The 2012 World Series has come and gone, with a number of players on both teams (Joaquin Benoit, Jose Valverde, Prince FielderMarco Scutaro, among others)  making their World Series debut. Other players, though, have gone their entire careers without ever having a moment on baseball’s biggest stage. This piece is a tribute to those men.

To qualify for this team, I looked at retired players who never appeared in a World Series game. Possibly, some of these players played on league championship teams and missed the World Series through injury or otherwise being left off the series roster. The vast majority, though, compiled notable, distinguished or even HOF careers without ever playing on a league championship team.

Here are the starting nine:

Player G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS+ Pos WAR Bonafides
Jason Kendall 2085 8702 1030 2195 394 35 75 744 721 686 .288 .366 .378 95 C 38.3 5th in games caught
Rafael Palmeiro 2831 12046 1663 3020 585 38 569 1835 1353 1348 .288 .371 .515 132 1B 66.1 6th in 1B WAR
Nap Lajoie 2480 10460 1504 3242 657 163 82 1599 516 346 .338 .380 .466 150 2B 102.2 18th/20th in WAR/BA, HOF
Ron Santo 2243 9397 1138 2254 365 67 342 1331 1108 1343 .277 .362 .464 125 3B 66.6 7th in 3B WAR, HOF
Luke Appling 2422 10254 1319 2749 440 102 45 1116 1302 528 .310 .399 .398 113 SS 69.9 7th/1st in SS WAR/BB, HOF
Billy Williams 2488 10519 1410 2711 434 88 426 1475 1045 1046 .290 .361 .492 133 LF 59.9 8th in LF WAR & Hits, HOF
Ken Griffey, Jr. 2671 11304 1662 2781 524 38 630 1836 1312 1779 .284 .370 .538 136 CF 79.2 6th in HR, likely HOFer
Harry Heilmann 2147 8960 1291 2660 542 151 183 1539 856 550 .342 .410 .520 148 RF 67.3 12th in BA, HOF
Frank Thomas 2322 10075 1494 2468 495 12 521 1704 1667 1397 .301 .419 .555 156 DH 69.7 10th in BB, Top 20 in HR, OPS+
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/26/2012.

And, the pitching staff:

Player W L ERA G CG SHO SV IP SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB Pos Bonafides
Fergie Jenkins 284 226 3.34 664 267 49 7 4500.2 3192 115 1.142 8.3 1.0 2.0 6.4 3.20 RHSP CYA, HOF
Gaylord Perry 314 265 3.11 777 303 53 11 5350.0 3534 117 1.181 8.3 0.7 2.3 5.9 2.56 RHSP 8th in SO, CYA, HOF
Phil Niekro 318 274 3.35 864 245 45 29 5404.0 3342 115 1.268 8.4 0.8 3.0 5.6 1.85 RHSP 4th in IP, HOF
Chuck Finley 200 173 3.85 524 63 15 0 3197.1 2610 115 1.376 8.6 0.9 3.7 7.3 1.96 LHSP 11th in LH WAR
Wilbur Wood 164 156 3.24 651 114 24 57 2684.0 1411 114 1.232 8.7 0.7 2.4 4.7 1.95 SWING T-1st in 40 GS Seasons
Jeff Montgomery 46 52 3.27 700 0 0 304 868.2 733 135 1.244 8.1 0.8 3.1 7.6 2.48 RHRP 154 ERA+ over 10 yrs
Lee Smith 71 92 3.03 1022 0 0 478 1289.1 1251 132 1.256 7.9 0.6 3.4 8.7 2.57 RHRP 1st in Car. SV for 13 yrs
Billy Wagner 47 40 2.31 853 0 0 422 903.0 1196 187 0.998 6.0 0.8 3.0 11.9 3.99 LHRP 2nd in RP ERA+
Dan Plesac 65 71 3.64 1064 0 0 158 1072.0 1041 117 1.286 8.2 0.9 3.4 8.7 2.59 LOOGY 6th in Games
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/26/2012.

Rounding out the 25 man roster is this bench:

In case of injury, a deluxe 40 man roster.

Other Notables (incl. active players)

What do you think? Who would make your team of the best players never to play in the World Series?

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