I remembered that Glenn Hubbard had a reputation as good defensive 2nd baseman. What I did not know is that, according to Baseball Reference, he is the career leader among 2nd basemen in Range Factor per 9 innings. Complete data for range factor exist only back to 1974, but that was still a pleasant surprise to me.
For those of you who are not old enough to remember the 5’ 9”, 150 pound Hubbard, you may remember his 1990’s reincarnation, Mark Lemke.
Hubbard broke into the majors early, getting 178 plate appearances at age 20 in 1978. I don’t know how much of this to attribute to his resume, and how much of that was a function of the 1978 Atlanta Braves.
Hubbard had a career .244/.328/.349 batting average/on base percentage/slugging percentage, with 70 home runs in 5122 plate appearances. He never really had a standout offensive year; his best season at the plate was probably 1983 when he batted .263 with 12 home runs, and he was named to his only All-Star team. However, from 1980 until he was granted free agency in 1987, Hubbard was consistently in the top 3 among National League 2nd basemen in Fielding Percentage, Assists, and Double Plays Turned.
In 1982, Hubbard led the National League in sacrifice hits with 20. (I am contractually obligated to crack the door open for someone to talk about Fredi once per write-up.) On June 27, he hit a walk off home run in the 10th inning against the Padres to secure the second game of a double-header sweep.
I don’t remember why the Braves let Hubbard go, but after just a season and a half in Oakland, his playing career was over in 1989, at age 31. Hubbard was the Braves first base coach from 1999 – 2010, and is currently the bench coach for the Lexington Legends, in the Royals organization.