Cecil Fielder, the first major-leaguer in 13 years to break the 50-home-runs barrier, and Ryne Sandberg, only the third second baseman ever to hit 40, top a power-laden 1990 Associated Press baseball all-star team. The 12-man team, selected in a nationwide vote of sports writers and broadcasters and based only on regular-season performances, is evenly divided with six National Leaguers and six American Leaguers.
Three teams had two players each _ the Pittsburgh Pirates' dynamic outfield duo of Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla, the Chicago White Sox's battery of catcher Carlton Fisk and relief pitcher Bobby Thigpen, and Oakland Athletics outfielder Rickey Henderson and right-handed pitcher Bob Welch.
Not counting the pitchers, the team averaged almost 29 home runs, ranging from Fielder's 51 for the Detroit Tigers to Barry Larkin's seven for the World Series champion Cincinnati Reds.
Sandberg led the NL in home runs with 40 for the Chicago Cubs and was the leading vote-getter with 165, only three shy of being unanimous. He and Milwaukee Brewers designated hitter Dave Parker were the only repeaters from last year.
Fielder led the majors with 51 homers and was an overwhelming selection at first base, receiving 130 votes to 16 for runner-up Eddie Murray of the Los Angeles Dodgers and 13 for AL batting champion George Brett of the Kansas City Royals. Fielder also had 26 votes for designated hitter, third behind Parker's 78 and Brett's 33.
Bonds and Bonilla, who finished second and third in the outfield voting, each hit more than 30 homers, drove in more than 100 runs, and scored more than 100 runs in leading the Pirates to the NL East title. Henderson was the top vote-getter in the outfield with 158. Bonds had 157 and Bonilla 68.
Completing the team are San Francisco's Matt Williams at third base and the New York Mets' Frank Viola as the left-handed pitcher.
Sandberg was named to the team for the third consecutive year and the fourth time in five years. Minnesota outfielder Kirby Puckett failed to make it for the first time in five years, getting only one vote.
Five players on last year's team didn't even get a vote this time _ pitchers Bret Saberhagen of Kansas City and Joe Magrane of St. Louis, catcher Mickey Tettleton of Baltimore, outfielder Ruben Sierra of Texas and third baseman Howard Johnson of the Mets.
The closest vote was for catcher, with Fisk beating Cleveland rookie Sandy Alomar Jr. 59-45.
Fielder made a sensational comeback to the majors this year after spending the 1989 season with the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese League. In addition to his 51 homers, the most in the majors since Cincinnati's George Foster hit 52 in 1977, he led the majors with 132 RBI and a .592 slugging percentage, tied for second in the AL with 104 runs scored, and batted .277.
Sandberg, the 1984 NL Most Valuable Player, led the league in home runs and runs scored (116), was second in hits (188) and slugging percentage (.559), drove in 100 runs, and batted .306.
He was the first second baseman to lead either league in home runs since the St. Louis Cardinals' Rogers Hornsby in 1925.
The 42-year-old Fisk had a standout season, his 19th in the majors. He hit .285 with 21 doubles, 65 RBI and 18 homers, making him the all-time home run leader for catchers with 333, six ahead of Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.
The flamboyant Henderson moved within two of Lou Brock's all-time stolen base record of 938 by stealing 65 bases, tops in the American League. He also led the majors with 119 runs scored and a .439 on-base percentage, was second in the AL in slugging percentage (.577), and hit .325 with 33 doubles, 28 home runs and 61 RBI.
Parker, 39, the National League MVP with Pittsburgh in 1978, was the Brewers' most productive offensive player overall. He hit .289 with 71 runs scored, 30 doubles, 21 homers and 92 RBI. He made the AP team as a member of the A's last year.
Welch (27-6) was the biggest winner in the major leagues since Denny McLain won 31 for Detroit in 1968. He also had a 2.95 ERA and was third in the AL in innings pitched with 238.
Thigpen, of St. Petersburg, was the workhorse of the White Sox bullpen. He had a record 57 saves _ 11 more than the previous mark of 46 held by Dave Righetti _ and was 4-6 with a 1.83 ERA in 77 games.
Higuera, 9 others file as
free agents; total is 31
Milwaukee left-hander Ted Higuera and nine other players filed for free-agency Tuesday, raising the total to 31 in the first three days following the World Series.
Higuera, who made $2,125,000 this season, is among the top available pitchers along with Bob Welch of Oakland and Dave Righetti of the New York Yankees.
Higuera, a former 20-game winner, struggled to an 11-10 record with a 3.76 ERA while being limited to 27 starts by injuries.
Also filing Tuesday were Atlanta infielder Jim Presley, Boston outfielder Tom Brunansky, Detroit pitcher Dan Petry, Kansas City pitcher Steve Farr, Los Angeles second baseman-outfielder Juan Samuel, Minnesota outfielder John Moses, Pittsburgh outfielder R.J. Reynolds, and St. Louis third baseman Terry Pendleton and pitcher John Tudor.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets exercised a 1991 contract option on pitcher Alejando Pena for $1-million rather than exercising a $300,000 buyout clause.
Pitchers Dave Smith of Houston and Jim Gott of Los Angeles were offered salary arbitration by their teams Tuesday, stopping them from filing for free-agency.
Los Angeles told catcher Rick Dempsey that it would not offer him arbitration, meaning he can file for free-agency starting Thursday.
Series ratings rank
as second-lowest ever
NEW YORK _ The World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and the Oakland Athletics received the second-lowest television ratings since games moved to prime time in 1971.
National ratings released Tuesday showed the Reds' four-game sweep got a 20.8 rating and a 36 share. That is 27 percent better than last year's 16.4 rating for Oakland's earthquake-interrupted sweep of San Francisco. But it is 9 percent below the 22.9 for the 1984 Series between Detroit and San Diego, which had been the all-time low before last year.
Game 1 of this year's World Series got a 20.2 rating and Game 2 got a 21.8 rating, the highest-rated television program of the week.
Game 3 dropped to a 19.4 but Game 4 rose to 21.4, the second-highest rating of the week.
The rating is the percentage of televisions in the United States and represents approximately 931,000 homes. The share is the percentage of televisions in use at the time.
Reds' World Series take: $112,533 per man
NEW YORK _ The world champion Cincinnati Reds will receive $112,533 per man, falling less than $2,000 short of the record World Series share of $114,252 each Oakland player picked up a year ago, according to figures obtained from various major-league sources by the New York Times. The runner-up A's are expected to get a $69,995 share this year.
Players whose teams finished in the first three places in their divisions are awaiting their post-season checks from a pool of $11,438,462. That's about $700,000 under last year's record pool of $12.1 million.
A full share for the pennant playoff losers will be $35,190 for Pittsburgh and $34,775 for Boston.
Other full shares: New York Mets, $8,478; Chicago White Sox, $8,420; Toronto, $8,308; Los Angeles, $7,966; Detroit, $2,880; Texas, $2,812; Montreal, $2,615, and San Francisco, $2,637.