fbpx
MLB

Black History Month In Focus: Top 5 African-American Shortstops

This is part of The Shadow League’s yearly Black History Month In Focus series celebrating Black excellence in sports and culture.

1. Ernie Banks – Mr. Cub is probably the greatest African-American shortstop to grace the MLB diamond. Banks not only set the standard for black shortstops, but he was the first true power hitting shortstop in MLB. Banks was A Rod before A Rod, an icon who changed the game by providing uncanny power at a position previously reserved for slap hitters. 

Mr. Cub

Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks and former Cubs coach Buck O’Neil talk about the career of “Mr. Cub” at Wrigley Field, including his 500th homer and statue dedication. (John Owens/Chicago Tribune)

Banks played 19 years for a losing Cubs franchise and was Wrigley Fields only bright spot for two decades as he clubbed 512 career homers. In his prime from 1957-1960, averaged a .293 batting average, 44 HR, 123 RBI and won back-to-back NL MVP awards in ’58 and ’59.

A true legend and pioneer of the game. 

2. Derek Jeter– “El Capitan” is one of the greatest winners MLB has ever seen. He was the Captain and clutch catalyst for a Yankees Dynasty that won five World Series rings between 1996 and 2009 and lived in the postseason. 

Jeter, a 14-time All-Star, is the Yankees all-time hits leader with a whopping 3,465. He has a .310 career batting average and has won five Gold Gloves. His stats are Hall of Fame worthy, but dont begin to tell the story of his marketing and cultural impact as the flawless face of baseball for 20 years. He lead the Yankees to the top of the sports landscape by performing at his best in the biggest moments. Ice in the veins should be Jeters middle name. 

Derek Jeter Career Mix – “Man of the Year”

Video highlighting the illustrious career of my favorite baseball player, Derek Jeter. Copyright infringement in this video is not intended. I do not own any clips incorporated, this is strictly for entertainment purposes. Song: Logic – Man Of The Year [prod. No I.D.]

He is arguably the greatest postseason hitter of all time, with a career .308 BA, 20 HR, 61 RBI, 18 SB line in 158 postseason games, earning the name “Mr. November.” 

And he’s still blessing the Yankees even as President and Soul controller of the Miami Marlins

The Shadow League on Twitter

Yankees fans to Derek Jeter after he just traded Giancarlo Stanton to them. https://t.co/nnyb9CPohy

3. Barry Larkin – He was a Black Knight in beast mode as the premier National League shortstop of the 1990s. Larkin was a consistent offensive boss and formidable glove for an inconsistent Cincinnati Reds lineup. He was elected to the All-Star team every year from 1988-2000, winning eight Silver Slugger awards during that span. 

SD@CIN: Barry Larkin goes 5-for-5 vs. the Padres

6/24/00: Barry Larkin goes 5-for-5 with two home runs, and four RBI’s against the Padres Check out http://MLB.com/video for more! About MLB.com: About MLB.com: Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced on January 19, 2000, that the 30 Major League Club owners voted unanimously to centralize all of Baseball’s Internet operations into an independent technology company.

Larkin, who played every one of his 19 seasons with the Reds, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2012, with a .295 career average, 2,340 hits, 1,329 runs scored and 379 stolen bases. Larkin scored at least 80 runs in a season seven times, hit 30-plus doubles in six seasons and stole 30-or-more bases five times. He won his three Gold Glove awards at shortstop en route to a career fielding percentage of .975, and won nine Silver Slugger awards.

Larkin won a World Series in 1990 and then did something that Jeter couldnt accomplish when he took home NL MVP honors in 1995. 

4. Ozzie Smith – The Wizard is simply the greatest defensive infielder in MLB history and his 43.4 career defensive WAR is the best by any player at the position. Even with the defensive metrics on smash, his .978 fielding percentage and 13 Gold Gloves support  his claim to the title of glove king. 

Smith is the kind of once-in-a-lifetime talent that you would never understand based on numbers. He was truly a magician with the glove. He was also a huge personality in the game and understood the essence of entertainment as he began each game with his patented backflip. 

