The Greatest Offensive Second Basemen
The following post represents Part Two in the presentation of the greatest second basemen. This post: Total Offense.
#14 (2 tied):
Hub Collins, a second baseman, was a fearless base stealer, who played for almost 7 seasons for mostly Brooklyn of the National League between 1886 and 1892. He averaged over 55 steals a year, until he died suddenly of illness at age 28. His career on-base percentage was .365.
Ryne Sandberg played second base for 16 seasons for the Chicago Cubs in the 1980s and the 1990s. He was selected for 10 All-Star teams and is a member of the Hall of Fame. He won 9 straight Gold Gloves, and he won the NL MVP in 1984. He also won 7 Silver Slugger Awards.
#10 (4 tied):Roberto Alomar
Roberto Alomar performed, sometimes brilliantly, at second base for 17 years between 1988 and 2004, for a number of teams, mostly the Toronto Blue Jays. He averaged batting .300 for his career and was chosen for 12 All-Star squads. He also won 4 Silver Slugger Awards and 10 Gold Gloves. He was elected to Cooperstown in 2011.
Frankie Frisch, “The Fordham Flash”, is a Hall of Famer who played second base for 19 years for the New York Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals, in the 1920s and the 1930s. His career batting average was .316, and he was known as a sparkplug on offense. He was also an anchor on defense and won the NL MVP in 1931.
Joe “Flash” Gordon, one of the top second basemen ever, played 11 seasons for the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians in the 1940s. He was a fine clutch hitter, and was selected for 9 All-Star games. Even though some of his career was lost to military service during WWII, he still attained great career numbers. He won the AL MVP in 1942 and is a member of the Hall of Fame.
John “Bid” McPhee may have been the greatest defensive second baseman in the history of baseball. In addition, he was a prolific run producer and great offensive force on his teams. McPhee played for Cincinnati in both the American Association and the National League for 18 seasons in the 1880s and the 1890s. He is a member of the Hall of Fame.
#7 (3 tied):Rod Carew
Rod Carew was a fine second baseman, who played for 19 years for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels between 1967 and 1985. Carew won a staggering 7 batting titles, and was AL MVP in 1977. He averaged .328 for his career and was chosen for an amazing 18 All-Star games. Carew is a 3,000 career hit man and is a member of Cooperstown.
Joe Morgan, a second baseman, has been called the best team leader in baseball history. He played for 22 years, mostly for the Houston Astros and the Cincinnati Reds. Morgan won 2 consecutive NL MVP Awards in 1975 and 1976. He also won 4 on-base percentage crowns, and stole 689 bases. He was always the toughest out on his teams.
Hardy Richardson, “Old True Blue”, was a star second baseman for 14 years in the 1880s and the 1890s, for mostly Buffalo in the National League. He batted around .300 for his career and was always a top run producer. He set an example as both an offensive and defensive performer. He scored runs with a fluid combination of power and speed.
#4 (3 tied):Charlie Gehringer
Charlie Gehringer, “The Mechanical Man”, was one of the great second basemen ever. He was a dangerous clutch hitter and run producer, played at the University of Michigan, and became a member of Cooperstown. He played 19 seasons for the Detroit Tigers and excelled on both sides of the ball. He batted .320 for his career and won the AL MVP in 1937. He was selected for 6 consecutive All-Star games, and played in the 1920s and the 1930s.
Jeff Kent was a formidable run producer. He played mostly second base for 17 years with the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and other teams in the 1990s and the 2000s. Kent was a prolific power hitter, and won 4 Silver Slugger Awards. He was also the NL MVP in 2000.
Jackie Robinson played the early part of his career in the Negro Leagues, and became the first player of African ancestry to play in the Major Leagues in the 20th century. Robinson played mostly second base for 10 seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947 to 1956. He was selected to 6 straight All-Star games, won the NL MVP in 1949, and was elected to the Hall of Fame. He batted .311 for his career, and was a multi-threat offensive player.
Nap Lajoie was widely considered the second best all-around player (next to Honus Wagner) of the early 20th century. He was a star second baseman on both offense and defense, batting .426 in 1901, and .338 for his career, including 5 batting titles. He played for both AL and NL Philadelphia franchises and the Cleveland AL club, for a total of 21 seasons, from 1896 to 1916. He won 4 slugging percentage crowns and is a Hall of Famer.
Eddie Collins, Sr.Eddie Collins played at Columbia University, then for 25 seasons til 1930 with the Philadelphia Athletics and the Chicago White Sox. His career average was .333, and he won the AL MVP in 1914. He led the American League in runs scored for 3 straight years and was always at the top in run production. He was one of Cooperstown’s earliest members.
Rogers Hornsby, “The Rajah”, is generally described as the greatest right-handed hitter in the history of baseball. He played 23 seasons at second base, mostly for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs from 1915 to the 1930s. He batted an astounding .358 for his career. “The Rajah” won 2 Triple Crowns and 2 MVP Awards. He also batted over .400 3 times, and won an amazing 12 adjusted OPS crowns. He also won 7 batting titles.