Ranking Every Pittsburgh Pirates Hall Of Famer Player

The Pirates have 12 players in Cooperstown, but how do they rank compared to each other?

Roberto Clemente Action
Roberto Clemente Action / Transcendental Graphics/GettyImages
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Arky Vaughn
Arky Vaughn Batting Practice Pittsburgh / Transcendental Graphics/GettyImages

Number Six
Arky Vaughan (1985)

Arky Vaughan is one of the best shortstops in Pirates history. Acquired from the Western League Tulsa Oilers, who were considered a minor league affiliate at the time for the Pirates in 1931, Vaughan staked his claim for the starting shortstop role in 1932. He was their primary middle infielder until 1941, when they traded him to the Brooklyn Dodgers that off-season for four players. Vaughan would play the next five years and four seasons for the Dodgers before retiring after 1948.

Vaughan hit .318/.406/.453 with a 136 OPS+. Vaughan achieved over 2000 hits with 2103. His 1935 season is one of the best seasons ever for a shortstop. That year, he batted .385/.491/.607 with a 190 OPS+. That season is still the second-highest single-season OPS+ any shortstop has put up (min. 600 plate appearances).

Vaughan graded out with +12 defensive WAR, leading the league once in 1938. His career fielding percentage of .951 was also better than the average of .948. However, his range factor per game was +5.24, which was slightly worse than the average of +5.38.

Vaughan gets a knockdown because he only played 14 MLB seasons. But only 11 of those years saw him have at least 500 plate appearances. Still, +77.9 bWAR is impressive for less than 2000 MLB games. This was an era when the MLB season was only 156 games long. Vaughan averaged +6.0 bWAR per 140 games played. Vaughan had a very good career, just not a long one.