Pittsburgh Pirates Top Five Shortstops

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5. Gene Alley (1963-1973)

It would be understandable if you did not remember Gene Alley. After all, during his career, he was overshadowed by star players like Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski and Willie Stargell. Besides, Alley was somewhat of a utility player, splitting time between short and second. Yet, he earned two All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves and even finished as high as eleventh in the 1966 MVP ballot.

Offensively, Allen was not exactly special. In his eleven seasons, Alley produced a .254/.310/.354 batting line, hitting 55 home runs. However, in the 1966 and 1967 seasons, Alley was atop his game with the bat, producing a combined .293/.335/.4005 batting line, hitting 13 home runs and stealing 18 bases.

Where Gene Alley was truly valuable was with the glove at either position. This was truly evident in 1965, when Alley led the National League with 23 runs saved defensively. A league leading 17 of those came at short, while Alley finished fourth with six runs saved at second despite playing only 40 games at the position. He was a two time leader in defensive WAR, and during the mid to late 1960’s, was one of the best defensive players in the game.

With the star power that the Pittsburgh Pirates had during his tenure, it is easy to forget about Alley’s contributions. However, his value defensively was without doubt, earning him a spot on this list.

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