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Who's the second best shortstop of all time? Jeter or Ripken?

Jan 14, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

If you don’t know who the best shortstop of all time is please say 50 “Honus Wagner’s” and 10 “our fathers.”  As for second place, ESPN’s David Schoenfield thinks it’s between the Cap’n and Cal, and sides with Jeter. At least eventually:

Look, Jeter still has some work to do to catch Ripken. He needs to
maintain his offensive production into his late 30s, no sure thing. But
as of now, I’ll take Jeter with the bat, Jeter on the bases, Jeter with
the consistency and Jeter on the top step of the dugout. Ripken rates a
big edge with the leather. But if Jeter stays healthy, it’s a worthy
debate: Jeter or Ripken?

Not a lot of Arky Vaughn love, but that’s based on length of career, not quality, so I suppose I understand.  Part of me still wishes that A-Rod had stuck at short — where he was a superior defender — and rendered this question moot.

Ultimately it’s hard to argue with Schoenfield’s conclusion that, if Jeter remains productive for the next few years, he’ll pass Ripken.  But if he were hit by a bus tomorrow I think you gotta go with Cal.

  1. mike vessio - Mar 29, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    1 wagner
    2 lloyd
    3 vaughn
    4 ripkin
    5 banks
    6 jeter
    7 boudreau
    8 larkin
    9 cronin
    10 garciaparra
    11 smith
    12 yount/wells
    a-rod out for roids. period

  2. MIKE VESSIO - Mar 29, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    what’s all this nonsense about jeter’s defense? stats can’t accurately measurse this skill. back in the day i had a-rod1, nomar2, omar3 & jeter4. years later we have jeter1. a-rod (roids)
    is out. jeter goes back on pop-ups as well as anyone, comes in on slow grounders as well as anyone & goes to his right just fine. he’s not quick to his left. so what. i’ve watched him play his whole career and never saw that cause a loss. as far as i’m concerned he’s close to a defensive genius in the way ripkin was; always in the right spot. and he is a playoff highlight show. don’t forget great relay against the mets & jumping grab & relay throw against the braves. in short, in a 7 game series or a ‘game 7′ i want jeter for so many reasons. oh yeah – he’s a great hitter.
    and it took choke-rod years to hit in the clutch. all his regular season stats are worthless & he’s a disruptive player. jeter can bunt for a hit, sacrifice, steal, run bases, hit for avg. & power on occasion, hit in clutch, draw walks & lead.

  3. pgman - Apr 23, 2010 at 10:59 PM

    With the glove, nobody was better than Belanger…even Ozzie. In his prime the Blade was the best ever. I like Ozzie but’s let’s face it…Ozzie knew how to make a hard play look impossible. He was a showman. If there were two outs in the bottom of the 9th, you wanted the ball to be hit to the Blade. Cal was a good fielder if you hit the ball right at him plus he was one of the worst clutch hitters of all time. His tired bat in Septemmber actually hurt the Orioles many many times. Nobody hit into more double plays in the history of baseball than Cal. As an O’s fan, I used to pray Cal was not coming up in a clurch situation. You wanted Eddie Murray at that point.

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