Top 50 Second Basemen
Eddie Collins and Frankie Frisch
Eddie Collins and Frankie Frisch
Ranking the Second Basemen
Vote in our poll - who do you think is the best secondbaseman of all time?
Good things often come in small packages. So it was with our top second baseman, Eddie Collins, shown here with Frankie Frisch, another Hall of Famer, prior to the 1930 World Series. Collins was a winner. He appeared in six World Series, winning four titles. His tremendous World Series performance (.328 with 14 stolen bases) earn Collins the stop spot at the keystone position.
Joe Morgan was the first player to have 200 homers and 500 steals... Ryne Sandberg hit .300 in Wrigley Field, 31 points higher than he hit in other parks... In 1925, Tony Lazzeri slugged 60 homers and drove in 222 runs in the Pacific Coast League... If you're looking for Rod Carew, he's ranked at 1B.
Most Versatile Batting Champion
Barely making our Top 50 list, Pete Runnels was a wonderful hitter who captured two batting titles and nearly won a third. Managers loved to write his name on the lineup card - Runnels played more than 600 games at first and second, and also more than 400 at shortstop. We rate him at 2B even though he played two more games at 1B.
Best of the Unranked
Ray Durham - Two time all star who was a offensive catalyst scoring over 100 runs in 5 straight seasons.
Sparky Anderson - Though some classified Sparky Anderson as a push-button manager, he is the only man to lead teams in both major leagues to World Series titles, and also 100 wins. Four times he was named Manager of the Year, and his career win total ranks in the top five in history. Anderson is the all-time victory leader for two franchises, the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers. Sparky proved he was no slouch — in the World Series he defeated Dick Williams and Billy Martin, two of the best managers of that era. His enthusiasm for the game and his penchant for satisfying story-hungry reporters, reminded many of Casey Stengel.
His 2,194 career wins are the sixth most for a manager in Major League history. Anderson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.
Tony LaRussa - After a forgettable six-year major league career as an infielder, Tony LaRussa got his law degree and pursued a managerial career. In his first big league stint, he led the White Sox to baseball's best record and a division title in 1983. Hired by Oakland in 1986, he enjoyed a decade of success, guiding the A's to three consecutive pennants and a fourth division title. In 1989, he won the World Series behind a team built on power and pitching. In 1996, he took the Cardinals job and quickly transformed the team: leading them to a division title in his first season. In his first ten years in St. Louis, LaRussa made the playoffs six times and had just two lising seasons. But his teams lost in the NL Championship Series four times, in 1996, 2000, 2002, and 2005. In 2004, after winning 105 games in the regular season, the Cards advanced to the World Series, only to be swept by the Red Sox. LaRussa's handling of the bullpen, which often includes waving in pitchers in to face one batter, chnaged the way baseball was played in the late 1980s and 1990s, but it has also drawn criticism. He has favored good defense up the middle and power-hitting in the middle of his lineup. His talented pitching coach, Dave Duncan, has served him for two decades. He won his 2,000th game in 2004, and won at least 500 games for three franchises. In 2006 he became only the second manager to win a World Series in both leagues.
Bucky Harris* - Only Connie Mack won more games, Harris has record which will never be broken, at age 27 he lead the Washington Senator's as a player/manager to a World Series title.
Earl Weaver - Weaver managed the Orioles for 17 years, including 15 in a row, using the philosophy of "if you play for one run, that's all you get." Throughout his career, Weaver managed for the three-run homer and solid pitching to hold that lead, and liked to use extensive data on past performance to help make decisions, philosophies adopted by his second baseman and managerial protégé Davey Johnson. Weaver also liked to bait umpires, and was thrown out of almost 100 games (including a rare World Series ejection in Game Four of the 1969 Series) and suspended at least four times. In 1985, he was ejected from both ends of a doubleheader.
Frankie Frisch* - Won two world series with the Cardinal's in 30's
Miller Huggins* - Though history recalls the pillage of Harry Frazee's Red Sox as the making of the Yankees, Gehrig, Earle Combs, and Tony Lazzeri were discovered elsewhere, and others (Bob Meusel and Herb Pennock, for example) blossomed under Huggins's encouragement and handling. When he died of erysipelas in 1929, at age 50, judgment was nearly universal that Huggins was in a managerial class by himself. A plaque in his honor was placed in Yankee Stadium's centerfield in 1932.
Billy Martin - As a manager we won two world series and he managed to get hired and fired by the Yankee's five times in a decade.
Davey Johnson - As a skipper, he posted a winning record with each of the four teams that employed him, and guided three different teams into the post-season and won the World Series with the 1986 Mets.
Gene Mauch - Gene Mauch had managed more games and for more years (26) than anyone in major league history but Connie Mack, John McGraw, and Bucky Harris.
Best with the Glove
Bill Mazeroski - 8 Gold Gloves don't tell the story of his defensive greatness. He may have been the best defensive player in baseball history.
Manny Trillo - Trillo developed a reputation for being one of the best fielding second basemen in baseball, earning his first All-Star selection in 1977. Together with Cubs' shortstop Iván DeJesús, he formed one of the best double play combinations in baseball.
Frank White - "You watch Frank at second base every day and you realize how good he is. He's got super range. He's very quick. He has sure hands, and he can throw and make the double play. I don't think anybody, anywhere, is his equal on the artificial turf."
— Whitey Herzog
Roberto Alomar - Hall of Famer won a handful of Gold Gloves
Davey Johnson - Known for his 43 homerun season, Johnson was a great fielder for the Orioles.
Bobby Grich -
Glenn Hubbard - 12 year career mainly on his glove play, never won a gold glove but was outstanding.
Nellie Fox - "Of all the players of my time, only Jackie Robinson could beat you in more ways than Nellie Fox could." — sportswriter Joe Falls Won 3 Gold Gloves and was 1959 MVP.
Jerry Adair - Jerry Adair is in the Oklahoma State University record book for having committed four errors in a game, yet he shares the major league record for fewest errors in a season by a second baseman (five, in 1964). He also set marks with 89 consecutive games and 458 chances without an error from July 22, 1964 to May 6, 1965. An average hitter with little power, Adair's flashy glovework kept him in the big leagues for 13 seasons.
Vote in our poll - who do you think is the best secondbaseman of all time?By The Baseball Page
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- Al Pratt, Bill Doran, Bill Mazeroski, Billy Martin, Bobby Grich, Bucky Harris, Carlos Baerga, Davey Johnson, Earl Weaver, Eddie Collins, Eddie Stanky, Frank Grant, Frank White, Frankie Frisch, Gene Mauch, Jerry Adair, Joe Morgan, Kid Gleason, Manny Trillo, Miller Huggins, Nellie Fox, Newt Allen, Pete Runnels, Phil Garner, Piper Davis, Placido Polanco, Ray Durham, Rod Carew, Ryne Sandberg, Sparky Anderson, Steve Sax, Tony Cuccinello, Tony LaRussa, Tony Lazzeri, Wrigley Field