Pittsburgh Pirates Countdown: Top Five Second Basemen
By David Hill
1. Bill Mazeroski (1956-1972)
Bill Mazeroski was a very good second baseman. He went to seven All-Star Games, won eight Gold Glove Awards and finished as high as eighth in the MVP vote. He had one of the more memorable moments in World Series history, becoming the first player to win a World Series on a walkoff home run.
Offensively, Mazeroski was a relatively solid player. He had a bit of pop, as his 19 home runs in 1958 were the most in Pittsburgh Pirates history at the position before Neil Walker topped that mark last year. Overall, Mazeroski produced a .260/.299/.367 batting line with 138 home runs. These numbers were only worth an OPS+ of 84, far below league average.
Where Bill Mazeroski made his Hall of Fame case, aside from that glorious home run, was on the defensive side of the ball. His eight Gold Gloves, the most of any second baseman at the time he retired, and second only to Ryne Sandberg in National League history, were certainly well deserved. For his career, Mazeroski ranks first in defensive runs saved at second with 148 and in double plays with 1706 twin killings. Mazeroski was frequently the league leader across the board in virtually every defensive metric imaginable. If a player like Ozzie Smith could get in the Hall, Mazeroski certainly deserved it.
While Bill Mazeroski was not the hitter that other players on this list were, his defensive value more than made up for it. Mazeroski is still the greatest Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman of all time.