Best Shortstops of All Time in Baseball History
Shortstop is one of the most important positions in baseball, so why are shortstops undervalued in Major League Baseball? They don't get lots of MVP awards. They don't lead the league in many offensive categories. And most of them don't hit a lot of home runs.
But dynasties and decades have turned on this position. Franchises have risen and fallen because of this position. And this position has captured our imagination with that thing they do — a mix of athleticism and acrobatics unmatched in sports.
These are the best shortstops of all time.
Honorable Mention: Mark Belanger
Born: June 8, 1944 (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)
Died: Oct. 6, 1998 (age 54, New York, New York)
Career: 18 seasons(1965-82)
Teams: Baltimore Orioles (1965-81), Los Angeles Dodgers (1982)
Career highlights: Two-time World Series champion (1966, 1970), MLB All-Star (1976), eight-time Gold Glove Award (1969, 1971, 1973-78)
Bottom Line: Mark Belanger
If you were a Baltimore Orioles fan from the 1960s through the 1990s, you got to see some pretty amazing shortstop play. Eight-time Gold Glove Award winner Mark Belanger was followed immediately by two-time American League Most Valuable Player Cal Ripken Jr.
Belanger's brilliance on the diamond was largely lost to the ages because of Ripken's greatness, but Belanger retired with a .977 career fielding percentage, which was the American League career record. His struggles at the plate held him back from being one of the all-time greats, with a .228 career batting average and just 389 RBI in 18 seasons.
Belanger died of lung cancer in 1998, at 54 years old.
30. Troy Tulowitzki
Born: Oct. 10, 1984 (Santa Clara, California)
Career: 13 seasons(2006-17, 2019)
Teams: Colorado Rockies (2006-15), Toronto Blue Jays (2015-17), New York Yankees (2019)
Career highlights: Five-time MLB All-Star (2010, 2011, 2013-15), two-time Gold Glove Award (2010, 2011), two-time Silver Slugger Award (2010, 2011)
Bottom Line: Troy Tulowitzki
Troy Tulowitzki was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2005 MLB draft and within one year was the everyday shortstop for the Colorado Rockies.
The first five years of Tulowitzki's career were a revelation, and he was hailed with comparisons to Alex Rodriguez and Cal Ripken Jr. for his size, fielding skills and ability to hit for power. But injuries decimated the latter half of Tulowitzki's career.
Tulowitzki only played over 140 games in a season once in his career, but finished in the top 10 in MVP voting in the National League three consecutive seasons, from 2009 to 2011.
29. Joe Tinker
Born: July 27, 1880 (Muscotah, Kansas)
Died: July 27, 1948 (age 68, Orlando, Florida)
Career: 15 seasons(1902-16)
Teams: Chicago Orphans/Cubs (1902-12, 1916), Cincinnati Reds (1913), Chicago Chi-Feds/Whales (1914-15)
Career highlights: Two-time World Series champion (1907, 1908), Federal League champion (1915)
Bottom Line: Joe Tinker
Baseball purists know "Tinkers to Evers to Chance" as the line from a famous baseball poem, "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," presented from the point of view of a New York Giants fan lamenting the great double-play combination of the Chicago Cubs — shortstop Joe Tinker to second baseman Johnny Evers to first baseman Frank Chance.
The trio, which was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946, helped lead the Cubs to back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908. That was when Tinkers established himself as one of the best fielding shortstops in MLB and a terror on the basepaths, averaging 28 stolen bases per season for his career.
One interesting aside. After Evers left his teammates at the hotel and took a taxi to the stadium himself in 1905, Tinker reportedly beat him up bad enough that they didn't actually speak for almost 20 years.
28. Francisco Lindor
Born: Nov. 14, 1993 (Caguas, Puerto Ricko)
Career: 7 seasons (2015-present)
Teams: Cleveland Indians (2015-20), New York Mets (2021-present)
Career highlights: Four-time MLB All-Star (2016-19), two-time Gold Glove Award (2016, 2019), two-time Silver Slugger Award (2017, 2018)
Bottom Line: Francisco Lindor
We are truly getting to experience an era of great shortstops in MLB, led by young stars like Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor.
