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Jeter NOT the Best All-Time Shortstop

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#1 strumdatjag

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 05:57 PM

It's been a great run for Derek Jeter but he is not the greatest shortstop of all time. That one goes to Honus Wagner, stats longevity and fielding (and someone from the dead ball era has to be listed as the best at one position - Wagner seems most deserving to me). I put Jeter ahead of Cal Jr. and Ozzie Smith in the post-TV era. Joe Cronin is in there from pre-TV Others like Robin Yount played too many years at other positions.
1. Honus Wagner
2. Joe Cronin
3. Derek Jeter
4. Ozzie Smith
5. Cal Ripken Jr.

#2 drock2190

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:10 PM

I'm not a huge Jeter fan but I've never heard of those two first players on that list and the rest are great players.

Besides its not like the talent pool was that deep during the early 1900's.

#3 JB_Iowa

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:15 PM

I'm not a huge Jeter fan but I've never heard of those two first players on that list and the rest are great players.

Besides its not like the talent pool was that deep during the early 1900's.


You should have heard of Honus Wagner if only for one of the most famous baseball cards of all time.

http://espn.go.com/m...1m-auction-mark

#4 CRArko

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:23 PM

And Joe Cronin was president of the American League for a number of years.

I rather like Ernie Banks as my shortstop.
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#5 Seth Stohs

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:26 PM

And Joe Cronin was president of the American League for a number of years.

I rather like Ernie Banks as my shortstop.


Banks played more games at 1B than at SS in his career.

For my money (which is not much), I'd take Jeter as the top SS of all-time...

#6 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:34 PM

For the sake of baseball history, legend, and folklore - Wagner has my overwhelming vote as the best SS in MLB history. Jeter is up there at the top along with Cal Jr.

In my opinion Jeter has been the face of MLB for the last 15 years. That really does mean a lot.

There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.


#7 gunnarthor

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:38 PM

Yeah, Wagner #1 but Jeter or Ripken #2. I'd probably put Jeter ahead of Ripken.

#8 drjim

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:05 PM

I can't take Honus Wagner all that seriously, way too long ago, such a different game.

I'll take Jeter.
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#9 TheLeviathan

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:15 PM

I'll take Ripkin over Jeter - Jeter played in the juiced era (not saying he did, just inflated offense everywhere) and was not the defender other top contenders were.

#10 Pius Jefferson

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:23 PM

Honus Wagner and it's not even close.

#11 oldguy10

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:52 PM

We're missing somebody important but for the life of me I cannot think of who it could be, some old-timers help me out please.

#12 DJL44

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:18 PM

Jeter isn't even the best SS of the past 30 years. Ripken is so much better defensively.

The Hall of Merit ranked SS and it was Wagner, John Henry Lloyd and Cal Ripken as the top 3.

http://www.baseballt..._yount_get_at_l

Jeter makes the top 10.

#13 drock2190

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:22 PM

I'll take Ripkin over Jeter - Jeter played in the juiced era (not saying he did, just inflated offense everywhere) and was not the defender other top contenders were.


Jeter literally could fit in his rookie uniform, pretty sure he didnt juice. And if he put up good numbers during the era while pitchers were juicing as well, that makes his numbers stand out.

#14 DJL44

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:27 PM

We're missing somebody important but for the life of me I cannot think of who it could be, some old-timers help me out please.


A-Rod?

#15 Hawkeye12

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:31 PM

Ripken set a pretty high bar for anyone in the past few decades, and he's going to be very tough to beat for awhile. A-Rod should have, but he moved to third and well everything afterwards took him out of that discussion. Also thought Nomar was better than Jeter too, but obviously injuries left him completely forgotten and he wasn't on the Red Sox WS teams. Honus Wagner was pretty dominant though so he and Cal are too tough to call for myself.

#16 CRArko

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:36 PM

A-Rod?


Freddie Patek. He was overlooked by many.
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#17 HansGruber

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:50 PM

Honus Wagner has to have the top spot. Despite all his faults, I would take Alex Rodriguez over Jeter. Troy Tulowitzki in my opinion is the better shortstop but he might not match Jeter in longevity.

For what it's worth, Jeter is 10th in all time WAR for SS's on BRef though the list includes some players who moved off short at some point in their careers. Interestingly, the Wizard topped him so defense does matter (Jeter -10 DWAR for career), and I'd probably take him over Jeter as well.

Edited by HansGruber, 15 July 2014 - 08:55 PM.


#18 stringer bell

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:07 PM

Freddie Patek. He was overlooked by many.

Easy to be overlooked when you're 5'5".

#19 TheLeviathan

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:09 PM

Jeter literally could fit in his rookie uniform, pretty sure he didnt juice. And if he put up good numbers during the era while pitchers were juicing as well, that makes his numbers stand out.


The point was that Jeter's offense has to be seen in light of the era he played in - which had record offensive numbers. His OPS+ is roughly the same as Ripken's and defensively it's no contest IMO.

Larkin should also at least be in the conversation.

#20 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:09 PM

(sigh) I thought I might make it through a season without hearing or reading the words "Alex Rodriguez".:(

It's gonna be a few years before this opportunity arises again.

There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.


