Sunday, April 1, 2012

Second Basemen, A to Z: Roberto Alomar

Player: Roberto Alomar
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...


  1. You can't go wrong highlighting baseball teams and players.

  2. I don't understand baseball, but he sounds like an amazing player :)

    Universal Gibberish

  3. Pardon me but I have yet to learn the rules of the game.
    But I must say that is an excellent action picture :-)

  4. awaiting for A-Z here is mine :)

    here is mine

  5. Miss baseball, not much of that here in Norway not much coverage of the american games either. Nice Sunday post :)

  6. That is quite the picture.

    I'm a Red Sox girl myself but my father-in-law is a Baltimore fan.

    M.J. Fifield
    My Pet Blog

  7. Happy April! Thought you might like to read about this amazing pitcher as well.

  8. Dig the theme-nice first post.

  9. Nice start to the April Challenge. Can't wait for your other posts on this subject. :)

  10. Although I'm not a baseball fan, I do enjoy reading about sports. Great post!

  11. Greetings, Mr Squid.

    Though not a fan of baseball, I have seen a game of it once whilst in Pennsylvania - I couldn't get over as to how long it lasted! But it had a great atmosphere, combine that with the fact I was much younger and very wide-eyed about it all.

    Hope to see you over at the hearth, you are more than welcome to stop by any time :)

    Kind regards

    Mark K

  12. I loved this post. Thank you for the wonderful enthusiam you display concerning Roberto Alomar, an outstanding player.


  13. I liked both Roberto and his brother Sandy. I'm interested in your comments about the Hall of Fame. I'm not that sophisticated a baseball fan and I've been wondering why some positions seem to be designated as being for "big hitters" (first base, outfield) and others aren't. Is it really unusual for a good hitter not to be a great defensive player, too? I hope Pedroia eventually proves to be one of the exceptions, too!

    1. Great question! Conventional baseball wisdom says that your strongest fielders should be up the middle: catcher, second baseman, shortstop and center fielder. That's not to say there aren't great fielders at other positions because there certainly are. But you really can't put a guy at catcher, for instance, who doesn't know what he's doing. You'll lose every single game. Left field is the traditional spot to "hide a bat" because you don't have to cover as much ground as in center and you don't have the long throws to third that you have from right. That's where you stick a player like Manny Ramirez - a genius with a bat in his hands but essentially indifferent when fielding his position.