The Mets showed exactly how special they thought Lindor was when they signed him to a 10-year, $340 million contract before the 2021 season. After making four All-Star teams and winning two Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Slugger Awards in his first seven seasons, he might be worth it.
Don't use the last two seasons from Lindor as an example of the direction his career is going. He already has three 30-homer seasons in his career, and we'd bet dollars to donuts that he's got more 30-homer seasons in him and ends up with an MVP trophy on his mantle one day.
27. Johnny Pesky
Born: Feb. 27, 1919 (Portland, Oregon)
Died: Aug. 13, 2012 (age 93, Danvers, Massachusetts)
Career: 10 seasons(1942, 1946-54)
Teams: Boston Red Sox (1942, 1946-52), Detroit Tigers (1952-54), Washington Senators (1954)
Career highlights: MLB All-Star (1946)
Bottom Line: Johnny Pesky
David Halberstam's "The Teammates" chronicles the relationship between Boston Red Sox shortstop Johnny Pesky, Ted Williams and Dom DiMaggio — close friends who played baseball, then went off to war together.
Pesky was a beloved player for the Red Sox who would have been just as valued in today's game because he always figured out a way to get on base. Pesky batted .307 for his career, had a .394 on-base percentage and is probably the greatest bunter in MLB history. Truly a lost art.
26. Lou Boudreau
Born: July 17, 1917 (Harvey, Illinois)
Died: Aug. 10, 2001 (age 84, Olympia Fields, Illinois)
Career: 15 seasons(1938-52)
Teams: Cleveland Indians (1938-50), Boston Red Sox (1951-52)
Career highlights: World Series champion (1948), AL Most Valuable Player (1948), eight-time MLB All-Star (1940-45, 1947, 1948), AL batting champion (1944)
Bottom Line: Lou Boudreau
Lou Boudreau, nicknamed "Handsome Lou," spent 10 of his 15 seasons as a player-manager, beginning with the Cleveland Indians when he was just 24 years old.
Boudreau had his best season in 1948, when the former basketball All-American at the University of Illinois led the Indians to a World Series championship as the team's star player and manager and was named American League Most Valuable Player.
25. Joe Cronin
Born: Oct. 12, 1906 (San Francisco, California)
Died: Sept. 7, 1984 (age 77, Osterville, Massachusetts)
Career: 20 seasons(1926-45)
Teams: Pittsburgh Pirates (1926-27), Washington Senators (1928-34), Boston Red Sox (1935-45)
Career highlights: Seven-time MLB All-Star (1933-35, 1937-39, 1941)
Bottom Line: Joe Cronin
Joe Cronin was born into chaos, just months after the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 decimated the city.
Cronin became a sports star in the city in baseball and tennis and became obsessed with baseball watching the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League play in a time when the closest MLB team was some 2,000 miles away.
Cronin was just spectacular at the plate for his career. Had he played in another era, he might have hit more than 170 home runs. He still posted a career batting average of .301 to go with 2,285 hits and 1,424 RBI.
24. Tony Fernandez
Born: June 30, 1962 (San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic)
Died: Feb. 16, 2020 (age 57, Weston, Florida)
Career: 19 seasons (1983-99, 2000-01)
Teams: Toronto Blue Jays (1983-90, 1993, 1998-99, 2001), San Diego Padres (1991-92), New York Mets (1993), Cincinnati Reds (1994), New York Yankees (1995), Cleveland Indians (1997), Milwaukee Brewers (2001)
Career highlights: World Series champion (1993), five-time MLB All-Star (1986, 1987, 1989, 1992, 1999), four-time Gold Glove Award (1986-89)
Bottom Line: Tony Fernandez
Tony Fernandez was a star for the Toronto Blue Jays in what's becoming baseball's forgotten era of the 1980s.
Fernandez could do a little bit of everything on the baseball field. He won four consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1986 to 1989, led MLB with 17 triples in 1990, had over 30 doubles and 20 stolen bases seven times and led the American League in assists, putouts and fielding average multiple times.
Fernandez was part of a blockbuster trade that sent him and Fred McGriff to the San Diego Padres in 1991 for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter. Fernandez was traded back to the Blue Jays in 1993 and helped lead them to a second consecutive World Series championship.
