Pittsburgh Pirates Countdown: Top Five Second Basemen
By David Hill
3. Claude Ritchey (1900-1906)
Maybe I just have an unhealthy obsession with 1800’s baseball, but Claude Ritchey had one of the more interesting nicknames I have run across. Called ‘Little All Right’ due to his short stature (5’6 1/2″) and his skills on the diamond, Ritchey was one of the players that came over to the Pittsburgh Pirates when the Louisville Colonels sent virtually all of their top players over to the Pirates.
For Pittsburgh, Ritchey continued to be a solid, steady player offensively. At a time when baseball was in the midst of the a Dead ball Era, Ritchey posted a solid .277/.351/.350 batting line, displaying an excellent ability to get on base.
Where Claude Ritchey truly shined for the Pirates, however, was on the defensive side. Ritchey was one of the best fielding second basemen of his era, leading the National League in fielding percentage four times during his six years with the Pirates, while routinely ranking in the top three in virtually every defensive category. If there was a Gold Glove award back then, Ritchey would have been a perennial candidate.
‘Little All Right’ was more than just all right. Claude Ritchey was a solid second baseman, and a marvel defensively.
Next: Perhaps the best offensive second baseman in Pirates history