Second Base – Bill Mazeroski
You saw this coming from a mile away. Bill Mazeroski is arguably the best defensive second baseman in the history of Major League Baseball. While also being a top 20 all-time defender, regardless of position. Through 17 years, Maz established himself as a defensive wizard up the middle.
For starters, Maz has +148 total zone runs above average. The only Pittsburgh Pirate with a higher mark is an outfielder we’ll get to in a bit. But of all time? He is tied with Willie Mays, Robin Ventura and Jesse Barfield as one of the 20th greatest defenders and the third best at second base of all time, per total zone runs.
Then there’s his defensive WAR. At +24, he ties with George Davis as the 24th best defender of all time, regardless of position. He posted a 1.0+ dWAR in a season 12 different times. Gold Glove Awards obviously aren’t a great measure of how good a fielder is, but Maz captured the award eight times, which is just one short of the all time National League leader Ryne Sandberg who has nine.
In addition to being arguably the greatest defensive second baseman in MLB history, Maz also hit the greatest home run in MLB history. To this day he remains the only player to ever hit a walk off home run in Game 7 of the World Series.