Derek Jeter vs. Hall of Fame shortstops
Derek Jeter will retire at the end of the 2014 season. How will his career numbers compare with the 23 Hall of Famers who played at least 500 games at shortstop? Using a cumulative ranking of the players' career WAR, batting average, home runs, on-base percentage and stolen bases compared to one another's, here is how they stack up, in true countdown order. (Players were ranked 1-24 based on their stats in each category, then we added up all the rankings.)
24. GEORGE WRIGHT(Credit: AP)
Wright was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a pioneer/executive in 1939. He was the star shortstop for the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, baseball’s first all-professional team. He led the Boston Red Stockings to four straight National Association flags and the Boston Red Caps to back-to-back pennants in the late 1870s.
23. WALTER "RABBIT" MARANVILLE(Credit: AP)
Nicknamed “Rabbit” for his speed and his 5-5, 155-pound frame, Maranville is second in career triples among Hall of Fame shortstops with 177. He stole at least 20 bases in six of his first nine full seasons. His record of 23 seasons played in the NL stood until Pete Rose topped the mark in 1986.
22. JOE TINKER(Credit: AP)
A Chicago Cub for most of his career, Tinker led the NL in defensive WAR five times and stole at least 20 bases in each of his first 11 seasons in the majors. In 1910, he stole home twice in the same game, a feat accomplished only 11 times in history.
21. JOHN MONTGOMERY WARD(Credit: AP)
Of all Hall of Fame shortstops, Ward ranks fourth in stolen bases with 540 - and probably had more, but his stats are incomplete before 1886. He is the only player in history to win 100 games as a pitcher - including 46 in 1879 - and record 2,000 hits at the plate. He also organized baseball’s first union.
(Pictured: Ward's relatives accepting his plaque in Cooperstown in 1964.)
20. PHIL RIZZUTO(Credit: AP)
Before the Derek Jeter Era began, “The Scooter” was the top shortstop in Yankees history. The 5-6, 150-pound Rizzuto was a five-time All-Star, the 1950 AL MVP and seven-time World Series champion with the Yankees, Theteam retired his No. 10 and honored the skilled bunter with a plaque in Monument Park. After his playing career, he spent 40 years broadcasting Yankees games with “Holy cow!” as one of his favorite catchphrases.
19. BOBBY WALLACE(Credit: AP)
A St. Louis Brown for most of his career, Wallace held the NL’s best WAR in 1901 and three times led the league in defensive WAR. After his playing career, he managed, coached, umpired and scouted.
18. LUIS APARICIO(Credit: AP)
In each of the first nine years of the Venezuelan shortstop’s career, he stole more bases than anyone else in the AL. He was the 1956 Rookie of the Year and won nine Gold Gloves, third-best of all shortstops. Over his 18-year career, he never manned any other position for a single inning.
17. DAVE BANCROFT(Credit: AP)
Bancroft owned the best defensive WAR in the NL three years straight in the early 1920s and eight times he topped the league in range factor per game. In a span of seven years, he hit .299 or higher six times and surpassed 100 runs scored three times in his career.
16. TRAVIS JACKSON(Credit: AP)
Jackson hit at least .300 six times and recorded 90 or more RBIs in three seasons. A highly regarded fielder, he led the NL in defensive WAR in three out of four years. Jackson also made the 1934 All-Star team and finished in the top 10 of the MVP voting four times as the New York Giants’ captain.
15. ERNIE BANKS(Credit: AP )
“Mr. Cub” played shortstop for most of his first nine years in the majors before moving predominantly to first base. As a shortstop, he won back-to-back MVP awards and a Gold Glove, and hit at least 40 home runs in five out of six seasons. Among all Hall of Famers who played 500 career games at shorstop, Banks is the only member of the 500 home run club and owns the highest slugging percentage.
14. OZZIE SMITH(Credit: AP)
Smith made 15 All-Star teams and ranks third in stolen bases among Hall of Fame shortstops. Nicknamed “The Wizard of Oz” for his acrobatic defensive skill, he took home 13 Gold Glove awards, the most of any shorstop and second all-time of all position players.
13. PEE WEE REESE(Credit: AP)
A 10-time All-Star, Reese drew the second-most walks of all shortstops in history. He led the league with 132 runs scored in 1949 and 30 stolen bases in 1952. In the 1955 World Series, Reese hit .296 with five runs scored to help the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Yankees for his only World Series title. He and Jackie Robinson formed one of the game’s best double-play tandems.
