The historic walk-off home run that gave his Pittsburgh Pirates the 1960 World Series over the New York Yankees is not enough for history to proclaim Bill Mazeroski, as it often does, baseball's best alltime second baseman. Defensively, he had few peers, particularly on the double-play pivot, and he deserved his eight Gold Gloves. But with a lifetime batting average of only .260 and just 138 home runs in 2,163 games, he was not a strong hitter. Second basemen, like shortstops, aren't paid for their offense—or weren't in those days, at least—but it is wrongheaded to rank Maz so high when other second basemen who were almost as good in the field were so much better at the plate, players like Joe Gordon, Joe Morgan and the man below.
Large (6'2", 200 pounds) for his position, Bobby Grich, who played 17 seasons from 1970 to '86 with the Baltimore Orioles and the California Angels, was that rare middle infielder (this was before the Nomar/Derek/ A-Rod era) who combined power with outstanding D. A lifetime .266 hitter, Grich slugged 224 homers, including a 30-dinger season in 1979. That may not sound impressive considering that Bret Boone, Rich Aurilia and Miguel Tejada routinely bang 30 these days, but in Grich's era the home run leader would often be in the low 30s. Grich was also first-rate with the leather, earning four Gold Gloves in his first four full seasons at second; he led AL second basemen in putouts four times, assists and double plays three times and set the major league record for fielding average at the position in '85. Alas, the overlooked Grich never enjoyed a Homeric, Maz-like moment.