23. Jose Reyes
Born: June 11, 1983 (Villa Gonzalez, Santiago, Dominican Republic)
Career: 16 seasons (2003-18)
Teams: New York Mets (2003-11, 2016-18), Miami Marlins (2012), Toronto Blue Jays (2013-15), Colorado Rockies (2015)
Career highlights: Four-time All-Star (2006, 2007, 2010, 2011), Silver Slugger Award (2006), National League batting champion (2011)
Bottom Line: Jose Reyes
Jose Reyes made his debut with the Mets when he was just 19 years old and became the franchise's career leader in both triples and stolen bases.
Reyes led the National League in stolen bases three times and triples four times, and in 2005 and 2006, he led the NL in both categories. For all of his accomplishments, Reyes never got a chance to play in the World Series in 16 seasons.
22. Maury Wills
Born: Oct. 2, 1932 (Washington, D.C.)
Career: 14 seasons (1959-72)
Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers (1959-66), Pittsburgh Pirates (1967-68), Montreal Expos (1969), Los Angeles Dodgers (1969-72)
Career highlights: Three-time World Series champion (1959, 1963, 1965), National League MVP (1962), seven-time All-Star (1961-63, 1965, 1966), two-time Gold Glove Award winner (1961, 1962)
Bottom Line: Maury Wills
Maury Wills led the National League in stolen bases six times and set the MLB single-season record with 104 stolen bases in 1962 — the same year he was named National League MVP.
Wills, who was also a football star at Washington D.C.'s Cardozo High, is largely credited with bringing the stolen base back into the majors as a viable way to win games.
21. Jimmy Rollins
Born: Nov. 27, 1978 (Oakland, California)
Career: 17 seasons(2000-16)
Teams: Philadelphia Phillies (2000-14), Los Angeles Dodgers (2015), Chicago White Sox (2016)
Career highlights: World Series champion (2008), NL Most Valuable Player (2007), three-time MLB All-Star (2001, 2002, 2005), four-time Gold Glove Award (2007-09, 2012), Silver Slugger Award (2007), NL stolen base leader (2001)
Bottom Line: Jimmy Rollins
Jimmy Rollins was the everyday shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies for all of the 2000s, winning National League Most Valuable Player honors in 2007 and leading the Phillies to a World Series championship in 2008.
Rollins also won four Gold Glove Awards in his career and led the NL in triples four times, stolen bases once and runs once.
Rollins' career probably won't get him in the Hall of Fame, but he is still the Phillies' career leader in hits, at-bats and stolen bases.
20. Alex Rodriguez
Born: July 27, 1975 (Manhattan, New York City)
Career: 22 seasons (1994-2013, 2015-16)
Teams: Seattle Mariners (1994-2000), Texas Rangers (2001-03), New York Yankees (2004-13, 2015-16)
Career highlights: World Series champion (2009), three-time American League MVP (2003, 2005, 2007), 14-time MLB All-Star (1996-98, 2000-08, 2010, 2011), two-time Gold Glove Award winner (2002, 2003), 10-time Silver Slugger Award winner (1996, 1998-2003, 2005, 2007, 2008)
Bottom Line: Alex Rodriguez
It's tough to look at Alex Rodriguez's legacy and separate the baseball player he was from his use of performance-enhancing drugs, for which he served a one-year suspension in 2014. He's not higher on this list for that reason — the same reason we left Miguel Tejada off altogether.
Rodriguez banked a whopping $440 million in career earnings over 22 seasons and also won three American League MVP awards. How much of that can be attributed to modern medicine is the real question.
For all of his accomplishments, Rodriguez won just one World Series, in 2009 with the New York Yankees.
19. Phil Rizzuto
Born: Sept. 25, 1917 (Brooklyn, New York)
Died: Aug. 13, 2007 (age 89, West Orange, New Jersey)
Career: 13 seasons (1941-42, 1946-56)
Teams: New York Yankees
Career highlights: Seven-time World Series champion (1941, 1947, 1949-53), five-time MLB All-Star (1942, 1950-53), AL Most Valuable Player (1950)
Bottom Line: Phil Rizzuto
No shortstop can compare to the winning ways of Phil Rizzuto, who won seven World Series championships and played in the World Series four more times in his 13-year career.
