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Derek Jeter: best shortstop in baseball history?

Jun 13, 2011, 8:46 AM EDT

derek jeter and kevin long yankees Reuters

You know what I don’t much care for?  When folks overly-denigrate Derek Jeter. He will be and should be a first ballot hall of famer and stands among the best ever, so it bugs me a bit when people overstate his flaws by way of pointing out that, yes, he does indeed have some flaws.

But I also understand that when most people overly-denigrate Jeter, it’s a reaction to those folks who overly praise him and dismiss his flaws in their entirety. Praise him not unlike Stan McNeal of the Sporting News, in a bit of Jeter fan fiction that has to be read to be believed. The key takeaway: you don’t get to call Derek Jeter critics unfair when you make claims like “Wagner never was regarded as a great defensive player.”

I don’t know that there has ever been a player who was simultaneously overrated and underrated like Derek Jeter is. I guess we’ll have to wait for history to progress a bit more before someone simply and properly rates him.

165 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. proudlycanadian - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    My response to the question in the headline is NO. He was a consistent hitter for a long time, but there were many others who were superior with the glove. Hall of Fame? Probably!

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:55 AM

      You only give him a probably for the Hall of Fame. He should be a unanimous first ballot hall of famer. I don’t know if he is the best shortstop of all time, but he is surely in the conversation. He wasn’t just a consistent hitter, he was a great hitter.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:02 AM

        Yankee fans have a different view of him than fans of other teams. Yankee fans have seen his strengths and admire them. Fans of other teams are aware of his weaknesses. He has never been the guy that we did not want our pitcher to face in crucial situations.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:08 AM

        “Your pitcher” hasn’t really pitched in a meaningful game since 1993, which was 2 years before Jeter’s debut, so you really have no frame of reference to say that, do you?

      • phukyouk - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:11 AM

        @ proud – he wasnt called “captain Clutch” for nothing. at his prime he was one of the most Clutch players in the game. he was the ONE player you DIDNT want to face in a crucial situation.

      • hittfamily - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        He was clutch because he had bombers hitting behind him. He had a lot of key hits, but when you know there is 0 chance of being walked, it is hard not to put the ball in play.

    • phukyouk - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:09 AM

      GAH! probably? the dude is about to join only TWENTY SEVEN other players in the HISTORY of the game as part of the Mr. 3000 club and you say probably? the dude has 5 rings and you say probably? the dude is the captain of the winningest team in the history of professional sports AND YOU SAY PROBABLY? i would love to know what kind of player you would say FOR SURE to???

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:37 AM

        Charlie Silvera has six rings. That’s only a basis for being on the richest team in MLB history. The whole ” 5 rings” thing is meaningless when it is used to measure player quality.

      • bobwsc - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        you talking Jeff Lebowski here?

      • skipp - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        awesome user name

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Before everyone comes on and bashes this article…and believe me, at first glance, I feel like bashing it…everyone should include their top 5 shortstops of all time with each comment……I honestly don’t know nearly enough about the history of shortstops to even put together my list, but I would be very interested to see where Jeter would be on most lists.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 13, 2011 at 8:58 AM

      3.Robin Yount-yes, he was a shortstop for awhile
      4.Honus Wagner
      5.Ripken Jr.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:03 AM

        6.Barry Larkin
        7.Ozzie Smith
        8.Omar Vizquel
        9.Nomar-would be hire if he played longer at a higher level
        10.Jimmy Rollins – I am a Phillies fan and the list just wouldn’t be complete without a Phillie

        Outside of Wagner, I only included more modern players simply because I don’t know enough about others to make judgement

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:06 AM

        I would rank Ozzie Smith ahead of those players because of his glove. Smith is in the Hall of fame on merit.

    • dan1111 - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      A good argument can be made that Jeter is one of the all time great shortstops. While his offensive numbers don’t blow people away today, in fact very few shortstops have hit that well.

      Honus Wagner was a much better hitter than Jeter, unless you steeply discount for era. Beyond Wagner, however, there is no one who clearly beats Jeter. A-Rod is a better hitter, but he will probably end up with less than half of his career spent at short. Even though this is no fault of his own, it does seem to take him out of the “greatest shortstop ever” running. No one else has really matched Jeter’s hitting over a long career.

      Then it comes down to, how much is defense worth, and how do you evaluate it? Even with the advanced metrics available today, measuring defense is still messy and much debated. I think there is only so much that can be said here. Probably almost everyone would agree that Cal Ripken Jr. was a better fielder than Jeter. He also hit nearly as well as Jeter, so he seems like a good choice for second best ever.

      Beyond that, no one is obviously better. Derek Jeter may well be the third best shortstop of all time–and yet overrated.

    • kopy - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:41 PM

      1. Honus Wagner
      2. Alex Rodriguez
      3. Cal Ripken Jr.
      4. Luke Appling
      5. Ernie Banks

  3. uyf1950 - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    My Top 3 would have to be:
    1) Honus Wagner – (run away #1)
    2) Cal Ripken, Jr.
    3) A-Rod – like him or hate him if he didn’t switch positions to come over to the Yankees, he might very well have been #1 by the time his career is over.

    Jeter would probably be my #4.

    • hittfamily - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:40 AM

      I like 1 and 3, but Ripken? Ripken was Gary Gaetti who played in every game. Marginal top ten. As good as I have read that Wagner was, A Rod is the clear number 1. A gold glove shortstop who hit .300 and with thirty five jacks a year when the league average at his position is like .265 with 8 hr’s. It’s like a first baseman averaging 120 hr’s a year for 15 years.

      That is the greatest player of all time. I am a Rays fan, so I dont root for this guy, but to me he is hands down the greatest player ever, any position. I believe as good as he was defensively, he could have hit .220 with no home runs and started, a-la Rafael Belliard.

      If he didnt move to third, this is a no discussion argument. That is why if Buster Posey can still catch, the Giants better not dare move him to first, even if it makes his career last another 4 years. If Busters numbers stay the same (.290 average 22-27 hr’s) and he does it for a decade, he is one of the top ten catchers to ever play the game. If they move him to first, he isnt even a top 10 1st baseman playing today.


