Born: 2/5/1968, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Major League Career: 1988-2004
Games Played at Second Base: 2,320
Most Games Played For: Toronto Blue Jays
Photo via Padres Nation
For last year's A-Z Challenge, I featured players of the Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Browns organization, my favorite baseball team. As I noted in my wrap-up post, I managed to cover every position on the field except for one: second baseman. While the franchise has had several long-tenured shortstops, including Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. and Bobby Wallace, the turnover on the other side of the bag has been more frequent. As such, I decided to devote this year's challenge entirely to the second base position, honoring the individuals who earned their keep playing one of the game's most demanding defensive positions. We begin our alphabetical journey with one of Cooperstown's most recent inductees...
Without a doubt, Roberto Alomar ranks among the best ever to play the second base position. He won more Gold Gloves (10) and made more consecutive All-Star Games (12) than any other second baseman in history. He was one of the most consistent hitters of his generation, batting over .300 for a season in nine separate years. He was the first player ever to enter the Hall of Fame as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, where he played for five years. Alas, my Orioles only enjoyed his services for three.
While Alomar's induction was a no-brainer, the occasion was notable for the fact that second base is an under-represented position at Cooperstown. To a point, this is not surprising. Players make the Hall primarily on their offensive credentials and second base, one of the most crucial defensive positions, is an unlikely place to hide a bat. Also, it is a position occupied almost exclusively by right-handed players. Historically, a disproportionate number of the game's great hitters have been left-handed, suggesting an advantage at the plate. This was not a problem for Alomar, a switch hitter.
Head on over to Blogging from A to Z April Challenge to find others joining the adventure.
In particular, please visit:
My Wife at Wikes! Hikes on the Long Trail
Mock at Stay on target...