The last shortstop we had was Alan Trammell at 126. It was a good dividing line for shortstops. The next I have is Jimmy Rollins at 226, another a big dividing line. I’m glad Lou Boudreau came along, because it would have been weird to have 100 positions between shortstops. I do have 75 shortstops ranked in my top 100. I think the problem with shortstops are those who can hit are among the best players in baseball, but there are not a whole lot of hitters.
Lou Boudreau is one of the best hitting shortstops. He had by far his best hitting season in 1948 and according to Baseball Reference WAR it is his best fielding season. His hitting was basically the same as Joe DiMaggio’s that year and not far from Ted Williams, plus he was a great fielding shortstop in 1948. Wait there is more. He was also the team manager. Then to top it off Cleveland had tied with the Boston Red Sox for the pennant. The extra game was going to be played in Boston. In the game Boudreau went 4 for 4 with a walk. He hit 2 homers, scored the winning run on Ken Keltner’s homerun (one of three runs he scored and had 2 RBIs to lead Cleveland, in more ways then one, to the American League pennant. Then the Indians won their first World Series since 1920 or 28 years. It is also the last World Series they have won to this time. He won every honor that year including a well-deserved league MVP.
The interesting I found was that 1948 was the 9th straight year out of 10 where Boudreau received MVP votes. In 1945 he didn’t even play 100 games (97 total) and still came in 8th for the MVP award. So why did Boudreau come short of my 750-point amount. Mainly he didn’t have a long career only 15 years. He faded fast and retired at age 34. He had 15 big league seasons and played 100 games in only 9 of them, with two of the seasons he played less then 5 games.
However, looking at his record looking really close he should be the first player to put in when I put more in. The thing is he also managed the first black player in the American League Larry Doby. He also managed another early one in Satchel Paige. Both were on his World Series team in 1948. Boudreau was the first white manager to manage a black player to a World Series title. That too deserves some consideration.