Rizzuto was a whiz in the field and as a bunter and had his best season in 1950, when he won American League Most Valuable Player honors and led the Yankees to the second of five consecutive World Series championships.
After his career, Rizzuo spent 40 more years as a radio and television announcer for the Yankees. He died in 2007, at 89 years old.
18. Dave Concepcion
Born: June 17, 1948 (Ocumare de la Costa, Venezuela)
Career: 19 seasons(1970-88)
Teams: Cincinnati Reds
Career highlights: Two-time World Series champion (1975, 1976), nine-time MLB All-Star (1973, 1975-82), five-time Gold Glove Award winner (1974-77, 1979), two-time Silver Slugger Award (1981, 1982)
Bottom Line: Dave Concepcion
Dave Concepcion was the shortstop at the heart of the defense on The Big Red Machine for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1970s, when they won two World Series championships and played in the World Series two other times.
Concepcion was the ultimate team player. Not only did he combine with Joe Morgan for one of the greatest middle infields of all time, but Concepcion also helped groom his successor, Barry Larkin, who ended up being one of the all-time greats at shortstop alongside his mentor.
17. Omar Vizquel
Born: April 24, 1967 (Caracas, Venezuela)
Career: 24 seasons (1989-2012)
Teams: Seattle Mariners (1989-93), Cleveland Indians (1994-2004), San Francisco Giants (2005-08), Texas Rangers (2009), Chicago White Sox (2010-11), Toronto Blue Jays (2012)
Career highlights: Three-time MLB All-Star (1998, 1999, 2002), 11-time Gold Glove Award (1993-2001, 2005, 2006)
Bottom Line: Omar Vizquel
Omar Vizquel is definitely in the conversation for the greatest fielding shortstop of all time. He holds the MLB records for shortstops for best fielding percentage (.985), games played (2,968) and double plays turned (1,734).
Vizquel won 11 Gold Glove Awards, including nine consecutive, and was no slouch at the plate. He came perilously close to having 3,000 hits and 1,000 RBI for his career, finishing with 2,877 hits and 951 RBI.
Vizquel is one of just 29 players in MLB history to play in four different decades and the only shortstop to do so.
16. Nomar Garciaparra
Born: July 23, 1973 (Whittier, California)
Career: 14 seasons(1996-2009)
Teams: Boston Red Sox (1996-2004), Chicago Cubs (2004-05), Los Angeles Dodgers (2006-08), Oakland Athletics (2009)
Career highlights: Six-time MLB All-Star (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006), AL Rookie of the Year (1997), Silver Slugger Award (1997), NL Comeback Player of the Year (2006), two-time AL batting champion (1999, 2000)
Bottom Line: Nomar Garciaparra
One of the best hitting shortstops to play the game, Nomar Garciaparra's career became a big "what if" after he won consecutive batting titles in 1999 and 2000 before a significant wrist injury in 2001 seemed to kick off a series of injuries that would dog him the rest of his career.
That being said, Garciaparra was still a six-time All-Star and won National League Comeback Player of the Year in 2006. His career batting average still sits at .313.
To put into perspective how great Garciaparra was at the plate, consider that his .372 batting average in 2000 was the highest since World War II, and he was the first right-handed batter to win back-to-back batting titles since Joe DiMaggio.
15. Bert Campaneris
Born: March 9, 1942 (Pueblo Nuevo, Cuba)
Career: 19 seasons (1964-81, 1983)
Teams: Kansas City/Oakland Athletics (1964-76), Texas Rangers (1977-79), California Angels (1979-81), New York Rangers (1983)
Career highlights: Three-time World Series champion (1972-74), six-time All-Star (1968, 1972-75, 1977)
Bottom Line: Bert Campaneris
Bert Campaneris was easy to overlook at only 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds, but his lightning-fast speed changed games in the majors for almost two decades.
Campaneris was one of the mainstays for the Oakland Athletics on three consecutive World Series championship teams in the early 1970s and led the American League in stolen bases six times.
In 1965, Campaneris became the first player in MLB history to play all nine positions in a single game.
14. Carlos Correa
Born: Sept. 22, 1994 (Ponce, Puerto Rico)
Career: 7 seasons(2015-present)
Teams: Houston Astros (2015-present)
Career highlights: World Series champion (2017), two-time MLB All-Star (2017, 2021), AL Rookie of the Year (2015), Gold Glove Award (2021)
Bottom Line: Carlos Correa
We hesitated to include someone from the 2017 Houston Astros team after they won the World Series championship by cheating. But Carlos Correa can't be denied.
