Walter Dropo (Plainfield)
The Moose from Moosup was the American League rookie of the year in 1950 when he made the All-Star team as a member of the Red Sox.
OF Johnny Moore (Waterbury)
Played 10 seasons for Cubs, Reds and Phillies. Lifetime .307 hitter. From 1934-36 for the Phillies batted .331. Finished ninth with .330 batting average in 1934.
OF Jimmy Piersall (Leavenworth High, Waterbury)
Played 17 seasons in majors. Most known for time with Red Sox, where he was an All-Star in both 1954 and 56. Played five positions in majors: LF, CF, RF, SS and 3B.
OF A.J. Pollock (RHAM High School, Hebron)
An All-Star selection in 2015. A .276 career hitter in seven seasons with Diamondbacks.
OF George Springer (New Britain / Avon Old Farms)
Two-time All-Star was 2017 World Series MVP. Already 114 home runs in five-year career with Astros.
U- Jim O’Rourke (Bridgeport)
Hard to leave the player credited with first hit in National League out. Played all nine positions in 19-year career. Batted .360 with 115 RBIs for Giants in 1890. Ended career with 2,643 hits. Inducted into Hall of Fame 1945.
Bobby Valentine (Rippowam, Stamford)
Managed Rangers, Mets and Red Sox. National League All-Star manager in 2001.
Managed Twins (1981-85) and Royals (1987)
Dave Wallace (Sacred Heart, Waterbury)
Has served as pitching coach for Dodgers, Mets, Red Sox and Astros and, currently the Orioles. He was the pitching coach for the 2004 World Series champion Red Sox.
Note: Mo Vaughn did not play high school baseball in Connecticut. A Norwalk native, he played for Trinity Pawling.