Who is the greatest second baseman of all-time?
Keep in mind that we are only considering major league baseball when I say this: Jackie Robinson is not in the top ten. Also remember that we are not including the unquantifiable “athletic ability,” else Robinson would no doubt leap into the discussion. No, since we are only talking about statistics and awards, Robinson’s short career works against him. Now that we have established that, let’s look at the top ten second basemen in history.
The top spot goes to Rogers Hornsby (289.45), and it’s a clear victory for Rajah, scoring nearly 40 points more than Eddie Collins (250.98). Big Red Machiner Joe Morgan (247.92) is next on the list, followed by Charlie Gehringer (244.05), Nap Lajoie (236.45), Frankie Frisch (231.98), Ryne Sandberg (228.87), Rod Carew (226.78), Jeff Kent (222.25), and Roberto Alomar (219.56) rounding out the top ten.
Kent is the only non-Hall of Famer in the top ten, but he hasn’t appeared on the ballot yet. He may have to wait a few years considering how crowded the ballot will be over the next few years, but he should eventually be allowed entrance into Cooperstown. Overall, it seems the voters have done a pretty good job with this position, but that impression fades a bit when we continue down the list.
Craig Biggio was denied his reward last year, despite being a 3000-hit club member and scoring 215.79 in this project to give him the #11 spot among all second basemen. But the #12 guy is an even bigger omission. Lou Whitaker, scoring 208.57, was summarily dismissed from the ballot in his first year with only 2.9% support. When removing the awards and All-Star seasons from my project, Whitaker jumps up to #10 on the list above Alomar and Carew (Biggio also moves up the list to #8).