You couldn't build a better shortstop at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, and just seven seasons into his career, he's already made two All-Star teams, won a Gold Glove Award and was also the American League Rookie of the Year in 2015.
Correa turned down a five-year, $160 million contract offer from the Astros in order to become a free agent after the 2021 season. He's now expected to garner an offer in the realm of what the New York Mets gave shortstop Francisco Lindor — 10 years, $340 million.
13. Pee Wee Reese
Born: July 23, 1918 (Ekron, Kentucky)
Died: Aug. 14, 1999 (age 81, Louisville, Kentucky)
Career: 16 seasons (1940-42, 1946-58)
Teams: Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
Career highlights: Two-time World Series champion (1955, 1959), 10-time MLB All-Star (1942, 1946-54), NL stolen base leader (1952)
Bottom Line: Pee Wee Reese
Pee Wee Reese's fame has endured over the decades, not for what kind of a player he was but what kind of a man he was. The Kentucky native was one of the few teammates who supported Jackie Robinson in his tough early years as baseball's first Black player.
Besides being a really good dude, Reese could also really play the game. He won two World Series championships, was a 10-time All-Star and played his entire career with the Dodgers, moving with the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
12. Barry Larkin
Born: April 28, 1964 (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Career: 19 seasons(1986-2004)
Teams: Cincinnati Reds
Career highlights: World Series champion (1990), NL Most Valuable Player (1995), 12-time MLB All-Star (1988-91, 1993-97, 1999, 2000, 2004), three-time Gold Glove Award (1994-96), nine-time Silver Slugger Award (1988-92, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999), Roberto Clemente Award (1993)
Bottom Line: Barry Larkin
Barry Larkin was the perfect shortstop for the perfect team at the perfect time, playing his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds and leading the club to the World Series championship in 1990.
Larkin wasn't done there. He won National League Most Valuable Player honors in 1995, which was also in a stretch of three consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1994 to 1996.
Larkin, who was also a 12-time All-Star and nine-time Silver Slugger Award winner, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.
11. Arky Vaughan
Born: March 9, 1912 (Clifty, Arkansas)
Died: Aug. 30, 1952 (age 40, Eagleville, California)
Career: 14 seasons(1932-43, 47-48)
Teams: Pittsburgh Pirates (1932-41), Brooklyn Dodgers (1942-43, 47-48)
Career highlights: Nine-time MLB All-Star (1934-42), NL batting champion (1935), NL stolen base leader (1943)
Bottom Line: Arky Vaughan
Joseph Floyd Vaughan was born in Arkansas and moved out of the state by his first birthday, but that didn't stop friends and family from calling him Arky for the rest of his life. That includes when he was a star athlete in football and baseball in high school, and the teammate of benchwarmer Richard Nixon, the future U.S. president.
The nine-time All-Star shortstop made nine All-Star teams in 14 seasons in the majors and was one of the greatest hitting shortstops of all time. He led the National League in batting in 1935 and had a .318 career batting average.
Vaughan drowned in a boating accident in 1952, at 40 years old, and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1985. After his induction, his daughter received a congratulatory note from Nixon.
10. Alan Trammell
Born: Feb. 21, 1958 (Garden Grove, California)
Career: 1977-1996 (20 seasons)
Teams: Detroit Tigers
Career highlights: World Series champion (1984), World Series MVP (1984), six-time MLB All-Star (1980, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990), four-time Gold Glove Award (1980, 1981, 1983, 1984), three-time Silver Slugger Award (1987, 1988, 1990)
Bottom Line: Alan Trammell
When Alan Trammell led the Detroit Tigers to a World Series title in 1984, he did it by taking down his hometown team, the San Diego Padres. Which is pretty cool, and he did it by earning World Series Most Valuable Player honors.
Trammell and second baseman Lou Whitaker both played their entire careers for the Tigers. You could make a valid argument that this was more an act of collusion on the part of MLB owners than any loyalty either player had to the franchise.
