Top 10 Greatest Second Basemen

Today is the 4th of 9 in a series of posts centering on the greatest baseball players ever.  Today is focusing on second basemen.

1. Rogers Hornsby – 1915-1937 (STL, NYG, BOS, CHC, STL)  Hornsby is the only player to win the National League Triple Crown twice.  His career average of .358 is the highest mark ever of any right handed hitter in history.  His 1924 average of .424 has not been matched since.  Rogers also added nearly 3,000 hits and had 301 home runs.  Hornsby has been a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame since 1942.

2.  Eddie Collins – 1906-1930 (PHI, CHW, PHI)  Collins still holds multiple records for second basemen, 78 years after he played his final game.  He played the most games at second base (2,650), has the most assists (7,630) and total chances (14,591).  Eddie also still owns the record for most stolen bases in a game with 6.  He ended his career with 744.  Also a member of the 3,000 hit club, Collins has been in the Hall of Fame since 1939.

3. Nap Lajoie – 1896-1916 (PHI, CLE, PHI)  Lajoie won the AL Triple Crown in 1901 and had a lifetime average of .338.  He is a member of the 3,000 hit club, finishing his career with 3,242.  He fell one RBI short of having 1,600 in his 21-season career, although in 3 of his first 6 years with Philadelphia, he had knocked in at least 125.  Lajoie was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1937.

4. Jackie Robinson – 1947-1956 (BRK)  Robinson was the first player to break baseball’s color barrier.  You may think that is the reason he is so high on the list, but Jackie also had good stats for only playing 10 seasons.  Had it not been for the color barrier, Jackie would have had an opportunity to double his 137 homers and 1,518 hits.  His number, 42, is retired by all teams as a sign of respect.  He made 6 straight trips to the all-star game.  Robinson was voted into the Hall in 1962.

5. Jeff Kent – 1992-present (TOR, NYM, CLE, SF, HOU, LAD)  Kent is a 5 time all-star and is known for his offense at a position which is known for defense.  He has hit 375 home runs, most by a second baseman.  Jeff also has a .289 lifetime average and has won 4 Silver Sluggers.  8 times in a 9 year span, Kent hit over 100 RBI’s in a season and currently has 1,504 RBI’s.  He ranks 22nd all time in doubles.

6. Rod Carew – 1967-1985 (MIN, CAL)  Carew showed his dominance by participating in 18 consecutive all star games which spanned over 3 decades!  Known more for his defense than his offense (only 92 home runs), he was still able to accumulate 3,053 hits. He is one of 2 players (Ty Cobb) to lead both leagues in hitting in 3 consecutive seasons.  Carew was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.

7. Joe Morgan – 1963-1984 (HOU, CIN, HOU, SF, PHI, OAK)  Morgan hit 268 home runs in his career and added 1,133 RBI’s.  His speed on the basepaths led him to 689 stolen bases in 851 attempts; a success rate of over 80%.  Joe was a 10 time all-star and won 2 World Series with the famous Big Red Machine in the ’70’s.  Morgan was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.

8. Nellie Fox – 1947-1965 (PHI, CHW, HOU)  Fox was not an overpowering hitter, as he only hit 35 home runs, but he lead the league in singles for 7 straight seasons.  He only struck out 216 times in 9,232 at bats, the third best percentage in history.  Nellie was a 12 time all-star and won 3 Gold Gloves.  Fox was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1997.

9. Ryne Sandberg – 1981-1997 (PHI, CHC)  Sandberg was a 10 time all-star, won 9 Gold Gloves and 7 Silver Sluggers.  He reached base on a hit 2,386 times, 282 times by hitting a home run.  Ryno also has over 1,000 ribbies and stole 54 bases in 1985.  His career .989 fielding percentage is a record at second base.  Sandberg is a member of the 2005 Hall of Fame class.

10. Charlie Gehringer – 1924-1942 (DET)  Gehringer was a 6 time all-star and the American League MVP in 1937.  He hit 184 home runs and his lifetime average was .320.  Charlie was dubbed ‘The Mechanical Man’ because of his consistancy in the field and at the plate.  2,839 hits and 1,427 ribbies complete his resume.  Gehringer has been in the Baseball Hall of Fame since 1949.

The Chuck Norris joke is…

Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer.  It’s too bad Chuck Norris never cries.

Third basemen coming up!

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About shasaw

My wonderful abilities to write have caused Chris to offer me a contract worth $4.8 million to write for We Got The Goodz. I reluctantly accepted the offer since I know that my skills are worth much more than that. Anyway, here is some stuff about me. Interests: Baseball (D-Backs), Hockey (Sabres), Football (Bills), also playing pool, darts and poker Music: Mostly country, although I'm a big fan of the Kings of Leon. The Foo Fighters, John Mayer, Jason Mraz and the Eagles are good too. Movies: Slap Shot, Happy Gilmore, Braveheart, I Am Legend, Starsky and Hutch, Blues Brothers, Taxi and National Treasure. Books: Kurt Vonnegut is an author I don't mind, so any books he wrote.
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7 Responses to Top 10 Greatest Second Basemen

  1. kerelcooper says:

    Very nice and talented list. I’m curious to know if Roberto Alomar was considered and where he ranks in your mind? He was a career 300 hitter, 2700 hits, 474 SB and was a great defensive player.

  2. Don Burtless says:

    I dont know that much about baseball, but 2nd base seems to be wher eu throw the guy who isnt REALLY good at any one thing.

  3. cgoody says:

    i think i would have put jackie robinson first. although his stats may not be as good, he arguably had the greatest impact of any player to ever play the game

    ps- wheres b-philz?

  4. shasaw says:

    Roberto Alomar was either 11th or 12th. I also had Johnny Evers 10th on the list before I found Gehringer’s stats were only slightly better.

  5. the jon says:

    good to see you know your history and included a top three that deserves to be there. Personally, The Jon would go with Lajoie just because The Jon likes slap, contact hitters. He also has the highest average in modern day baseball history with .426.
    Hornsby is of course No. 1, but on The Jon’s all-time team, it’s Lajoie.
    Thanks for the trip back to the deadball era.

  6. rafi says:

    I’d put Alomar in over Fox. But I’m really taken aback at the presence of Jeff Kent ranked a few spots over Joe Morgan.

    Unlike Kent, Morgan was a great fielder (five gold gloves) and a great baserunner (689 sb’s). And if you compare them with respect to the era they played in, Joe was as dominant a hitter (his adjusted OPS is higher than kent’s).

  7. kerelcooper says:

    I agree with rafi on Morgan over Kent. Kent has compiled great numbers and is a Hall of Famer but I just can’t help to wonder how much Bonds had to do with Kent’s numbers. Kent’s greatest years were in San Fran where he would consistently get great pitches to hit as other teams pitched around Bonds.

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