#21 Guest_USAFChief_*

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:15 PM

I'll take Ripkin over Jeter - Jeter played in the juiced era (not saying he did, just inflated offense everywhere) and was not the defender other top contenders were.

Ripken played in the juiced era too, no?

I'd probably take Ripken over Jeter too, though. Wagner, then Ripken, for me.

#22 TheLeviathan

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:19 PM

Ripken played in the juiced era too, no?

I'd probably take Ripken over Jeter too, though. Wagner, then Ripken, for me.


I guess that depends on your definition and that varies. I've always thought if it primarily as the 90s and early 2000s.

I think when you look at OPS+ being 112 vs. 116 despite a significant gap in OPS, tells me there was a difference in the eras they played in. (Edit: I suppose park factor could be huge in this too)

Edited by TheLeviathan, 15 July 2014 - 09:22 PM.


#23 curt1965

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:21 PM

I'm not a huge Jeter fan but I've never heard of those two first players on that list and the rest are great players.

Besides its not like the talent pool was that deep during the early 1900's.

Never heard of those guys? You must be 13!(he said jokingly)

Edited by curt1965, 15 July 2014 - 09:23 PM.
Meant to be funny, not critical


#24 Bark's Lounge

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:23 PM

Ripken played in the juiced era too, no?


How else could you account for his .340 BA and .950 OPS in his 38-39 season of 1999.

It is pure poppycock I's tells ya.:)

There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.


#25 strumdatjag

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 04:06 PM

Just did my research on John Henry Lloyd - SS star of the negro leagues in the dead ball era. So, I hereby change my list:
1. Honus Wagner
2. John Henry Lloyd (never got a chance to prove himself in the majors)
3,4. Joe Cronin/Derek Jeter (TIE - What a performance last night - I hate to let that sway me, BUT!)
5. Ozzie Smith
Dick Lundy was another great SS from the negro leagues, and may deserve to place ahead of Ozzie Smith. Cal played too many games at 3B

Edited by strumdatjag, 16 July 2014 - 04:21 PM.


#26 mikelink45

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 04:46 PM

I like Jeter but as another article demonstrated (ESPN) he and Yount have the same statistics. And yest I know Yount had to move to the outfield, but his years as short stop were great. I always wonder about the New York effect. Would Cal be number one if he played in NY?

Honus Wagner is a consensus pick on almost all polls and will stay there, but the difference in glove, speed, and conditions make him nostalgic and perhaps not logical for a list with Jeter. I would put him on that mythical team with Cy Young, but beyond that we cannot compare.

Perhaps the list needs to be post war which would then include Jeter, Smith, Ripken and we would have to add Apparicio who is vastly under rated today. He led the way to the era of great shortstops and base stealers like Maury Wills (who had too short of a peak).

I agree with Banks too (yes I am an old timer) and despite the fact that he moved to !B we should not diminish his ranking. Many have complained that Jeter should have moved years ago to another position. Both Banks and Yount became stars at two positions.

Barry Larkin just got HOF recognition, Lou Boudreau, Pee Wee Reese, and Phil Rizzuto got HOF too, but are below the others in this discussion. Luke Appling could be one of the top five, but I did not see him and it is hard to make a call on that.

To bring this ramble to an end here are the best I have seen in my 68 years:

1. Alex Rodriguez
2. Cal Ripken
3. Ernie Banks
4. Derek Jeter
5. Ozzie Smith/Luis Aparacio

#27 old nurse

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 04:46 PM

Thought I heard Jeter once say that Wagner was probably a better shortstop than he is.

#28 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 05:01 PM

We're missing somebody important but for the life of me I cannot think of who it could be, some old-timers help me out please.

Are you thinking of Nishi?

#29 jorgenswest

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Posted 16 July 2014 - 05:10 PM

Was shortstop as important defensive position in the deadball era? I don't think the defensive spectrum would be the same.

Catcher was a position where defense was a high priority. Somehow Bill Bergen played nearly 1000 games. In 1909 his OPS+ was 1 while being the regular catcher.

After catcher, third base was very difficult. Fielding bunts and foul balls were part of every inning. It was a defense first position. For some reason Wagner did not stay at 3B and was not the regular SS until age 29 after playing OF and 1B. His defensive skills included his great arm which gave him range and good hands. His large feet caused some problems. It is hard to find first hand accounts of his defense. You can see quotes from contemporaries, but they are after the fact. It would be interesting to read accounts written before he moved to SS.

I don't think a player with the same skill set would be a SS in today's context. He would look more like Miguel Cabrera or Miguel Sano.

Comparing Jeter to Wagner is very difficult when the defensive demands on the position have changed.

#30 Kirby_waved_at_me

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Posted 17 July 2014 - 01:13 PM

how about Ozzie Smith? he wasn't nearly the hitter that Jeter is, but defensively I'd rather have Ozzie than anyone else at Short. He could still pick it this last weekend in the celebrity softball game... Just saying.

Cal Ripken, Jr. was a better Hitter and a better fielder than Jeter.

Out of the modern era, I'd go Ozzie, Cal, then Jeter. A-Rod is probably top 5 if you just count his days at SS, but we don't speak of him anymore, right?

Guys like Trammell and Larkin were pretty good too, though they were overshadowed by their contemporaries Ripken and Smith, respectively.