SURVEY OF BEST FIELDERS SINCE 1900

Not written by, but rather, merely posted by Lou Sheehan

http://research.sabr.org/journals/survey-of-best-fielders

SURVEY OF BEST FIELDERS SINCE 1900
            Fielding has been a long-neglected area in player evaluation.  To remedy this, the Sporting News began issuing gold glove awards in 1957.  But what about all those earlier years?  SABR thought some effort should be made to establish just who were the great fielders by position since 1900.  This would be done for each decade and each league since the turn of the century.  But how do you go about this?  Who knows who the great fielders were 50-60 years ago?            SABR sent ballots out to a selected list of old time writers, broadcasters, players, and some baseball historians of more tender years who at least knew how to research those early years.  Of more than 50 ballots sent out, only 24 were returned, including information from such authorities as Fred Lieb, Ken Smith, Leonard Gettelson, Ernie Harwell, and George Sisler.  While almost all selected their all-time fielding team, some did not fill out the early decades.  Therefore, it is not the most conclusive survey, but it did produce some results.  At least the voters did not automatically put down Tinker, Evers, and Chance for the NL 1900-09 team.  At the same time, readers should not assume that Fielder Jones was selected just because of his first name; he really was an excellent fielder.

Some voters complained about fitting certain good fielders into decades; others had problems picking an all-time fielding team because of the difficulties of comparing fielders of different generations such as Hans Wagner and Luis Aparicio.  The gloves have changed and the playing fields have changed.  Errors have been reduced about 50 percent since the early 1900’s.  Nevertheless, the voters have come up with a fielding team that is well balanced historically.

Carried below are the leaders by position, by decade, and by league since 1900.  Because of the small number of ballots, some ties resulted in the early periods.  For players to have competed in the decade listings, they must have played at least five years of that period.  Outfielders are chosen generally and not by specific position.  The team of the 1960’s is based primarily on annual gold glove winners and was not selected by the voters.  For the all-time team, the votes are given for the leaders and the chief contenders.

HISTORICAL SURVEY OF BEST FIELDERS BY POSITION

AL        1900 1909          NL AL        1910 1919          NL
Hal Chase 1B Fred Tenney J.McInnis 1B J. Daubert
Nap Lajoie 2B C. Ritchey B. Collins 2B G. Cutshaw
Jim Collins 3B Leach-Devlin Fr. Baker 3B Henry Groh
K. Wallace SS Hans Wagner Donie Bush SS Maranville
Field .Jones OP F. Clarke T. Speaker OP Max Carey
Sam Crawford OF J. Sheckard H. Hooper OF D. Paskert
Elmer Flick OF Roy Thomas Milan-Lewis OF Zack Wheat
B. Sullivan C John Kling Ray Schalk C Jim Archer
Nick Altrock P C.Mathewson W. Johnson P Slim  Sallee
AL        1920 1929          NL AL        1930 1939          NL
Geo. Sisler 1B Chas. Grimm Joe Kuhel 1B Bill Terry
E. Collins 2B Fr. Frisch   C. Gehringer 2B Bill Herman
Willie Kamm 3B Pie Traynor Os. Bluege 3B Stan Hack
Ev. Scott SS D. Bancroft L. Appling SS L. Durocher
John Mostil OP Edd Roush Rog. Cramer OP Lloyd Waner
Sam Rice OF Ross Youngs Al Simmons OF Mel Ott
T. Speaker OF T. Douthit Sam West OF H. Cuyler
C. Cochrane C G. Hartnett Bill Dickey C G. Hartnett
H. Pennock P Fitzsimmons Ted Lyons P B. Walters
AL        1940 1949          NL AL        1950 1959          NL
Geo. McQuinn 1B F. McCormick M. Vernon 1B Gil Hodges
Joe Gordon 2B Ed Stanky Nellie Fox 2B Schoendienst
Ken Keltner 3B Stan Hack Geo. Kell 3B Willie Jones
Lou Boudreau SS M. Marion P. Rizzuto SS Roy McMillan
Joe DiMaggio OP E. Slaughter J. Piersall OP R. Ashburn
Dom DiMaggio OF Terry Moore Al Kaline OF Willie Mays
Sam Chapman OF V. DiMaggio M. Minoso OF Carl Furillo
Warren Rosar C Al Lopez Jim Hegan C D. Crandall
H. Newhouser P H. Brecheen Bob Shantz P H. Haddix
AL        1960 1969          NL WHO WILL BE THE
Vic Power 1B Bill White FIELDING STARS
R. Richardson 2B B. Mazeroski OF 1970-1979?
B. Robinson 3B Ron Santo BENCH? CEDENO?
L. Aparicio SS Maury Wills
Al Kaline OP R. Clemente
Yastrzemski OF Willie Mays
Jim Landis OF Curt Flood
B. Freehan C J. Edwards
Jim Kaat P Bob Gibson

VOTING FOR ALL-TIME FIELDING TEAM, 1900-72

1B SISLER

11

Chase

6

Terry

3

2B E. COLLINS

8

Gehringer

7

Mazeroski

4

Lajoie

2

3B B.ROBINSON

10

Traynor

9

Kamm

2

SS WAGNER

8

Marion

6

Aparicio

5

E. Scott

3

OF SPEAKER

19

Carey

3

T. Moore

2

OF MAYS

15

Ashburn

3

Kaline

2

OF J. DiMAGGIO

12

Clemente

11

Crandall

2

C COCHRANE

8

Schalk

4

Bench

3

Dickey

2

P SHANTZ

7

Gibson

6

Brecheen

4

Hegan

2

Posted but not written by: Louis Sheehan

[ One of my intentions with this blog is to simply collect articles of interest to me for purposes of future reference. I do my best to indicate who has actually composed the articles. NONE of the articles have been written by me. Further, this ‘blog’ will contain various drafts of unknown writings just to be saved in the event they are needed by me, etc.– Louis Sheehan ]

Feel free to ignore this blog! I am intending to use it as a repository of various writings: drafts, doodles, etc. If there ARE any articles here, they are posted but not written by: Lou Sheehan

 

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Louis Sheehan
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