TMS All-90's Team: Second Base

April 27, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Jake the Terrible Cubs Fan

After the mild huge success of the All-80's Team, we're back to look at the players from a decade later. Oh the '90's. What a strange new world it was. Baseball cards were becoming glossy and overpriced. A strike cancels the 1994 World Series (Sorry Montreal!). And of course who can forget the homers, homers, homers?! One issue I noticed with the All-80's Team is that there was very little argument in the polls. So to make it more interesting and spark a little more debate, I've decided to combine both leagues instead of doing separate NL and AL features. This will also keep it from dragging on well into August. As always be sure and vote for your choice in the poll in the left sidebar.

In what could be considered a not-so-surprising upset, Mark Grace won the All-90's first basemen poll. Apparently no one likes Mo Vaughn either. Next up is second base. There's a handful of guys here that warrant some strong arguments. The rise of Robbie Alomar and Craig Biggio, Ryno's final years, and a pre-yips Chuck Knoblauch should make this an interesting poll.


Roberto Alomar
San Diego Padres (1990), Toronto Blue Jays (1991-95), Baltimore Orioles (1996-98), Cleveland Indians (1999)

All-Star: 1990-99
Awards: 1992 ALCS MVP, 1998 ASG MVP
Gold Gloves: 1991-96, 1998, 1999
Silver Sluggers: 1992, 1996, 1999
Postseason: 1991 ALCS, 1992 WS, 1993 WS, 1996 ALCS, 1997 ALCS, 1999 ALDS
League Leader: 1999 Runs

Notes: His accomplishments in the 90's are tough to beat. 8 Gold Gloves, 10 All-Stars, and participating in 6 of the 9 postseasons during the decade. Alomar will likely be a first ballot hall of famer when the time comes.

Carlos Baerga
Cleveland Indians (1990-96, 1999), New York Mets (1996-98), San Diego Padres (1999)

All-Star: 1992, 1993, 1995
Silver Sluggers: 1993, 1994
Postseason: 1995 WS

Notes: While he sort of tailed off later in the 90's once he wound up in New York, it's tough to talk about the best offensive second basemen of the decade without mentioning Baerga. Carlos had 4 straight seasons where he hit above .300. At the end of the decade, he disappeared for a couple years before reemerging as a solid backup for teams such as Boston and Arizona.

Craig Biggio
Houston Astros (1990-99)

All-Star: 1991, 1992, 1994-98
Gold Gloves: 1994-97
Silver Sluggers: 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998
Postseason: 1997 NLDS, 1998 NLDS, 1999 NLDS
League Leader: Runs (1995, 97), Doubles (1994, 98, 99), Stolen Bases (1994), Hit By Pitch (1995-97)

Notes: Look, I hate the Astros more than anyone, but even I can respect Craig Biggio. The guy managed to go from being a catcher, to a second basemen and then eventually a center fielder. Not to mention his chase for the all-time HBP record is much more entertaining to me than Bonds' homer run chase. In 1997 Craig was beaned 34 times. The third most for any player in the modern era.

Delino DeShields
Montreal Expos (1990-93), Los Angeles Dodgers (1994-96), St. Louis Cardinals (1997-98), Baltimore Orioles (1999)

Postseason: 1995 NLDS, 1996 NLDS
League Leader: 1997 Triples

Notes: DeShields is certainly lacking the accolades compared to some of his other counterparts on this list. Nonetheless Delino was one of the speedier guys in the league, going 9 straight seasons with 27 or more stolen bases.

Jeff Kent
Toronto Blue Jays (1992), New York Mets (1992-96), Cleveland Indians (1996), San Francisco Giants (1997-99)

All-Star: 1999
Silver Sluggers: 1995
Postseason: 1996 ALDS, 1997 ALDS

Notes: Jeff makes the list for his strong offensive performances late in the 90's with San Francisco. But he's probably better suited for the All-00's team which we'll get to sometime in 2010. In 1996 he was traded from the Mets to the Indians for Carlos Baerga. While Kent failed to provide any real spark for Cleveland, that trade seems to mark the point where Kent's career would eventually take off, and Baerga's would decline.

Chuck Knoblauch
Minnesota Twins (1991-97), New York Yankees (1998-99)

Awards: 1991 AL Rookie of the Year
All-Star: 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997
Silver Sluggers: 1995, 1997
Postseason: 1991 WS, 1998 WS, 1999 WS
League Leader: 1994 Doubles, 1996 Triples

Notes: Most now remember Knoblauch for developing an unrecoverable case of the yips late in his career with New York. Despite that, Chuck was one of the better defensive second basemen during the course of the 90's.

Ryne Sandberg
Chicago Cubs (1990-94, 1996-97)

Nickname: Ryno
All-Star: 1990-93
Gold Gloves: 1990, 1991
Silver Sluggers: 1990-92
League Leader: 1990 Runs & Home Runs

Notes: Ryno's career was beginning to decline once the 90's rolled around but not before he had a monster season in 1990 which saw him hit 40 home runs. In 1994 Sandberg struggled mightily and decided to call it quits. He returned in 1996 for two more seasons before hanging it up for good in 1997. Sandberg hit 277 homers as a second basemen, which was the all-time record at the time of his retirement. Jeff Kent would later surpass him.

Robby Thompson
San Francisco Giants (1990-96)

All-Star: 1993
Gold Gloves: 1993
Silver Sluggers: 1993

Notes: What can I say? Second base is a thin position as far as finding 8 decent players. When you have one good season like Robby did in '93, you're likely to make the list.

Be sure and vote for your choice of second baseman for the TMS All-90's Team. Check out the poll in the left sidebar.