This had to be done. On the Topps Facebook page today, the weekend question was whether Derek Jeter is the greatest shortstop of all time. A number of people said yes. Even more people say he is top 5. Well, sorry to burst your bubble guys but Derek Jeter is not even in the top 10 of greatest shortstops ever. So, here is my top 10 shortstops better than Derek Jeter with cards or memorabilia as photos to keep this on topic.
10. Joe Cronin
11 seasons batting over .300 and he left his playing days early to become a manager at 34 years old. He was one of the first power hitters at the shortstop position and was known more for his bat then his .951 fielding percentage. A number of players could go here instead of Jeter, but I chose Cronin because of my Red Sox bias. I could of also put Appling, Vizquel, Larkin, or I could of snuck in Nomar Garciaparra to make a bunch of people angry. Nomar was much better than Jeter in their primes, sorry, it had to be said. But I chose Cronin.
9. Lou Boudreau
Boudreau’s plaque says it all why he’s better than Jeter.
8. Luis Aparicio
The speedy Aparicio didn’t hit the 3000 hits mark but his 500 stolen bases surely made up for that. Add in his 9 Gold Gloves and 10 All Star game selections, Aparicio was better all around then Derek Jeter.
7. Ernie Banks
Mr. Cub was one of the greatest power hitting shortstops that probably has ever lived. He hit over 500 bombs for the losers, I mean Cubs. An 11 time All-Star and 2 MVPs also make him the greatest Cub ever.
6. Robin Yount
Fear the ‘stache. Over 3100 hits and 2 MVP awards while playing 20 seasons for the Milwaukee Brewers makes him part of this top 10 list of shortstops better than Derek Jeter. He had accumulated more hits then anyone else in the 1980s. If he played for the Yankees I’m sure he’d be the greatest that ever lived.
5. Arky Vaughan
I think his plaque says it all.
4. Ozzie Smith
The Wizard of Oz. Possibly the greatest defensive shortstops to ever play the game. Better yet, THE greatest defensive shortstop to ever play the game. Athletic, smart, and slick, I think the 13 Gold Gloves should speak for themselves.
3. Cal Ripken Jr.
The Iron Man. 2632 straight games at a grueling position and over 3100 hits in his career make him a top 3 shortstop easily. Ripken won 2 MVP awards and had 19 straight All Star appearances. Also a slick fielder with 2 Gold Gloves and a career .977 fielding percentage, Ripken was one of the first power hitting shortstops of the late 1900s before A-Rod, Nomar, Tejada, etc.
2. Alex Rodriguez
Despite Alex Rodriguez moving to third base and the constant suspicion and use of steroids in his career, Alex Rodriguez ranks number 2 on this list. His power, speed, and arm put him in a class of his own. 3 MVPs, 3 Gold Gloves and countless Silver Slugger awards makes him an easy pick at number 2. We all know his other amazing numbers with his average and home runs. No need to put those numbers down, inflated by performance enhancing drugs or not.
1. Honus Wagner
The great Honus Wagner. The man with the most expensive baseball card in history is the greatest shortstop to ever grace a Major League baseball field. Honus played in 21 seasons and had 17 straight seasons batting over .300 in the dead ball era. He won 8 NL batting titles while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates and was one of the greatest hitters of his time. He was also considered one of the best fielders as well, even though his percentage is not close to the highest on this list.
So there you have it. May the comments start rolling in. I’m expecting a bunch of them to say “hater” but that’s okay. I need to take these Jeter fanatics down a notch. If it wasn’t for him playing for the Yankees, he would be a Barry Larkin equivalent. Sorry Derek.