      • dan1111 - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:25 AM

        I think you are seriously underrating Ripken. His numbers were not flashy, but very few shortstops have maintained that level of offense over a long career. The comparison to Gary Gaetti doesn’t hold water–Ripken had significantly better stats while playing 500 more games.

        However, I agree that A-Rod would probably be #1 if you count him in the discussion.

      • thefalcon123 - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:20 PM

        Ripken was like Gaetti? So, you’re saying that Gary Gaetti was far and away the best 3rd basement of the 80’s? Yeah, Ripkens numbers don’t look amazing as a 1990’s left fielder. They are awfully great for an 80s shortstop.

        Ripken’s WAR rank among shortstops from 82-91
        1982: 3rd
        1983: 1st
        1984: 1st
        1985: 1st
        1986: 1st
        1987: 4th
        1988: 4th
        1989: 2nd
        1990: 1st

        Yeah, whatta loser.

      • cleverbob - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        Or the Giants (or some other team) could get similar/better numbers from Posey for 14 years. I don’t think a team’s main concern is where their players rank all-time, position-wise…

      • hittfamily - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:09 PM

        Cal and Gaetti’s numbers are very similiar. Cal sustained longer, but in their prime, their numbers are very similiar. I have a bias against Cal, so I cant be impartial. I always thought he should have tied Gehrig, not surpassed him. Gehrig stopped playing because he had a disease that untimately killed him. I’d like to think if I am ever in a position to choose class or pride, I would choose class. The true ironman who played til he was on his deathbed was usurped by Cal.

        Better than average hitter, great fielder, but beloved by everone for an almost meaningless record. I knew I would get crushed when I wrote that, but my point is if he takes 1 day off, I dont think he is on anyones list. He was never a premier hitter in his era. He was a premier hitter for a shortstop. There are other shortstops who were some of the best hitters around for any position. A Rod, Nomar, Tejada, were all great hitters, no matter their position, and thats just recent memory.

        As far as the guy who thinks my posting about Posey was about Poseys personal success, it wasnt. If you learn anything from today, learn this: Great hitting skilled players are far more valuable to their team’s success than average hitting unskilled players. A catcher like Posey becomes available to a team once a decade. A first baseman like Posey becomes available at every trade deadline, and twice in the offseason.

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        That’s the dumbest reason for hating someone I ever heard. He should have stopped to be tied with Gehrig? Why? Are we in danger of forgetting that Gehrig is the best 1B ever? Have people stopped talking about Lou Gehrig? I mean, he has been dead for 80 years, so there’s probably some lapse in his level of popularity, but come on. Records get broken all the time.

        While I would have liked Cal to have taken a day off every now and again for his own health and the sake of his team, as he tended to wear down as the season dragged on, I can’t argue with a man who just wants to play baseball every day.

        Finally, and I say this as a Twins fan, the notion that Gaetti and Ripken were statistically similar is totally and completely false. Cal: .276/.340/.447, 112 OPS+ as a shortstop. Gaetti: .255/.308/.434, 97 OPS+ as a 3B. Gaetti was a fine player, especially at his peak (which lasted from 1986-1988 before he had a short career revival in the mid-90s), but he was a better hitter than Ripken in 3 of 20 seasons, and that’s before we take into account the positional adjustment and Cal’s excellent defense being more valuable at SS than Gaetti’s excellent defense at 3B.

      • thefalcon123 - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        @hitfamily: You have NO understanding of positioning or the defensive spectrum. Shortstop is a much more important defensive position that 3rd base, and it takes a much better defensive player to be effective there. Teams sacrifice vast amounts of offense @ shortstop for a player who can play acceptable defense. That is why there are so many slugging first basemen! They can have lousy defensive players there not capable of competently playing any other position!

        The defensive spectrum is like this (pretty much, some people flip CF and 3rd base): Catcher, shortstop, 2nd base, center field, 3rd base, right field, left field, 1st base, DH

    • hittfamily - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:57 PM

      Of course I understand the difference in value between players who play up the middle, and players who play the corner positions. I just got done showing why Posey should remain at catcher. In my defense, I was thinking Gaetti came up as a SS then moved to third, but I stand by my saying they have very similiar numbers in the prime of their careers.

      Secondly, I can dislike Cal for any reason I want. I chose to admit I have a bias. What of it. Cal wanted to set a selfish record, and he made a lot of money by doing it. Records are made to be broken, I get it. But this wasnt so much of a record, as it was an achievement. I dont think he needed to out achieve it.

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 14, 2011 at 12:14 AM

        Your reasoning just doesn’t make any sense though. Why not get mad at Gehrig for breaking Everett Scott’s record? Why not not get angry that he took over for Wally Pipp? Do you think he did those things for altruistic reasons? Of course not. He was incredibly conscious of his streak, to the point that he started at SS and played a half-inning once so he could keep the streak alive.

        Moreover, if you can successfully prove that Gaetti and Ripken were similar hitters, I will give you a dollar. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of players who had seasons (even multiple seasons) better than HOFers in their worst seasons. But the sustained excellence of a Ripken or a Gwynn, or a Brett or a Boggs, is what separates them from the Carlos Baergas and Edgardo Alfonzos.

      • hittfamily - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:40 AM

        @The Common Man/
        I am a day late, but you will be a dollar short.

        Here is Gary Gaetti’s career numbers adjusted for 162 games. .255 ave, 23 hr, 87 rbi, .741 ops
        Here are Cal’s career numbers adjusted for 162 games .276 ave, 23 hr, 91 rbi, .788 ops

        not only are their offensive stats comparible, they are almost the exact same thing.

  4. stoutfiles - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:08 AM

    Most overrated shortstop of all time perhaps.

    -He won some championships, but on a team that has no limit when spending money for talent.

    -He wins Gold Gloves, but once you win a few they just keep giving them to you, even when your range is gone and your efficiency is one of the worst in baseball.

    -He bats first/second as a .260 singles hitter, and only because it’s not worth the risk to disrespect him. The fans too put him on a pedestal as well for no reason other than he’s a very likable player.

    -3000 hits is impressive, but as any player will tell you, singles hitters who stay in the league long enough can easily make 3000.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      This has to be the most uninformed post I have read in awhile. Hey Junior, google Derek Jeter stats and see what he has done in his career then call him a .260 singles hitter.

