<
>

SweetSpot TV: Is Jackie Robinson the best second baseman ever?

play
Is Jackie Robinson the best second baseman ever? (2:24)

ESPN's David Schoenfield and Eric Karabell discuss whether Jackie Robinson is the greatest second basemen of all time. (2:24)

Eric Karabell and myself discuss Jackie Robinson the player, something that doesn't get talked about all that much. Obviously, since his major league career didn't start until he was 28, he lacks the career longevity of other great second basemen, but if we look just at peak value, he ranks right up there.

Here are the best seven seasons for 10 Hall of Fame second basemen, ranked by total WAR via Baseball-Reference.com:

Rogers Hornsby: 73.5

Eddie Collins: 64.4

Nap Lajoie: 60.3

Joe Morgan: 59.1

Jackie Robinson: 52.2

Charlie Gehringer: 50.5

Ryne Sandberg: 46.9

Frankie Frisch: 44.3

Roberto Alomar: 42.8

Craig Biggio: 41.8

Among post-integration players, only Morgan has the higher peak. And Robinson's seventh-best season was his final one, when he was 37 years old and still posted 4.5 WAR. Sandberg had 0.8 WAR at 37 and Alomar was already out of the game at that age.

If Robinson had reached the majors at a more traditional age, we may think of him as the best second baseman ever and not Hornsby or Morgan.