In the most 1980s thing ever, Trammell and Whitaker also guest-starred on an episode of "Magnum P.I.," in 1983, where Tom Selleck's main character, Thomas Magnum, wore a Tigers hat in almost every episode.
9. Luis Aparicio
Born: April 29, 1934 (Maracaibo, Venezuela)
Career: 18 seasons (1956-73)
Teams: Chicago White Sox (1956-62, 1968-70), Baltimore Orioles (1963-67), Boston Red Sox (1971-73)
Career highlights: World Series champion (1966), 13-time MLB All-Star (1958-60, 1961-64, 1970-72), AL Rookie of the Year (1956), nine-time Gold Glove Award (1958-62, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970), nine-time AL stolen base leader (1956-64)
Bottom Line: Luis Aparicio
Luis Aparicio was a fielding whiz and elite base stealer who shot to fame in the late 1950s as a star on the Chicago White Sox. He helped lead them to the World Series in 1959, when he finished as runner-up in the American League Most Valuable Player voting.
Once Aparicio got on the basepaths, teams were toast. He led the AL in stolen bases nine times, to go with his nine Gold Glove Awards. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on his sixth try in 1984.
8. Ozzie Smith
Born: Dec. 25, 1954 (Mobile, Alabama)
Career: 19 seasons(1978-96)
Teams: San Diego Padres (1978-81), St. Louis Cardinals (1982-96)
Career highlights: World Series champion (1982), NLCS Most Valuable Player (1985), 15-time MLB All-Star (1981-92, 1994-96), 13-time Gold Glove Award (1980-92), Silver Slugger Award (1987), Roberto Clemente Award (1995)
Bottom Line: Ozzie Smith
Few players in baseball history have played with as much joy and charisma as Ozzie Smith, who would literally backflip on the astroturf at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on his way out to play shortstop.
Smith did more than just backflips. He won 13 Gold Glove Awards, made 15 All-Star teams and helped lead the Cardinals to the World Series three times, winning once in 1982.
Smith was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002, his first year of eligibility.
7. Luke Appling
Born: Oct. 9, 1898 (Titus, Alabama)
Died: March 6, 1990 (age 91, Mobile, Alabama)
Career: 20 seasons (1930-43, 1945-50)
Teams: Chicago White Sox (1930-43, 1945-50)
Career highlights: Seven-time MLB All-Star (1936, 1939-41, 1943, 1946, 1947), two-time AL batting champion (1936, 1943)
Bottom Line: Luke Appling
Luke Appling played his entire career with the Chicago White Sox, including a two-year break to serve in World War II as part of the Greatest Generation.
Appling was an absolute machine during his 20 seasons in the majors and put together one of the greatest years in MLB history in 1936, when he batted .388 with 124 RBI, 111 runs, 204 hits and led the majors by turning 119 double plays.
It was the first time a shortstop won the batting championship in the American League and was the highest batting average recorded by a shortstop in the 20th century.
6. Robin Yount
Born: Sept. 16, 1955 (Danville, Illinois)
Career: 20 seasons (1974-1993)
Team: Milwaukee Brewers
Career highlights: Two-time American League MVP (1982, 1989), three-time MLB All-Star (1980, 1982, 1983), Gold Glove Award (1982), three-time Silver Slugger award (1980, 1982, 1989)
Bottom Line: Robin Yount
Robin Yount was drafted No. 3 overall by the Brewers in 1973 out of Taft High in Los Angeles when he was just 17 years old. By the time he was 18 years old, he was the team's everyday shortstop.
Yount played a decade at shortstop before shoulder problems forced his move to the outfield, and you have to wonder what his career numbers would have been if he hadn't dealt with those injury issues.
Yount was still a two-time American League MVP, led the Brewers to the World Series in 1982 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1999.
5. George Davis
Born: Aug. 23, 1870 (Cohoes, New York)
Died: Oct. 17, 1940 (age 70, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Career: 20 seasons(1890-1909)
Teams: Cleveland Spiders (1890-92), New York Giants (1893-1901, 1903), Chicago White Sox (1902, 1904-09)
Career highlights: World Series champion (1906), NL RBI leader (1897)
Bottom Line: George Davis
George Davis spent over 60 years as the best player in MLB history not in the Hall of Fame until a push started by sabermetrics guru Bill James in 1995 propelled Davis into Cooperstown via the Veterans Committee in 1998.