      • stoutfiles - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:19 AM

        For the past two years he’s been a .260 singles hitter with one of the worst defensive efficiencies in baseball. Take off your Jeter goggles.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:21 AM

        Take off your Jeter goggles. His career has spanned a bit longer than the past two years. We are judging his entire career here not just recent history. Furthermore, I am not a Jeter fan. I have an extreme dislike of the Yankees. I’m just giving my objective opinion.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        For the past two years he’s been a .260 singles hitter with one of the worst defensive efficiencies in baseball. Take off your Jeter goggles.

        Michael Jordan was terrible last two years with the Wizards, best player ever in the NBA, no wai!?!?!?


    • phukyouk - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      im sorry… some? he won SOME championships? just out of curiosity.. what team do you root for? well whichever team that is.. name your favorite player.. ok got it? how many rings does he have? cool!

      • stoutfiles - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:24 AM

        I dont declare the Jeter the best shortstop because he’s on a stacked team, just like I don’t declare Posada the best catcher. Hell, he’s not even the best shortstop on the team, A-Rod is. They just couldn’t move him for the disrespect issue. A-Rod and Rivera are debatable for best ever at their positions(A-Rod at SS).

      • phukyouk - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:32 AM

        jesus christ. A-rod is not a SS.. hasnt been for over 8 yrs now. hes spent more of his career at 3rd than he did at short. if you want to make an argument then you may as well say that swish has been the Yanks best pitcher in the last 3 yrs. hes got a 0 ERA.

        but seriously Mo IS the best at his position ( relief/closer not pitcher) and yea.. hes on a team with money but as proven OVER AND OVER in the last decade that does NOT mean rings. and for the record NOONE would call Jorge the best catcher ever…. in fact i would say hes one of the worst defensive catchers i have ever seen play.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:40 AM

        Ahhh get over it Phukyouk. The Yankees have actually proven over and over again what you get when you spend more than any other team year in and year out. 27 championships will not be attained by any other club for another 100 years. Maybe even more.

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:47 AM

        In my book, A-Rod is still a SS until he plays more games at 3B in his career. Also, when he quit playing SS (to accomodate Jeter), he had 61 Wins Above Replacement to Jeter’s 38. There is no doubt that Rodriguez was the better shortstop, both on offense and on defense, and would have been on career value if he hadn’t switched positions for the Captain.

      • hittfamily - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:56 AM

        I vote Arod best shortstop, and John Smoltz best closer. Just because you are more valuable to your team at another postion doesnt mean you still arent the best at another position you play. If the Colts decide to make Peyton Manning the kicker next year, does that mean he still isnt the best quarterback in the league?

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        I see what you did there, and that’s cute. Except, in your analogy, Manning presumably doesn’t get replaced by an inferior player.

        It comes down to how you define “greatest”, though, doesn’t it? And how you define shortstop? Do you want someone who is utterly dominant in all facets of the game for a short time, or one that is consistently very good, and sometimes excellent for a longer period. It’s a matter of preference. And do you stop considering A-Rod a shortstop the second he stops playing, or for these debates do you consider his entire body of work.

      • hittfamily - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:17 AM

        I make the assumption that A-Rod will put up the same numbers playing short or third. Just like I include Chipper’s left field statistics when discussing best third basemen, or Cal’s numbers at third. If a player gets moved early on in his career because he isnt capable of playing the position, he no longer plays that position (Dale Murphy, Alfoso Soriano, Ryan Braun).

        When you play a position successfully for an extended time period and win a Gold Glove like A Rod did, but swap positions for the good of the team, I will consider that player whichever position requires more skill. A Rod is still a shortstop on any other team, and with 3 or 4 exceptions, any historical team.

        When his career is over, he will be viewed as one of the top 5 positional players to ever play the game. Ruth, Mays, Aaron, Bonds, Arod in historical order. All of their offensive numbers are fairly equal. One was a fat outfielder. One was the greatest defensive centerfielder to ever play. One was an adequate outfielder. One started as a great outfielder and morphed into a bodybuilder trying to cover left field. The last was a perenial all star/gold glove shortstop who switched positions because his new teammates offensive numbers werent good enough to justify a move to third.

        So to me, it comes down to the greatest center fielder, or a gold glove shortstop to determine who is the all around greatest player of all time.

        A-Rod should never be considered inferior to Jeter. A-Rod had the offensive numbers to justify moving him to third. Jeters salary kept him at short. Not even in new york would they pay a third baseman 20 mil to put up Jeters numbers.

      • phukyouk - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:30 AM

        J5 – If you actually look back the yanks did not buy lets say… 20 out of those 27. they just had the best players.

      • hittfamily - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:09 PM

        Youk- They kind of did buy their previous championships. Not in a literal sense, but their funds enabled them to have advantages that others didnt. They had the largest,priciest scouting department in baseball long before the draft. They also literally bought Ruth.

        Im just playing devils advocate.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        They just “had” the best players.


        They just “got” the best players.

        Seriously where did their payroll rank among the other teams in seasons in which they won it all? Just for reference. Because I was under the impression that they always had the highest payroll when they also won the WS.

      • nps6724 - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        Even if the Yanks developed every player on their roster, the issue is they are one of the only 2-3 teams that could possibly KEEP all of them once they reached arbitration and free agency. At least 90% of teams have to make tough, cost-cutting decisions every season. They don’t have the luxury to re-sign any player they wish regardless of price. You can definitely buy a team even if you develop most of the players.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:31 PM

        In general terms, the Yankees did not always have the largest payroll, Baltimore was spending more in the AL East in the late nineties. Even historically the Yankees didn’t spend more, it wasn’t until the 2000s when George went on a free agent spree. Of course, he had also done this in the late 70s so it wasn’t uncharacteristic..
        Plus during the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s the Yanks weren’t spending more than necessary, it was before free ageny and the players knew they had to bolt from cheap owners, and WS championships meant big bucks proportunately to their paychecks.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        They just “had” the best players.


        They just “got” the best players.

        Seriously where did their payroll rank among the other teams in seasons in which they won it all? Just for reference. Because I was under the impression that they always had the highest payroll when they also won the WS.

        So, you must really have been against the Phillies going out and “Getting” almost that entire pitching staff since only one of them is homegrown- or is that not so important anymore?

