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."
1976 was one of the finest all-around seasons
ever by a second baseman. Morgan led 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
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!
The best player in the American League
before the rise of Ty Cobb, Napolean Lajoie is
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.
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
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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. Johnny Evers
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. Hardy Richardson
31. Davey Johnson
32. Manny Trillo
33. Tony Taylor
34. Jim Gilliam
35. Lonny Frey
36. Max Bishop
37. Chuck Knoblauch
38. Dick McAuliffe
39. Eddie Stanky
40. Marty McManus
41. Hughie Critz
42. Cupid Childs
43. Bobby Lowe
44. Jimmy Williams
45. Gil McDougald
46. Robby Thompson
47. Dave Cash
48. Miller Huggins
49. Pete Runnels
50. Danny Murphy
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