Who is the best shortstop in baseball history? It's among the most difficult positions to judge - do you go with the great hitters (Alex Rodriguez, Honus Wagner), the best fielders (Ozzie Smith, Omar Vizquel) or some combination of both (Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken, Derek Jeter, etc.)?
Did you forget Ernie Banks?
- He won the MVP twice at SS. Was the only real power hitting shortstop in the first 100 years of baseball. While the general belief was that he was only an OK fielder at short, the stats show he set a fielding percentage record at ss (which has since been broken). To leave him off the list is a giant oversight.
(Note from guide Scott Kendrick: Banks played more games at first base (1259) than shortstop (1125) in his career, so he's technically ineligible. He'd certainly be on the list if he was.)
- —Guest Brian Mac
- When I hear best shortstop, that means defense first in my mind, the key fielder for all teams. With that said, The Blade, Mark Belanger, surely stands alone at this position on defensive skills alone, very light hitter, but he got paid by the O's for his defense, and he was truly the best. Can someone challenge me on this? Didn't think so!
Ozzie underrated offensively
- Ozzie has more hits and steals than Larkin. He only gets credit for his 13 Gold Gloves, but the guy was pretty good on both sides. 580 steals.
- —Guest Greg
- #1- Honus Wagner, just because he was the first great player in an era unlike any other.
#2- Luke Appling, stats and best among his peers when so much was made of the game then.
#3- Phil Rizzuto, Yankees, why? Just read what Ted Williams said about him; that speaks volumes.
#4- Lou Boudreau, imagine managing and playing at 25, and, having the beat fielding percentage for 8 straight years!
#5- Derek Jeter, the captain forced the great Rodriguez to play 3rd, and his stats are so far above everyone else... Not higher because the guys before set the mark! He reached it!
Ripken is not on the list because he finished as a 3rd baseman, sorry Cal. You would have been No. 1 in my book.
- —Guest Craig Hunnel
- Alan Trammell - great all-around hitter, very underrated fielder and part of the longest running (and best) keystone combo in major league history. Trammell and Lou Whitaker played together longer than any teammates in baseball history.
- —Guest Phil
- "The Wizard" dominated the shortstop position. Had many of the greatest plays we see today. Has the most Golf Gloves out of any other shortstop and 13 all-star appearances. No question he is the greatest. Jeter is overrated. he doesn't make any amazing plays. He just gets the job done like any other mediocre shortstop.
- —Guest jd
- Best of his era, yet having a $200 million team around him sure helps out some.
Miguel Tejada, since leaving Oakland, has not been back to playoffs due to bad teams. Just think what Miggy would have as a Yankee? I pick OZ.
- —Guest Mike
Have to go with Ripken
- In this modern era Cal Ripken has had the best combination of defense and power that I've seen. Not only was he ROY, multiple time all star and WS MVP, he also was a league MVP. Jeter is a close second but you can easily make a case that Derek wasn't even the best player on his team for any of his seasons in the bigs... you definitely can't make that argument against Ripken. If A-Rod had stayed at short for his entire career, there wouldn't even be a debate.
- —Guest Tough decision
- It's obvious only certain players are considered on these lists, it's a great injustice. Too bad Wagner wasn't able to give his thoughts on who was the greatest SS ever.
- —Guest Bill McHale
- Let's see, two men, one at short other at second, play 20 seasons, 2 decades just about. Yet no one ever adds him in conversation for short. He was outstanding at short.
- —Guest Alan Trammell
Jeter is hard to beat
- Numerous All Star selections, Gold Gloves, Silver Sluggers and A.L. pennants tell only half the story for No. 2. Not only is Derek the leader in runs and hits by a shortstop, but his RBI totals for a shortstop, or middle infielder for that matter, who bats at the top of the lineup are unmatched.
Also, he has scored more runs, gotten more hits and whacked more homers than any other shortstop in postseason history. That coupled with the fact that he has won more World Series as a shortstop than Cal Ripken, Ozzie Smith, Miguel Tejada, Honus Wagner and A-Rod combined make Jeter the best shortstop ever.
- —Guest Derek Jeter
- The question was shortstop, not hitter and Omar Vizquel is by far the best to play in the 54 years I've been watching. By far.
- —Guest email@example.com
- Not much of a hitter but a fantastic fielder and in the lineup every game with a team of All-Stars.
- —Guest Moses
- What about Robin Yount? Yes. I know he played in center for a while, but he was a really well rounded shortstop.
Note from guide: Go back and read the original -- Yount is No. 6.
- —Guest nic
- I can't believe that everyone is stuck with huge numbers. I think Luis Aparicio is best I seen...and don't forget the scooter in Phil Ruzzuto he was MVP 1951! N this was among great players during his time.
- —Guest Joe Rivera