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        Man Len, they’re always up there. Hey lookey there, they didn’t have the highest in 1993. Who did? Toronto did.

        Look, let’s not be Naive. Money gets you places in the MLB 90 of 100 times. It just is, and the Yankees taking advantage of their spending ability is expected. And you Yankee fans should be happy about that. I’m not trying to pull any punches here, but facts are facts. I say if you pay the best players to play for your team you win more. It is what it is.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        Deathmonkey, who said I was against it? I wish my team did it more often, that’s all. I wish the Phillies spent an additional 30 million plus royalties like The Yankees do today. It isn’t my money, just the team I follow. I like this winning feeling I have now talking about my Phills. And it’s obviously not going to hurt their chances by paying more of the best players to play for them.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        Jonny, you staged your question over the course of 27 Championships over almost 90 years, and what I said was factual. They were NEVER in the bottom half of payroll, usually at first through fifth in ALL years.
        Now, if you are speaking in the last 20 years or so, no one has spent more money. There are plenty of examples, however, of teams that tried to do this without success, Tigers come to mind.
        Certainly, it IS money that gets and retains the best and theoretically best players. Just as you hate municipal money to support stadiums in any way, I hate it when teams do not do their best to use their resources to provide a quality product, and feel sorry for teams where invalid scouting and lack of expertise makes them waste money on a misguided effort to BUY talent. I think there is such a team fairly close by.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:15 PM

        LOL, we are on the same page there Len. I also tend to look up facts after (not before, yeah duhhh me) I spout off what I think is true, just to check. I see, I’m mostly right. Just the detail about “always” is a tad off. In 1991 the Yankees only had 8th highest which shocked me. That season they finished under .500, which isn’t a shocker at all considering this conversation.

        I know money doesn’t buy you anything and that’s why the games are played. But when you can get the most talent, you usually get more wins, and get a better shot in the post season.

        I’ve also concluded, the Cubs are indeed cursed btw….

    • nytitan - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:24 AM

      “easily make 3000” hey buddy only 27 people have done it out of thousands upon thousands have played the game in a hundred plus years it isnt that easy.

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    “-3000 hits is impressive, but as any player will tell you, singles hitters who stay in the league long enough can easily make 3000.”

    Considering that only 27 players in MLB history have 3,000 career hit, how easy could it really be???

    • stoutfiles - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      When you bat 1st/2nd your whole career, regardless of how you’re playing, and you aren’t a power hitter, and youre loved by the city so much that you will never be benched for a younger, possibly better player, you will get 3000.

      I still said it was impressive, I just don’t think an arbitrary hit number makes you the best ever.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        If he keeps up this year’s pace, he will end up around 55th all-time in career Doubles…which is pretty good for a “singles-hitter”. He’s also a career .312 hitter. If you want to say he isn’t the “best ever” then that’s fine…I agree with that. But don’t discount the guy’s career by saying things like “oh, singles hitters who stay in the league long enough can EASILY make 3000”. That’s just a stupid statement.

      • ditto65 - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        Yeah, your argument is so true because thousands of other players – wait, hundreds of other – wait, you mean LESS THAN 30 PLAYERS have over 3000 hits?

        Are you Sgt. Shultz? Because, based on your comments, “You know Nothing!”

      • bigharold - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:59 AM

        “When you bat 1st/2nd your whole career, regardless of how you’re playing, … you will get 3000”

      • bigharold - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:13 AM

        “When you bat 1st/2nd your whole career, regardless of how you’re playing, .., you will get 3000”

        The benchmark of a good hitter is 200 hits per season. Jeter has done that for 15 years. his 162 average is 206 in fact. If you insist on referring to him as a singles hitter you are clearly not looking past the last year or so.

        I’m a huge Jerter fan but is he the best ever? how do you compare him to Wagner or Smith or anybody else because stats will never tell you the entire story. he might not be the best ever but he is certainly in the conversation AND he absolutely is a first ballot HOFer.

      • stoutfiles - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        Players like Biggio, Palmeiro, Murray, and Ripken Jr have over 3000 hits with an average less than .300. Play long enough, avoid injuries, and be a fan favorite so they won’t replace you…and you make 3000.

        Hits don’t mean much anything. I’d rather have a .260 50 hr guy than a .300 singles hitter.

  6. jaypace - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Proudlycanadian. In crucial situations is where jeter has been best. Big hits in crucial situations. Jeter may not be the best of all time but how can you diminish 3000 hits. He is the first Yankee with 3000. Probably a hall of famer, get it together man.

  7. edgy is under THEE Thumb! - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:16 AM

    1. Dave Conception
    2. Alan Trammel
    3. Ozzie Smith
    4. Cal Ripkin Jr
    5. Bert Campaneris
    6. Eddie Brinkman
    7. Larry Bowa
    8. Robin Yount
    9. Mark Belanger
    10. Gary Templeton

    48. Ozzie Guillen
    49. Aroid
    50. Derek Jeter

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:18 AM

      Gary “If I ain’t startin’ then I’m not departin’ ” makes your top ten?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:19 AM

        That should read Gary “If I ain’t startin’ then I’m not departin’ ” Templeton in my above post.

    • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:24 AM

      Wow. You are not allowed to continue this discussion in any way until you’ve been deprogrammed from the brainwashing.

    • sam244 - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      Hm. You must obviously dislike Jeter immensely to rate Eddie Brinkman and Mark Belanger over him. Brinkman and Belanger were excellent defensive shortstops, but cannot compare to Jeter’s offense. Your opinion of Jeter’s ability is not objective. With the exception of Rose and possibly Palmeiro, anyone who gets 3,000 hits are automatic Hall Of Famers.

      We should also not forget other HOF SS like Wagner, Boudreau, Ernie Banks, Luis Aparicio, Joe Cronin, Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto and Arky Vaughan amongst the best SS.

      I can only rank those I have seen. These rankings are for the total package, not just defense and not just offense. The greatest defensive SS is obviously Ozzie Smith with Vizquel, Bowa and Belanger right behind him

      Alex Rodriguez
      Cal Ripken
      Robin Yount
      Derek Jeter
      Alan Trammel
      Ozzie Smith

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:48 AM

      A reasoned list based on their skills at the position.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      Holy crap it’s Joe Morgan everyone!