St. Louis Cardinals on Twitter

Do an Ozzie Smith backflip, we don’t blame you! The #STLCards walked it off last night. https://t.co/Ft7YD2BDpu https://t.co/cD84El6BV8

Smith had an artistry , a flair and athletic superiority that put him in another stratosphere. His fielding was so good that people often dogged him for his hitting, which is not shabby at all. Smith had a .262 career average and 2,460 hits. Hes also among the greatest base stealers of all-time with 580 career swipes. 

5. Jimmy Rollins  — “J-Roll” is one of the most offensively prolific shortstops the game has ever seen. He has 2,455 hits, which includes 511 doubles (53rd all-time), 115 triples and 231 home runs. He ranks 103rd in career total bases and 83rd in extra base hits. He’s also stolen 470 bases, good for 46th in MLB history. His 1,421 runs are good for 86th and 936 RBI from pretty much always being in a table-setting position is pretty solid as well.  

Jimmy Rollins Career Highlights

Song: Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On

He makes the all-time Top 20 in almost every offensive statistic for a shortstop and was the centerpiece of a Phillies team that won two NL pennants and a World Series in 2008. He has four Gold Gloves and four seasons of at least 10 Defensive Runs Saved.

J-Roll was a true soul patroller. His 2007 NL MVP award was the stamp that at some point he was the best at his position. Standing a diminutive 5-foot-7, 175-pounds, Rollins defied the odds and continues to be a living example of skills over scales when it comes to the sport of baseball. 

Honorable Mention: Maury Wills 

Wills didnt get his Hall of Fame props from the writers, but he was an MLB pioneer and one of the fastest players in history who was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 by the Golden Era committee, which can induct managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players. The barn-burner made a living off of his superior wheels as he stole 586 bases in his career, good for 20th all time.

                                                         Image title

                             

The lack of respect for his career is indicative of the lost appreciation in the modern game for the stolen base, which was a staple of black excellence in baseball ever since No. 42 broke the color barrier in 47. In 1960, Wills won the first of six straight National League stolen base crowns. 

Tags

Related Articles

50 Comments

  1. Hi there. I discovered your website by means of Google at the same time as looking for a similar matter, your website got here up. It seems good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then.

  2. You really make it appear really easy along with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would by no means understand. It seems too complex and very extensive for me. I am looking ahead on your next post, I will attempt to get the hold of it!

  3. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Exceptional work!

  4. However, after Raphael Varane’s header rattled the crossbar, Ajax raced into an early lead through Hakim Ziyech before Dusan Tadic set up David Neres for a second in the 18th minute.

  5. Hiya, I am really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossip and internet stuff and this is actually frustrating. A good web site with interesting content, that’s what I need. Thank you for making this site, and I’ll be visiting again. Do you do newsletters by email?

  6. Hi there, simply changed into alert to your blog via Google, and located that it is truly informative. I am going to be careful for brussels. I will be grateful should you proceed this in future. Lots of other folks will likely be benefited out of your writing. Cheers!

  7. It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

  8. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  9. What i do not realize is in fact how you’re now not actually a lot more well-liked than you may be now. You are so intelligent. You already know therefore significantly with regards to this subject, produced me individually consider it from a lot of numerous angles. Its like women and men are not involved unless it is one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your own stuffs excellent. Always maintain it up!

  10. Thanks for another wonderful article. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such information.

  11. Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; many of us have created some nice methods and we are looking to swap solutions with others, please shoot me an e-mail if interested.

  12. Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!

  13. That is really interesting, You are a very professional blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look ahead to searching for extra of your great post. Additionally, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  14. An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  15. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favourite justification appeared to be on the internet the simplest factor to have in mind of. I say to you, I definitely get irked whilst people think about worries that they plainly do not realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the entire thing without having side effect , folks can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  16. Hi! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I’m getting tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  17. This design is steller! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  18. Good day very nice web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Superb .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionallyKI am satisfied to find so many helpful info here in the post, we’d like develop extra techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  19. Hello! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!

  20. Nice post. I be taught one thing more difficult on completely different blogs everyday. It should at all times be stimulating to learn content material from other writers and observe somewhat one thing from their store. I’d choose to make use of some with the content material on my blog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a hyperlink in your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

  21. I am no longer sure the place you’re getting your information, however good topic. I must spend some time learning much more or working out more. Thank you for excellent info I was looking for this information for my mission.

  22. wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  23. After study a few of the blog posts on your website now, and I truly like your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Pls check out my web site as well and let me know what you think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Close