Glove and Bat

The Greatest Shortstops in MLB History

Top Six MLB Shortstops in History

Baseball fans all over the world love to debate which players can claim to be the greatest of all time at each position. When it comes to shortstops, there are plenty of players who could make a strong case for being in the top six.

However, we’ve narrowed it down to the players who have left the biggest mark on the game throughout history. 1.

Honus Wagner

The “Flying Dutchman,” Honus Wagner, is widely regarded as one of the greatest shortstops in baseball history. Wagner’s career spanned from 1897-1917, during which time he set a precedent for shortstops to be strong defensively while also having a potent bat.

He was a batting champion eight times, hit over .300 for 17 seasons, and finished his career with a .328 average. Wagner was inducted into the Hall of Fame’s inaugural class in 1936.

2. Cal Ripken Jr.

Cal Ripken Jr. was a true legend of the game.

Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played record with 2,632 over his career, a feat that earned him the moniker “Iron Man.” This consistency at the plate and in the field resulted in 19 All-Star game appearances. Ripken also won eight Silver Slugger awards, given to the best hitter at each position in the league.

3. Derek Jeter

Any discussion of shortstops must include Derek Jeter.

“The Captain,” as he is known, spent his entire career with the New York Yankees. Jeter is a five-time World Series champion, 14-time All-Star, and ranks sixth on the all-time hits list with 3,465.

He retired with a .310 batting average and was renowned not just for his hitting but also his leadership. 4.

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez was one of the most exciting players in the game during his prime. He is one of only three players in baseball history to have over 600 career home runs and 3,000 hits.

Rodriguez won three MVP awards and a total of 10 Silver Slugger awards throughout his career. He was also a solid defensive player and won 10 Gold Gloves.

5. Ozzie Smith

Nicknamed “The Wizard,” Ozzie Smith was a sensational defensive player who won his first Gold Glove in his rookie season with the San Diego Padres.

Smith’s glove won him 13 Gold Gloves throughout his career, and he helped the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series in 1982. He is now a Hall of Famer, renowned for his incredible athleticism and ability to make some of the most difficult plays look easy.

6. Barry Larkin

Barry Larkin was one of the most dynamic shortstops in MLB history.

He played for the Cincinnati Reds from 1986-2004 and was a 12-time All-Star. Larkin helped lead the Reds to World Series victory in 1990 and was the National League MVP in 1995.

Larkin was a consistent hitter, batting over .300 for three seasons, and is remembered not only for his skill on the field but also his leadership.

Honorable Mentions

While the above players have made a huge impact on the game, there are several honorable mentions that deserve a mention. Robin Yount, who played for the Milwaukee Brewers for 20 years, was a two-time MVP and won three Silver Slugger awards.

Ernie Banks, “Mr. Cub,” was a power-hitting shortstop who hit over 500 career home runs and was a two-time MVP. Finally, Alan Trammell played with the Detroit Tigers for his entire career and helped lead them to World Series victories in 1984 and 1990.

He was also a six-time All-Star and four-time winner of the Silver Slugger award.


When it comes to shortstops, the list of greats could go on and on. However, these six players and three honorable mentions have left such an indelible mark on the game of baseball that it’s impossible to talk about the position without mentioning them.

From Honus Wagner’s incredible batting and fielding to Cal Ripken Jr.’s consistency, Derek Jeter’s leadership, Alex Rodriguez’s power, Ozzie Smith’s athleticism, and Barry Larkin’s skill, these players defined what it meant to be a great shortstop. The top six MLB shortstops in history are Honus Wagner, Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Ozzie Smith, and Barry Larkin.

These players were game-changers and legends in their own right, with their own unique strengths and accomplishments. While there are many great shortstops throughout history, these individuals made the biggest impact on the game.

FAQ: Who are the top shortstops in MLB history? The top shortstops in MLB history are Honus Wagner, Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Ozzie Smith, and Barry Larkin.

What are the defining characteristics of these players? These players were strong defensively, had potent bats, won several awards, and set records.

What made these players the best at their position? These players were consistent, had excellent leadership skills, and were game-changers who left lasting imprints on the game of baseball.

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