    • bigharold - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      Belanger? Bowa? Lifetime .228 and .260 hitters?

      Clearly their needs to be a definition or criteria developed as to the mix between offense a defense as it relates to “best SS”.

      I remember both of these guys and neither was better than Jeter defensively overall. They may have had peak years where they were better but overall, they were not. And, their offensive numbers aren’t even in the same ball park. As was pointed out Jeter hits more than his share of doubles, has a life time .312 BA with .383 OBP.

      It’s OK to hate the Yankees and Jeter but you still have to make sense when you post.

    • thefalcon123 - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      Yeah, to hell with Arky Vaughan or, say….Honus Wagner. Gary Templeton and Mark Belanger were way better.

  8. yankeesfanlen - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:17 AM

    Oh, for corn’s sake, you’re giving me an attack of apoplexy.
    When I periodically bring up Derek Sanderson Jeter in this forum, I am talking in the here and now, and not as an historical review of his body of work.
    Of course he will be a first-round Hall-of-Famer, my question involves what year it will happen. I would, at present, vote for 2016.
    What Yankee fan will ever forget the tumble into the stands, those throws while he pivoted 2 feet off the ground, those clutch hits? I’ll be googling all day for specific dates and situations and the accomplishments have been marvelous and exciting.
    I just don’t want my “Ode to Jeter” to end as a tragedy.
    Go gentle into that goodnight, Beep-beep.

    • uyf1950 - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:22 AM

      Well said, my friend.

    • bigharold - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      “Go gentle into that goodnight, Beep-beep”

      I don’t know about that. First of all, the very thing that is at the core of his success, that makes him who he is is his confidence in his ability. It also will allow him to believe that he can bounce back and perhaps not see the flaws. Add to that the fact that once he retires he stops being “Derek Jeter”. I see the very real possibility that this could get awkward. And, then there is the money on the table….

      Personally, if I were him they’d probably have to rip the uniform off my back and have security bar me from the stadium but that just me, .. I hate to quit at anything and have almost no shame.

  9. The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Top 5:

    1) Wagner (not debatable)
    2) A-Rod (I still consider him a SS until he actually plays more games at 3B)
    3) George Davis (like Jeter, but could actually field his position)
    4) Ripken (might have been higher if he would’ve taken a day off to rest)
    5) Pee Wee Reese (I give him extra credit for 3 full years of WWII

    I rank Jeter 10th alltime: But I could probably be persuaded to move him up a couple spots due to postseason play.

    Definite Hall of Famer, definite inner-circle HOFer, and superstar. But nowhere near the best all-time. To say that Wagner wasn’t regarded as a great fielding shortstop is like saying Lou Gehrig wasn’t considered very tough or that Stan McNeal wasn’t considered much of a sycophant.

  10. cur68 - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    Ozzie Smith, as a short stop, was the best I ever say play. Jeets I would rank 3rd, maybe 4th. I think I’d put Ripkin ahead of him and definitely Wagner is # 2.

    • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      Best defensively, sure. He was on another planet. But he also had to hit, and for much of his career he was pretty terrible at that.

      • cur68 - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        Common, Craig wrote “best short stop” as “the best at the defensive position” not at the plate (Mr. Literal woke up grumpy because his Beavermen got ka-REAMED over the weekend). As such I considered this from a fielding perspective only. As a fielding short stop it’s Ozzie and only Ozzie holding down # 1. The only real argument comes after Ozzie. Then it’s probably Wagner then Ripkin with a solid argument for Jeets @ # 4.

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:57 AM

        Mr. Literal should take into account that hitting is part of a position player’s job description, and should adjust his thinking accordingly. Ozzie was great, there’s no disputing that. I loved watching him play and he’s a deserving Hall of Famer. But there was more to his job than just fielding. He got much better when he got older and got to work with Whitey Herzog, but he was like a better-fielding Rey Ordonez before that.

      • cur68 - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:12 AM

        Nope, Mr. Literal isn’t doing any such thing like considering offense when talking about a defensive position rating. If Mr. Literal did that then he’d have to rank The Wizard lower and he loves him some Wizard, so he ISN’T doing it that way just out of sheer cussedness. So there.

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        Well, if you’re solely going on defensive ability then you’re still doing it wrong. Gold Gloves aside, Jeter is not, nor has he ever been a strong defender.

        But neither Crain, nor the original author, were arguing for Jeter based on defense alone anyway. That’s just a position you made up.

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        Or, you know, Craig. Sorry, Jesse Crain hasn’t started writing for HBT yet.

      • hittfamily - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:45 AM

        For the sake of arguement, assume that Benito Santiago is the greatest defensive catcher to ever play. Catcher is also a skilled position. I, and you, would still rather have Johnny Bench on your team because he is almost as good defensively, but worlds ahead offensively.

        Ozzie is the greatest defensive shortstop ever. However, he would have to save 40 runs a year to compare to Jeter, Arod, Larkin, Cal etc. They generate far more runs for their team than Ozzie would save if you put them in the same game/situation. They are all great defensive shortstops. The others will generate far more offense though. These aren’t adequate defensive shortstops. They are all great.

      • cur68 - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        And when Mr. Crain DOES start writing for HBT and he’s asked what he ‘thinks’ (which I am choosing to interpret, in case you missed this, as subjective opinion) he might reply with what he thinks about the player in question and advanced metrics and better stats be damned. Jeets was, is and probably always will be a class act. As such my opinion of him places him where he is as an opinion alone. In my opinion all those guys were/are pretty good dudes. You’ll note I’m sticking to opinion? This doesn’t mean I’m ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ it just means I ‘feel’ this way. I can feel as I like and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. Also I’m pretty much alluding to you being correct when offense and sheer numbers are accounted for, so we needn’t dance around that either.

        As you can tell, I do NOT consider my opinion as ‘fact’.

    • thefalcon123 - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      Ozzie was the best *defensive* shortstop. He was an effective hitter (post Padres), but his glove doesn’t make up for the enormous hitting gap between him and Wagner, Vaughan, Ripken. He is among the best ever and certainly deserving of his place in the Hall of Fame, but he was not the greatest ever.

