Braves All-Time Team: Shortstop

I’m calling second base for Marcus Giles, who had just about as many votes as the next two candidates combined.

2B Marcus Giles

Next up, shortstop.

Candidates:

Rafael Furcal
Jeff Blauser
Andres Thomas
Rafael Ramirez
Marty Perez
Sonny Jackson
Dennis Menke
Johnny Logan
Rabbit Maranville
Herman Long

Yes, it’s an actual Hall of Famer! Well, it’s Rabbit Maranville, he of the .258/.318/.340 career line, but he’s in the Hall of Fame. Plus Herman Long, whom some people think should be in the Hall of Fame. For the first time, I actually had more qualifiers than spots (I’m limited to ten.) I cut two old-timers, Eddie Miller and Billy Urbanski, risking retribution from their legions of fans.

No, Walt Weiss and Rafael Belliard didn’t qualify.


13 thoughts on “Braves All-Time Team: Shortstop”

  1. Herman Long is likely to get overlooked on this one, but I’m going with him. About the same adjusted OPS as Furcal, more eestablished career. I want to think he’s considered a good defensive player, too.

    I was torn on Blauser, who put up a nice little underappreciated career in ATL, though I want to think his defense wasn’t all that good in retrospect.

  2. Probably the worst position on the all time team. I voted for Blauser, mostly because of timeline adjustments, but could be convinced Long was enough better in his own time.

  3. Colin, I agree with you. Seems to me Herman Long is the best among the players on the list. My top three will be Long, Furcal and Blauser.

  4. Rabbit Maranville is in the HOF. No one else on this list is really even close. Andres Thomas is the worst short stop ever.

  5. Two things stood out when I checked the stats: 1. Furcal hasn’t been as good with the bat as I thought; and, 2. Wow, Andres Thomas was bad.

    I voted for Blauser, probably biased in his favor from having watched him. I think there is an argument for him, Logan, Maranville or Long.

  6. From a field of overwhelming mediocrity, my pick is Furcal.

    This is more Road from Bristol-related, but I found this funny spoof article on an Onion-type website relating to Stuart Scott hatred. I liked it.

  7. I voted for Andres Thomas, not because he was any good–I know, I watched him–, but rather because everybody needs some love. Well, except for the ESPN crew–they need a serious drubbing–, and Bud Selig, who having been deprived of love all of his life surely needs none now.

  8. Anyone who say’s this is a mediocre field needs to read up on Rabbit Maranville, sure his hitting numbers are not exactly mind-blowing.
    But he played through the entire dead-ball era.

    Maranville was, in many ways what Ozzie Smith before there was an Ozzie Smith. Definately one of the greatest defensive shortstops to ever play the game, he ammased a record 5,133 putouts during his career, and held the record for the most games played in the NL until it was broken by Pete Rose in 1986

    Rabbit was the top vote-getter for his 1954 Hall of Fame vote being named on 82.94 percent of the ballots.

  9. This is the toughest position so far. I’m going with Maranville, based on longetivity and defensive reputation.

    So far everyone’s gotten a vote except for Marty Perez, whose nickname back in the day was “Taco”. Something tells me his family didn’t come up with that, but that Larry Krueger doesn’t see what the big deal is.

  10. I voted for Maranville. A couple of notes… The young Maranville, pre-1920, was not a totally punchless hitter. He drew some walks, hit a good number of triples, even some (presumably inside-the-park) homers. He hit cleanup for the Miracle Braves, and finished second in the MVP balloting that year, third the year before. He didn’t adapt too well to the lively-ball era, and he played too long, but he was a worthy Hall of Famer.

    His top four comparables (Ozzie, Aparicio, Bobby Wallace, Fox) are all in, as is #10 (Appling). Concepcion and Dahlen, who also appear on his list, are candidates. Of course, there are only so many players who play that long, and only Ozzie and Aparicio are really comparable. Which is right, because they’re almost certainly the two modern players he most closely resembles.

  11. I also voted for Maranville.

    Aside from the stats, I’d pick Maranville over Long because of his reputation with the glove. AFAICT, most people that saw them both thought that Maranville was notably better. It’s hard to discern the quality of fielding, throwing, and baserunning from 80-year old stats, so I think that contemporary opinion should matter.

    I’d pick Blauser over Furcal because Blauser was a better hitter, and because Furcal’s career is still a little on the short side. Blauser was at times the best hitting shortstop in the NL (particularly when Larkin was hurt), so his winning would not be a disgrace by any means.

    Comparing Blauser to Maranville is much more of a judgement call, IMO. Their strengths are very different, and they played in very different eras. If you believe in much of a time-line adjustment (especially when comparing pre-integration players with post-integration players), one could certainly make a case for Blauser.

    Any field where a solid Hall of Famer is not considered a lock is not a weak field, IMO.

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