Davis, who died of syphilis at 70 years old, spent the first few seasons of his career as an outfielder before he moved to shortstop and was one of baseball's highest-paid players in its early days — making a whopping $4,000 per year at one point.
Davis had his best season in 1897, when he batted .353 and led the National League with 135 RBI. He won a World Series with the Chicago White Sox toward the end of his career, stealing home in Game 5 and adding three RBI in the series-clinching Game 6 against the Chicago Cubs.
4. Ernie Banks
Born: Jan. 31, 1931 (Dallas, Texas)
Died: Jan. 23, 2015 (age 83, Chicago, Illinois)
Career: 19 seasons (1953-71)
Teams: Chicago Cubs
Career highlights: Two-time National League Most Valuable Player (1958, 1959), 14-time MLB All-Star (1955-60, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1969), MLB All-Century Team
Bottom Line: Ernie Banks
Ernie Banks isn't the greatest MLB player to never win a World Series, but he's probably the most famous for not winning one. That's because a good part of his legacy was built on spending his entire career with the long-suffering Chicago Cubs.
Banks was a power-hitting shortstop and racked up a whopping 512 career home runs. He also was the first Cub in history to have his number retired.
3. Derek Jeter
Born: June 26, 1974 (Pequannock Township, New Jersey)
Career: 20 seasons (1995-2014)
Teams: New York Yankees
Career highlights: Five-time World Series champion (1996, 1998-2000, 2009), World Series MVP (2000), AL Rookie of the Year (1996), 14-time MLB All-Star (1998-2002, 2004, 2006-12, 2014), AL Rookie of the Year (1996), five-time Gold Glove Award winner (2004-06, 2009-10), five-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2006-09, 2012)
Bottom Line: Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter played all 20 seasons of his career with the New York Yankees and is one of the most beloved players in MLB history.
Jeter, who won five World Series championships, also took home five Silver Slugger Awards and five Gold Glove Awards. Jeter's penchant for clutch hitting and making clutch plays in the field may be unrivaled in the history of the game.
Jeter and Bruce Sherman purchased controlling shares of the Miami Marlins in 2017, and Jeter was put in charge of day-to-day operations as the franchise's CEO.
2. Honus Wagner
Born: Feb. 24, 1874 (Chartier Borough, Pennsylvania)
Died: Dec. 6, 1955 (age 81, Carnegie, Pennsylvania)
Career: 21 seasons (1897-1917)
Teams: Louisville Colonels (1897-1899), Pittsburgh Pirates (1900-17)
Career highlights: World Series champion (1909), MLB All-Century Team
Bottom Line: Honus Wagner
Honus Wagner was known as "The Flying Dutchman" and led the National League in stolen bases five times and RBIs five times.
Wagner also won eight batting titles while playing almost his entire career for the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he won his lone World Series title in 1909.
Wagner's legacy today isn't so much about his playing career but the infamous Honus Wagner T206 baseball card. Only 57 were made, and in 2016, a PSA-5 grade T206 sold for $3.2 million, breaking its own record for the most expensive baseball card ever sold.
1. Cal Ripken Jr.
Born: Aug. 24, 1960 (Havre de Grace, Maryland)
Career: 21 seasons (1981-2001)
Teams: Baltimore Orioles
Career highlights: World Series champion (1983), two-time American League MVP (1983, 1991), , 19-time MLB All-Star (1983-2001), MLB All-Star Game MVP (1991), American League Rookie of the Year (1982), two-time Gold Glove Award winner (1991, 1992), eight-time Silver Slugger Award winner (1983-86, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994), MLB All-Century Team
Bottom Line: Cal Ripken Jr.
Cal Ripken Jr. is best known for breaking an "unbreakable" record — Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak of 2,130 consecutive games that stood for 56 years before Ripken broke it in 1995.
Ripken pushed the streak to 2,632 games before it ended, although his career was much more than the streak. Ripken won the World Series and was named American League MVP in 1983, named American League MVP again in 1991, which was the same year he was named All-Star Game MVP.
He retired after 21 seasons with 3,184 hits, 431 home runs (the most homers ever by a shortstop) and 1,695 RBI.