  11. phukyouk - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    I honestly believe that Craig writes these just to stir the pot..
    no i do not believe that Jeets is the best shortstop in the history of the game. i mean the game is over 100 yrs old. there HAS to be players that were better. in fact.. i would say that there will never be a Best (fill in the blank) going forward. back in the day baseball was a different animal. players played it for fun and competition and then went to get a job in the winter or off to fight a war. today when its mostly about the $$$ the folks just dont play the same way.

    • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:42 AM

      This is wrong. So very wrong. Ballplayers played ball in the beginning to escape mining towns or farming. They made much more money playing baseball than they would have in the regular labor force, and many players were able to parlay their fame into additional income through speaking engagements on the banquet circuit, or vaudeville in the offseason. Often, they worked to stay in shape or because they were smart enough to realize that they couldn’t play baseball forever.

      • hittfamily - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        Very insightful. I had never heard this. I always like to increase my knowledge. Thank you for the lesson.

  12. bjavie - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    I have never seen a player get so much credit for “working hard” as Jeter does. Jeter has never won an MVP and has been league leader in a significant offensive catagory exactly twice in his entire career.

    Jeter is a first ballot HOF’er for sure, I agree with that. But he is not now, nor ever was the “best” at anything.

    Don’t forget, if you walked into 30 clubhouses and asked who the biggest “gamer” or “hardest worker” in baseball is, you would get 30 different answers.

    Jeter is very good, nothing more. If he played his entire career as a Met, no one would say the things about him that say now. NO ONE!

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:48 AM

      Jeter is better than “very good”. He has had a GREAT career. If you don’t agree with that, then your Mets blinders are showing big time.

      • bjavie - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        I am not a Mets fan. I was just pointing out that if he had played elsewhere, these discussions would never exist.

        He hustled and has a career .312 hitter who has won some gold gloves. He is very, very good.

        If he played for the White Sox his whole career no one would call him great.

        Ask a Yankee fan what their opinion of him would be if he had been a Red Sox for his entire career.

    • aleskel - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:52 AM

      for the record, you could make the case (and many have) that Jeter deserved the MVP in 1999 and again in 2006 (his 2009 was pretty spectacular too, although no one was going to top Mauer that year). As it stands, 7 top-10 finishes (3 top-5) is nothing to sniff at.

  13. buckygoldstein - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    I am no Yankee fan and not really a fan of Jeter, but the guy has done everything one would ask of a slam dunk, first ballot Hall of Famer. He has the rings, has made the highlight plays and will reach the 3000 hit milestone. Not that it really matters, but he has also kept his nose clean and shown more than a little class over his career. Which is more than we can say about a good many players already enshrined. As far as the best ever? It’s purely subjective, but not in my book. It may sound silly, but I don’t think raw numbers tell the entire story. Plus, the position has changed greatly over the last 20 years or so and Jeter was a part of that movement. That I have actually seen play…
    1) Dave Concepcion
    2) Barry Larkin
    3) Omar Vizquel
    4) Ozzie Smith
    5) Jeter

    • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      “That I have actually seen play”

      You should get your eyes checked.

      • buckygoldstein - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        Sorry, I’m not old enough to have seen Wagnor, Davis or Pee Wee play. Not to mention that back in the 70’s and even most of the 80’s baseball wasn’t nationally televised except for the Monday night game and maybe one game on the weekend.

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:18 AM

        That’s a fair point, though Ripken was still going strong in the 1990s. Also, Dave Concepcion was demonstrably worse than Larkin, though he does have a higher percentage of Hall of Fame teammates and a better team nickname. Vizquel is an excellent shortstop who is consistently overrated, and a pale imitation of Ozzie in every facet of the game. Jeter was actually better than everybody on your list except maybe Larkin. Other guys who were better in the than Concepcion over the last 40 years include: Robin Yount, Alan Trammell, Bert Campaneris, Nomar, Miguel Tejada, and Tony Fernandez.

        Concepcion benefits from a halo effect thanks to great teammates like Morgan, Bench, and Perez, who truly made The Big Red Machine go and who continue to bang the drum for how great he was. The truth is that Davey was an incredibly inconsistent player whose effectiveness was almost always tied to the randomness of batting average on balls in play. He had 10 seasons ranging from good to very good, but also had a lot of years where he was at or below replacement level. At the peak of his game, he belongs in the top 30 SS all time, probably. But taken as a whole, his career is far less impressive

      • buckygoldstein - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:46 AM

        To say Omar is a pale imitation of Ozzie might be a bit strong. Omar is better (162 game average) than Ozzie in every offensive category except stolen bases and has a better lifetime fielding percentage. Ozzie also leads in back flips, but I’m not sure that counts for much.

        Growing up we saw the Reds and Davey along with Perez were my two favorite players. I’m easy, take Concepcion off the list.

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:18 AM

        Omar played in a much better era for offense than Ozzie did, yet still has Ozzie beat in OBP by only .338 to .337. Ozzie ranks higher in OPS+ (87 to 83), stole more bases at a much higher percentage (520 and 80% to 401 and 71%), and utterly dominates Vizquel in every single defensive stat that matters (of which, fielding percentage is not one). He just simply got to many, many, many more grounders per season than Omar, and more than just about any other shortstop in baseball history. Think of it this way, Omar has played four more seasons than Ozzie ever did, and 180 more games at short, but Ozzie still made almost 1000 more plays in his career than Omar has.

      • buckygoldstein - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        Or think of it this way…We can never compare defensive stats other than fielding percentage when one player had the advantage of turf over grass for nearly their entire career. Omar has to date about 600 fewer chances than Ozzie, yet ( I believe) has turned more double plays than any SS in history. Almost 200 more than Ozzie.

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:55 AM

        1) Your numbers are off, Ozzie had just shy of 1000 more plays at short than Vizquel did.

        2) More like 150 DPs, or so. But because of the era in which he played, Ozzie had many fewer doubleplay opportunities than Vizquel, because fewer batters reached 1B.

        3) Sure we can compare stats across eras. It’s what more advanced defensive metrics do. But we don’t have to in this case. We can use common sense. While you’re right that Vizquel had to make plays on tougher hops because of the grass, the ball also moved slower, which should have allowed Vizquel to get to more grounders. Yet Ozzie still laps him, even though he was playing on fast surfaces.

