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Winning with an Old Shortstop

Posted by Raphy on September 10, 2008

On ESPN radio in New York there was some discussion tonight that no team had won a World Series with a starting shortstop 35 or older since 1955. (The fact that Derek Jeter turns 35 next year was the basis for the discussion.)  This surprised me, so I used PI to check.  Here all the shortstops 35+ who have started a game in a world series and won.

 Skeeter Webb      1945     4 Ind. Games
 Honus Wagner      1909     4 Ind. Games
 Phil Rizzuto      1952     4 Ind. Games
 Phil Rizzuto      1953     4 Ind. Games
 Pee Wee Reese     1955     4 Ind. Games
 Bill Dahlen       1905     4 Ind. Games
 Phil Rizzuto      1955     3 Ind. Games
 Pee Wee Reese     1956     3 Ind. Games
 Pee Wee Reese     1953     2 Ind. Games
 George Davis      1906     2 Ind. Games
 Monte Cross       1905     1 Ind. Games
 Mike Bordick      2000     1 Ind. Games
 Mark Belanger     1979     1 Ind. Games

The teams with 4 wins won the world series.  The teams with less wins did not. (They could have, if the player hadn't started every game, but that was not the case.) There have been 6 world series won by shortstops 35 or older. In 3 of those, the opposing shortstop was also 35+. No one has done it since 1955.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 10th, 2008 at 9:09 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Winning with an Old Shortstop”

  1. I think you'll find that very few teams have even gotten into a World Series since 1955 with a starting shortstop over 35. It may be worth starting the investigation by simply asking how many teams since 1955 (or ever) have had a regular shortstop over 35. Just to pick a year at random, in 2003, only two teams had a regular shortstop over 35, and you really have to stretch the definition of regular to count either of them. Omar Vizquel played 64 games at short for the Indians (he was 36), and Barry Larkin, at 39, played 60 games at short at the other end of Ohio.

    If teams just aren't using old shortstops, then it's no surprise they aren't winning World Series with them.

  2. http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/W53j

    You're right Jerry. There weren't that many.

  3. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Of course Wagner was one of the best few players in history. Rizzuto and Reese were both very good. Dahlen is considered one of the Hall of Fame's glaring oversights. But who was Skeeter Webb? Looks like he was only a regular in '44 and '45 -- the war years. A truly terrible, terrible hitter. Could he pick it? From his raw numbers, it appears he was at least a decent fielder, but it's hard to tell for sure.