#1 Eddie Collins A member of four World Championship teams, Eddie Collins was a winner with a confident and aggressive style of play. He played 25 years in the major leagues and was considered the finest second baseman of his time. He led his league in fielding nine times, and he accepted more chances, had more assists, and made more putouts than any other pivot man in history. "He was the greatest second baseman I had ever seen. . .Plays which were difficult for even a finished infielder were made to seem easy." - Bucky Harris, writing in 1925, quoted by Bill James Eddie Collins buried his bats during the off-season in shallow holes in his backyard that he called "graves" in order to keep them "lively."
#2 Joe Morgan 1976 was one of the finest all-around seasons ever by a second baseman. Morganled the NL in slugging (.576) and OBP (.453), while batting .320 and stealing 60 bases. He scored 113 runs, walked 114 times, drove in 111, clubbed 27 homers, and won the Gold Glove. He won his second straight MVP award. The offensive catalyst of the great Cincinnati Reds teams of the 1970s, Joe Morgan was one of the finest all-around players of his generation. The diminutive second baseman possessed a keen batting eye and surprising power for a man his size, and also was an outstanding fielder and an exceptional baserunner.
#3 Rogers Hornsby Hornsby went hitless in just 24 games as he batted .424 to win another batting title. That season, the only pitcher to hold him hitless three times was Boston's Johnny Cooney. In 1922, Hornsby batted .401, slugged 42 homers, and collected 250 hits. He had a 33-game hitting streak, 102 extra-base hits and 450 total bases, 152 RBI and 140 runs scored. "Hitting was my dish, not fielding. These modern hitters take their eyes off the ball. I followed the ball so closely that I could see it strike the bat." — Hornsby, 1948 On opening day of the 1924 season, Rogers Hornsby went two-for-five against Vic Aldridge of the Chicago Cubs. With one game on his ledger for the season, Hornsby was hitting .400. He actually improved on that mark the rest of the way, hitting .424 to win the batting title!
#4 NapLajoie The best player in the American League before the rise of Ty Cobb, NapoleanLajoieis considered one of the two or three greatest second baseman to ever play the game. His fame was so great that the Cleveland team was renamed in his honor. In a season (1901) in which foul balls did not count as strikes, Lajoie took advantage of the rule and batted an impressive .422 to easily win the batting title. He hit safely in his first 16 games of the season and was held hitless in just 17 of the 131 games he played. In addition to leading the American League in every fielding category in two different seasons, Nap Lajoie won a Triple Crown and four batting titles, compiled 3,242 career hits, and compiled a lifetime batting average of .338.
#5 Charlie Gehringer Each year from 1926-1930, Charlie Gehringer improved his stats in the three triple crown categories (batting average, homers and RBI). He is one of only two players to ever do that for five years running. The other is Rogers Hornsby. "You can wind him up in the spring and he'll hit .320 with 40 doubles." - Lefty Gomez "Let Gehringer come to bat each time two strikes down to the pitcher and he wouldn't bat more than 15 points under his season's average." — Tigers manager Del Baker On August 14, 1929, the Tigers held "Charlie Gehringer Day" to honor their young second baseman. Charlie responded with four hits, including a home run. He also stole home.
#6 Jackie Robinson There are two men in baseball history that every American should learn about: Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson. Ruth deserves to be remembered primarily for what he did between the lines, Robinson for simply crossing the line. After Branch Rickey bravely signed him to a contract, Robinson broke the "unwritten" color barrier when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Robinson's major league debut brought an end to approximately sixty years of segregation in professional baseball, known as the baseball color line. Robinson’s number, 42, has been retired by every major league team.
#7 Frankie Frisch Frankie Frisch was a winner. He played in 50 World Series games and won four World Series rings. He managed the Cardinals to a world title and a .564 winning percentage over parts of six seasons. "Frisch, well liked off the field, is a demon when a game is going on. Even his own players shudder at his tirades.” – about Frisch as a manager in the September 25, 1946 issue of The Sporting News He was a solid fielder, and a pesky hitter with great speed. To a generation of modern fans however, he's the guy who voted all his buddies into the Hall of Fame. His value as a player can be summed up by the fact that he was traded for Rogers Hornsby in his prime, and not too many people thought it was a lopsided deal.
#8 Roberto Alomar Roberto Alomar excelled in every aspect of the game. An outstanding hitter, the switch-hitting second baseman compiled a lifetime .300 batting average. He topped 20 homers three times, 100 runs batted in twice, and 100 runs scored on six separate occasions. Alomar stole more than 40 bases four times, en route to swiping 474 bags. Perhaps Alomar's greatest strength was his defense. During a September 27th game against the Blue Jays, Alomar got into a heated exchange with home plate umpire John Hirschbeck over a called third strike. Towards the end of the argument, Alomar showed his disdain for Hirschbeck by spitting in his face. On May 10, 1991, Alomar joined the list of switch-hitters who have hit home runs from both sides of the plate in one game. He accomplished that feat four other times. Alomar hit three homers in one game on April 26, 1997.
#9 Craig Biggio In 1998, Craig Biggio became the second player in baseball history to collect 50 doubles and 50 stolen bases in the same season, joining Hall of Famer Tris Speaker. On June 28, 2007, Craig Biggio became the first player to collect five hits in the same game in which he reached the 3,000-hit mark. Biggio lined a single in the seventh inning to reach the magical plateau. I couldn't have scripted it any better. As a baseball player, the way the fans treated me. ... I've said for a long time, I love these guys, I love this city, I worked hard here and they appreciated that." - Craig Biggio on the night of his 3,000th hit.
#10 Ryne Sandberg The premier second baseman of his era, Ryne Sandberg's combination of power, speed, and exceptional defense made him one of the finest all-around players to ever man his position. In 1989, Sandberg eclipsed Joe Morgan's record for most consecutive games at second base without an error. In 1990, he stretched the streak to 123 games before making a miscue... Sandberg hit 277 homers as a second baseman, the most in baseball history at the time of his retirement... Sandberg hit 40 homers in 1990, joining Rogers Hornsby as the only second basemen to reach that level, up to that time. Brady Anderson, Barry Bonds and Ryne Sandberg are the only players to have both a 40-homer and 50-stolen base season in their careers.
Second Base Factiods Joe Morgan was the first player to have 200 homers and 500 steals. RyneSandberg 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. 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.
Second Base Men 11-30 21.Red Schoendienst 22. Nellie Fox 23. Willie Randolph 24.Davey Lopes 25. Tony Lazzeri 26.Frank White 27.Buddy Myer 28.Bobby Avila 29.Tom Herr 30. HardyRichardson 11. Lou Whitaker 12. Jeff Kent 13.Larry Doyle 14. Bobby Grich 15.Del Pratt 16.Billy Herman 17. Joe Gordon 18. Bill Mazeroski 19.Bobby Doerr 20. JohnnyEvers
Second Base Men 31-50 41. HughieCritz 42. Cupid Childs 43. BobbyLowe 44.Jimmy Williams 45.Gil McDougald 46. Robby Thompson 47. Dave Cash 48.Miller Huggins 49.Pete Runnels 50. Danny Murphy 31.DaveyJohnson 32. MannyTrillo 33.Tony Taylor 34.Jim Gilliam 35. Lonny Frey 36.Max Bishop 37.Chuck Knoblauch 38. Dick McAuliffe 39.Eddie Stanky 40. Marty McManus