      • hittfamily - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        You arent taking into account that Ozzie didnt play in the steroid era and Omar did. Just a few of the era differences I thought of.
        1. Balls were hit harder at Vizquel than they were at Ozzie
        2. Players were slower in Vizquels era, allowing him to play deeper.
        3. More players were aiming for the fences in Vizquels era, giving him fewer opportunities.
        4. Leadoff batters didnt just try to beat out infield grounders in Vizquels era (see Brady Anderson’s 50 hr’s)
        5. Ozzie played against pitchers hitting his entire career, giving him more chances for weakly hit grounders
        6. Strikeouts were up, giving Vizquel fewer chances.

        I dont know who the better player was, but there is more to it than just opportunites to make a play. Sorry, but to me the math and logic is flawed.

      • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        That’s true, hittfamily, but in the context of this discussion, which is not advanced stat heavy, I thought I would make it more accessible. That said, 1000 extra plays is a LOT, and my personal belief is that the factors that you suggested, which we have no way of adequately accounting for (or at least I don’t) would not explain this massive difference, especially given Omar’s advantage in games played.

  14. nps6724 - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    First-ballot Hall of Famer, great player for many years, lucky to be on great teams for the majority of his career, definitely NOT the greatest SS of all-time.

    (Note: All these numbers come from

    On defense, he’s not even a top 20 SS, Gold Gloves be damned. Using advanced defensive metrics, Jeter has a UZR of -43.6 since 2002. So unless he was better than Ozzie pre-’02, he just doesn’t rank with the glove. What’s ridiculous is all 5 Gold Gloves were won post-’02. But since he’s 2nd-WORST among all-time SS in defensive value, I doubt he was much better pre-’02.

    On offense, Jeter doesn’t stand out anywhere among the greats at his position (of which A-Rod is still considered). He’s currently 6th in BA, 12th in OBP, 13th in SLG, 9th in OPS, 2nd in BABIP, 4th in hits, 2nd in 1B, 6th in 2B, 8th in HR, 3rd in RS, 12th in RBI, 12th in BB, 2nd-most SO, 22nd in SB, 16th in wOBA, 7th in wRC+, 4th in overall batting value, and 11th in WAR.

    There’s not one thing Jeter is better at than any other SS. The three things he’s best at are striking out, having a great BA on balls put in play, and singling, but even then there’s someone better at all three.

    What’s funny is Nomar is ranked ahead of Jeter on several of these and A-Rod is ahead of him in just about all of them.

    • aleskel - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:02 AM

      “4th in overall batting value”

      uh … doesn’t that say it all right there? He might not have done one thing better than anyone else, but that’s not how we assess a player’s value. He did a lot of things (offensively) very, very well, and as a result he produced the 4th most overall value as a shortstop.

      And the Nomar comparison is misleading – Nomar was great, so of course he’d score higher on rate stats like AVG, OBP, etc., but he flamed out very young. Health and consistancy matter too.

      • nps6724 - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:10 AM

        Considering the same handful of guys are above Jeter in pretty much every category, it follows exactly as I said: “First-ballot Hall of Famer, great player for many years, lucky to be on great teams for the majority of his career, definitely NOT the greatest SS of all-time.”

        The question of the article was “Is Derek Jeter the best SS in baseball history”, not “Is Derek Jeter great”. The answer to the former is no, the answer to the latter is yes.

        The Nomar thing wasn’t really a comparison, just a note since they came up around the same time playing the same position on 2 of the most-storied franchises in baseball. I was surprised he was there as often as he was, to be honest.

  15. deathmonkey41 - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Yeah, I think most of the time the criticism of Jeter is unfair. He’s been a class guy, consumate team player, a winner, and he did it without cheating. Not sure why a guy like that invokes so much hatred in people. Also, there had been a long drought at the SS position for the Yankees in the decade or so that proceded Jeter.

    Alvaro Espinoza, Wayne Tolleson, Randy Velarde, Spike Owen, Kevin Elster, an aging Tony Fernadez to name a few…

    • nps6724 - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      Someone “being a winner” is seriously one of the dumbest arguments you could make for a baseball player. Put him on the Royals and they aren’t winning 5 rings simply because Derek Jeter is at SS.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:33 AM

        And you could probably take those shortstops from the Royals and put them on those Yankees teams and maybe they don’t win those championships simply because of the teams they’re on. Jeter had as much to do with winning 5 World Series as any of the other Yankees during that period. He wasn’t a tag along that happened to be on great teams. He was one of the reasons they were great. Stop hating.

      • nps6724 - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:43 AM

        Except I’m not arguing that any Royals SS would’ve won 5 rings with the Yankees or that Jeter is terrible. The fact is baseball requires far more than 1 great player to win even ONE ring that saying any single player “is a winner” is just plain stupid and ridiculous. Albert Pujols is one of the best hitters of all-time and has one ring. A-Rod is one of the best players of all-time and didn’t win one until he joined a great TEAM.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:00 AM

        What you’re inferring when you use the old, tired, “If Jeter were on the Royals, blah, blah, blah” line, is that Jeter had nothing to do with the Yankees winning all those championships and could have been interchangable with any other SS. What I’m saying is that he had as much to do with winning those rings, if not more, as every other player on those teams. He’s been the guy who has come through in the clutch in key games. Him and Mo have been there for all five- the other guys have come and gone.

      • nps6724 - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:06 AM

        I’m not inferring anything. There are hundreds of players deserving of winning a World Series but never did. It says absolutely nothing about their individual talent. It’s a TEAM game. Great TEAMS win the World Series. TEAMS don’t join the Hall of Fame.

        Equating a player’s greatness to a team achievement in baseball is always ridiculous.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        Of course you’re inferring. Look at your comment in another reply “LUCKY to be on great teams for the majority of his career”. That’s saying that they would still be great without him- which is inferring a lot. I’m saying that he is one of the key pieces that MADE those teams great.

      • nps6724 - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        If you remove Jeter from those teams, they’re still great teams. To deny that means you think Jeter alone makes them great. If you think Jeter wasn’t lucky to be on stacked teams for years, you have reached a level of delusion that will be unsurpassed for years.