12. LOU BOUDREAU(Credit: AP)
Boudreau made the All-Star team eight times as a Cleveland Indian and garnered the 1948 AL MVP award while setting career-highs with 18 home runs, 106 RBIs, and a slash line of .355/.453/.534. He also led the league in doubles three times, hit .300 or better four times and won the 1944 batting title with a .327 average as player-manager.
11. HUGHIE JENNINGS(Credit: AP)
Jennings he drove in 100 runs three times in his career without ever hitting more than four home runs in a season. Among Hall of Fame shortstops, his .312 career average and his .391 OBP are both tied for third best. Jennings was also hit by a pitch more times than any player in history and managed 16 seasons after his playing career.
10. CAL RIPKEN JR.(Credit: AP)
Ripken was a 19-time All-Star, which is fourth-best in history and the most of any shortstop. The lifetime Baltimore Oriole is best known for breaking Lou Gehrig’s record of consecutive games played by not missing a game from May 30, 1982 until September 19, 1998, a total of 2,632 straight games played. Among Hall of Famers with 500 games played at shortstop, the two-time MVP ranks second in career runs scored, hits, home runs and RBI.
9. JOE SEWELL(Credit: AP)
Sewell finished with a .299 average or better in 10 of his 13 full seasons in the majors. His career average of .312 is tied for third-best out of all shortstops in the Hall of Fame, and his career OBP is tied for fourth. He struck out just 114 times over 7,132 at-bats - a rate of one strikeout per 63 at-bats, the best in the live-ball era.
8. ROBIN YOUNT(Credit: AP)
Yount was a shortstop early in his career before moving to the outfield and won an MVP award at both positions. He led the AL in hits, doubles and slugging in 1982, helping the Milwaukee Brewers to the World Series. Yount racked up more hits in the 1980s than any other player and his 251 career home runs are third among Hall of Famers who played at least 500 career games at shortstop.
7. JOE CRONIN(Credit: AP)
Cronin was the 1930 AL MVP, hitting .346 with 126 RBIs. He hit better than .300 eight times and drove in 100 or more runs in eight seasons. His career .468 slugging percentage is second among Hall of Fame shortstops and his .390 OBP is tied for fourth. After his playing career, he served two terms as president of the American League.
6. LUKE APPLING(Credit: AP)
Appling hit .300 or better in 14 of his 16 full seasons, including a league-best .388 in 1936, and drew more walks than any other shortstop in history. He also led the league with a .328 average and a .419 OBP in 1943, and was an All-Star seven times in his 20-year career with the Chicago White Sox.
5. GEORGE DAVIS(Credit: AP)
Davis drove in a league-leading 135 runs for the New York Giants in 1897 and hit at least .300 in nine consecutive years. He had seven seasons of at least 10 triples and 17 seasons with at least 20 stolen bases. His 619 stolen bases rank second out of all Hall of Fame shortstops.
T-3. BARRY LARKIN(Credit: AP)
A lifetime Cincinnati Red, Larkin was a 12-time All-Star, nine-time Silver Slugger winner, and the 1995 NL MVP. He hit .353 in the 1990 World Series, became the first shortstop to go 30-30 in a season, and stole at least 10 bases in 14 straight seasons.
T-3. ARKY VAUGHAN(Credit: AP)
Vaughan made the NL All-Star team nine straight seasons as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Out of all Hall of Fame shortstops, he has the highest career OBP and the second-highest batting average. Vaughan (shown sliding above) led the league in OBP each year from 1934-1936, won the batting title in 1935 with a .385 average, and never struck out more than 38 times in one season.
2. DEREK JETER(Credit: Jim McIsaac)
The Yankees’ captain since 2003, Jeter should be a lock for the Hall of the Fame once he is eligible. The 14-time All-Star has re-written the Yankee record books and ranks ninth in baseball history in career hits, and will likely move into the top six by the time his career ends.
(*through games of July 28, 2014)
1. HONUS WAGNER(Credit: AP)
Considered one of the elite players of the early 1900s, Wagner hit at least .300 in 17 of his first 18 years in the majors. The longtime Pittsburgh Pirate led the league in hitting eight times and in 1908, he topped the league in 11 different categories. Wagner was one of the first five players inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and ranks seventh all-time in hits.