Monday, February 18, 2013


Here we go with my choice for the all-time best second baseman.  Although the decision was difficult -yet again - I made a "managerial" decision and didn't just go with the guy who had the highest offensive numbers.

Had I wanted to do that, I would have just gone with Rogers Hornsby, the choice of The Sporting News back in 75.  But I figured I'm putting together a team of all-stars who should have more to offer on the diamond than a simple line up of home run hitters.

I want ATBATT's team to have solid defensive prowess, the ability to exercise plate discipline when necessary, and to be base stealing rabbits.  All the better to preoccupy opposing pitchers so they'll make the mistake pitches that the home run hitters can capitalize on. 

Which is why I chose this (first ?) Dodger for the team...

Not known as a power hitter, Jackie was a career .311 hitter and a definite threat to steal once on the basepaths.

He was a 6-time all-star, and played on 6 WS teams, including the '55 World Championship Brooklyn Dodgers.

Absolutely solid at 2nd base.  He played 10 seasons and had a .983 fielding percentage.

 It's the intangibles.  You don't have to be a reader of my blog to know Jackie broke the color barrier and what he has meant to MLB as an icon.

Jackie wasn't chosen to get a shot at being the first Black player because he was the best player in the Negro Leagues at the time.  He was chosen because of his equally strong character.  

 Can you imagine if Satchel Page had been the first to break the barrier and he heard the cries of the N-word from the opposing dugout? The very first batter from the opposing squad would have had a fastball in his ear and baseball would have had a bench clearing brawl almost immediately.  It would have been "Experiment Over".

This is not to say Jackie was weak.  Rather, it took a particularly strong and self-confident person, with an eye for the bigger picture, and what it meant for all those still waiting, to undertake what Branch Rickey and the Dodgers asked of Jackie.

Number 42 let his glove, cleats and bat do his talking for him - and that's why he became one of the greatest players to ever set foot on the diamond.  ATBATT's 2nd baseman, Jackie Robinson.

THANKS for reading, everybody.  

Next Post: A couple of trades completed last week get a post!

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