        Once again, championships have nothing to do with individual ability. Far better players than Jeter have 1 or fewer rings. One player doesn’t win the World Series. Never has, never will. If they could, A-Rod, Bonds, and Pujols would’ve won the last 20.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:48 PM

      You’re saying that he had nothing to do with those teams being great and that is ridiculous. Talk about delusional. Let your hatred for the man go- it’s just going to drag you down.

      • nps6724 - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        My first typed words in these comments: “First-ballot Hall of Famer, great player for many years”.

        We should all be so “hated”.

  16. Jack Marshall - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Isn’t this an easy position to rate, once you remove all the bias?

    Wagner is the clear #1, and it’s between Jeter and Ripken for #2. Alex is a third-baseman, just like Ernie Banks is a first baseman, and Babe Ruth is a right fielder.

    • The Common Man/ - Jun 13, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      Jack, why do you consider A-Rod a 3B when he’s currently played more games at SS than any other?

  17. Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    I’ve been stewing on this.

    Jeter is HOF worthy by his bat and by the fact that he never got shoved to DH. He will probably be one of the worst defensive short stops in the HOF, but among the best offensively. I don’t see how he’s the best SS of all time as that’s a very key position to play defensively.

  18. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    My list:

    1. Wagner
    2. Arky Vaughn (look him up, you’ll be surprised)
    3. Jeter
    4. Ripkin
    5. Arod*

    *caveat that if he stayed at SS all those years, he’d be #1 easily

  19. jaypace - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Are some of you stupid jeter is a career .313 hitter. Last year and this year his average has dropped. Yeah 3000 hits is an easy task whoever said that might be the dumbest fan of baseball ever(I’m not sure I could call you a fan because your lack of baseball knowledge is astounding). So easy in the hundred years of baseball 27 players have done it, dumbass. As a Yankee fan I am well aware of jeters short comings. But to say he is not a hall of famer is dumb.

  20. jaypace - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    First off when the yanks were wining championships in the 90’s they were using more home grown talent, hence “the core four”. It wasn’t until the 2000’s where the yanks started going bigger in the free agent market. Let’s stop trying to diminish what jeter has accomplished

  21. skipp - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    Here’s a fantasy baseball comparison of Jeter Vs Clemente. Obviously there are a lot of differences between the two, namely where they played on the field, but it helps to see how Jete stacks up against one of the most recognizable players ever.

    (Yes, I’m aware that Clemente’s legacy has a lot do do with his tragic death.)

    • skipp - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:46 PM

  22. JBerardi - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Alex Rodriguez, at his peak, was pretty clearly the best shortstop of all time. In terms of the best at the position over the course of a full career, probably Cal Ripken. Jeter is way up the list, but he’s not the best ever. Which I’m sure some Yankees fan will actually take as some sort of insult.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:24 PM

      Not sure how you figure Ripken was the best ever. Wagner/Vaughn were better hitters, and you could argue Jeter might be as well.

  23. Chris St. John - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Clearly it’s Bill Dahlen

  24. thraxle - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    I was watching the Sox beat the crap out of the Yankees the other night and I heard the commentator mention that an Astros scout literally BEGGED the Stros to take him with their first pick. Alas, they didn’t, and the rest is history.

    However, this got me thinking about what Jeter’s career would have looked like starting in an Astros uniform. I’m pretty sure he would have never made his way to the Yankees simply because I don’t think he’s ever been the best shortstop in baseball during his career. A-Rod likely ends up playing short for the Yanks and Jeter is either a lifetime Stro or he wanders around through the league. He would never have had the kind of opportunities that he’s been afforded in NY like the constant playoff appearances and the immense help behind him in the batting lineup. He would have been an occasional all-star and wins MAYBE two gold gloves in his career. He never approaches 3,000 hits simply because he plays in weaker lineups and receives less ABs over the course of his career. He’s never had much power, always K’s more than he walks, and wouldn’t have the protection behind him in weaker lineups on other teams.

    In the end he wouldn’t have been “the Captain of the Yankees”, nor would he be “Captain Clutch” because the opportunities wouldn’t have been there in the postseason. He’d be a borderline hall of famer at best and wouldn’t be nearly as overrated as he’s made out to be today. Don’t get me wrong, the guy is a class act and has made a great career for himself. He’s a first ballot HOFer and he deserves praise, but he’s not the greatest SS of all-time, regardless of how many rings his TEAM has won.

    1. Honus Wagner (never saw him, but stats don’t lie)
    2. Cal Ripken Jr. (greatest modern era SS, 2 MVPs, put him in a powerful Yankess lineup and he hits .295 with 550 HRs)
    3. Ernie Banks (Big power stats, 2 MVPs, played for the lowly Cubs)
    4. Ozzie Smith (greatest defensive SS ever, won an MVP, defense overshadowed offensive liability)
    5. Derek Jeter (Mr. consistency, lacks an MVP, 16 seasons of first rate opportunities)
    6. Robin Yount (Won an MVP as SS, then again as a CF, solid hitter and defender)
    7. Omar Vizquel (2nd best defensive SS ever, not an offensive liablity, nor an asset)

    • thraxle - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      Oh, and if A-Rod was still a shortstop (as he should be, Jeter should have moved to 2nd), he would top this list easily. He’s a far better defender than Jeter and a better hitter than Ripken.

  25. 24missed - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    What is Mr. Calcaterra’s criteria for overrating or underrating Mr. Jeter?

    • thraxle - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:03 PM

      Yankees fans overrate him…..everyone else underrates him.

      Yankees fans think he’s a god…..everyone else thinks he’s just a really good shortstop.

      • 24missed - Jun 13, 2011 at 9:32 PM

        I remember off-season, some Yankee fans calling for Mr. Jeter’s head. The whole contract issue. Lots of fans have wanted him to call it a day because of his declining skills, is that something that Yankee fans don’t care about anymore either?

        I’m not trying to be a jerk, just trying to understand. Do people think he’s overrated by Yankees fans for sentimental reasons? Sort of like, men want to be him and women want to be with him?

        As far as the best shortstop in history, nobody can top Julio Lugo.

      • 24missed - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:55 PM

        Obviously joking about Julio Lugo… which was mean.

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