Who Is the Best Shortstop in Baseball All Time?

Shortstop is one of the most important positions in baseball. It requires a unique combination of physical and mental skills to be successful. A great shortstop needs to have the range and agility to make the difficult plays, along with the intelligence and instincts to know when to take risks and when to play it safe. For these reasons, the debate over who is the best shortstop in baseball all time is a heated one.

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There are many different players who have made a case for being the best, and there is no definitive answer. But if we look at the careers and accomplishments of some of the greatest shortstops in baseball history, we can get a better sense of who deserves the title.

Cal Ripken Jr.

Arguably the most popular shortstop of all time is Cal Ripken Jr. He is one of just three players to have played in more than 3,000 games at the position and is known for his durability and longevity. During his 21-year career, Ripken won two MVP awards, was selected to 19 All-Star teams, and was named to the All-Star team at every position he was eligible to play (shortstop, third base, and first base). He also won 8 consecutive Gold Gloves, which is a record for shortstops.

Ripken is also renowned for his hitting prowess. He is one of just five players to have amassed over 3,000 career hits while playing shortstop, and he holds the record for most home runs (345) and most RBIs (1,647) by a shortstop. He also set the record for most consecutive games played (2,632).

Ozzie Smith

Ozzie Smith is widely regarded as one of the best defensive shortstops of all time. He won 13 consecutive Gold Gloves and was known for his acrobatic plays in the field. He also had a great arm and was adept at turning double plays. His defensive prowess was so impressive that it earned him the nickname “The Wizard of Oz”.

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Smith was also an excellent hitter. He had a career batting average of .262, with 2,460 hits and 1,257 runs scored. He also had 580 stolen bases, the most ever by a shortstop. He won a Silver Slugger Award in 1987 and was named to the All-Star team 15 times.

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez is the only active player to make this list, and he has already cemented his legacy as one of the greatest shortstops in baseball history. During his career, he has won 3 MVP awards and is a 14-time All-Star. He also has over 3,000 career hits and over 600 home runs.

Rodriguez is also one of the best defensive shortstops of all time. He has won two Gold Glove awards and is known for his great range and arm strength. He also has an impressive career range factor of 4.45, which is the highest of any shortstop ever.

Conclusion

The debate over who is the best shortstop in baseball all time is a difficult one to answer. Each player on this list has made a strong case for the title, and it is clear that all of them have had incredible careers. Ultimately, the answer may be subjective, but it is clear that all of these players have been great shortstops and have earned their place in baseball history.