Thursday, July 28, 2011

Top 30 Logos: 1-10

Day 3/3 of our quest to find the best logo!  Unlike the other two days, I'll be counting in ascending order today.  If you haven't already, hop over to sportslogos.net and check out what they have to offer.  It's a great site, and this countdown wouldn't have happened without it.

1. Milwaukee Brewers, primary, 1978-1993
Was there really any other choice?  I mean, c'mon.  The brilliance and awesomeness of this logo is obvious.  In case you hadn't noticed--and I didn't until about a year ago--the glove spells out an M and a B, for Milwaukee Brewers.  I'll give that a minute to set in.  The ball in the middle of the glove, doubling as, well, a baseball and the hole in the lowercase "b," is pretty genius too.  This logo isn't just clever, it also has great colors.  I love the old Brewers color scheme.  I love whenever I'm watching MLB Network classic highlight shows and Paul Molitor or Robin Yount appears in the uniforms from that era.  They just looked so great, and this logo is a primary reason why.  A+'s all around.

2. New York Mets, primary, 1999-present
This says the Mets' current logo started being used in 1999, but it's really been around since the Mets' inception in 1962 (save for a few very subtle changes).  Anyway, maybe I'm just being a homer here, but I think this logo is really great.  The color scheme is classic, simple, and unchanged since 1962.  The way the circle is also a baseball is very smart.  The script is well done.  Perhaps best of all, the skyline and bridge are just wonderful representations of the "metropolitan" aspect of the Mets' real name.  It's not as good as the Brewers' logo, but it's damn fine nonetheless.

3. Baltimore Orioles, primary, 1966-1988
Before I loved the Mets I loved the Orioles.  (1997 was a weird year.)  One of the things I liked the most about this team and its history was the lovable cartoon bird that adorned the uniforms on the 1980s baseball cards I collected.  Let's start with the bird, who's obviously the centerpiece of the whole shebang: he's cute, fun, but he's also a baseball player.  It's hard to describe just how much the bird works here, so I won't even try.  Other things that are good: the colors.  It's very clear that simple = better, as none of the top three teams try to clash their colors or add non-team colors to their logo.  The text is also very large and easy to read, something that's not always a given with these circular, text-wrapped-around logos.  If the Orioles still had this logo during my one season of fandom, perhaps I'd still be rooting for them to this day....

4. Montreal Expos, primary, 1969-1991
Another clever logo, though this one's a bit more... French?  Yes, that's right--the red, white, and blue M spells out eMb, √©quipe de Montreal baseball (or "Montreal baseball team" for you non-Francophones).  This logo loses a few points for its dull color scheme and the odd integration of "expos" below the M, but those are minor quibbles.  This was a great logo, and it's a shame the Expos were forced to flee to the interesting logo-less Washington, DC.

5. Toronto Blue Jays, primary, 1977-1996
O Canada!  What is it with you and great logos?  This logo just looks... great.  My favorite part of it is the font, which is so distinctive in a good way that few other fonts are.  The eponymous blue jay is remarkably detailed, though not distracting.  Somehow, it just adds to the overall atmosphere of the logo.  The red baseball in the background adds a nice touch of color, though I honestly could have done without the maple leaf, as I feel it just gets in the way a little.  Still, though, I love this logo, and I can't get enough of the Joe Carter WS-winning clip in part because of the great uniform he's wearing.

6. San Diego Padres, primary, 1969-1984
This is another logo where I have to plead guilty to a childlike love of the mascot representation and the colors.  The Swinging Friar looks kind of like a cross between Homer Simpson and Fred Flinstone, but that's part of his charm.  I'm still amazed that anybody ever thought it'd be cool to put a monk on a major league sports team's logo.  The script "Padres" on the bat is a nice touch, as is the yellow ring--again, it's all about having your team's colors in a non-obtrusive and meshable way, and this logo does that perfectly.  This logo screams 1970s, but unlike many other uniform- and logo-related creations from that era I actually give this one a big thumbs up.

7. St. Louis Cardinals, primary, 1922-1948
This one really boils down to the bat doubling as a tree branch, which I for one think is pretty neat.  The "Cardinals" script (well, it's not really script, but you know what I mean) is a familiar but distinct typeface, which is always appreciated.  Even though the logo features a lot going on, it still only has three colors--red, yellow, and brown.  That's tough to pull off, and this one does it quite well.  Also, while the birds sort of look like raccoons, it's always nice to see teams put a well-done visual representation of their team name on their logo.  This one may not have that much to it, but I just love it.  Besides, who wouldn't want to be reminded of Stan Musial every time they look at a logo?

What is a giant, anyway?  (The very tall human thing, I guess.  But why?  Anyway...)  This logo sure isn't going to tell us!  No, this logo isn't here because of its visual skill--the team name in front of a baseball, ho hum--but rather because of its elegant color scheme.  The ball is that perfect orangey off-white that is the base of the Giants' home uniforms.  I love that color.  The stitching on the ball is orange, and the black "Giants" is outlined in orange.  This is just a very simple, elegant combination of the Giants' colors, resulting in perhaps the best "basic" logo.

9. Seattle Mariners, primary, 1980-1986
This loses points for not being descriptive in the least, but I still just love something about it.  Maybe it's how the M doubles as a trident?  Yes, that's it.  Also very good is how the M is outlined in the cheesy yellow, spicing up a logo that had great potential to be boring.  Making a star as the background seems unnecessary, but it's not distracting and prevents the logo from looking too barren.  Good job, team.

10. Colorado Rockies, primary, 1993-present
Somebody's taking "purple mountain's majesty" a bit seriously, eh?  This logo suffers from many traditional pitfalls--too many colors, too much going on, a broken up name--but it's in my top ten because of those aforementioned mountains.  I love the way the baseball looks like it's been hit over the mountains, and the light lavender of the letters compliments the purple of the mountains very well.  Also, I'm a big fan of purple, and I think the Rockies' use of it is pretty exceptional.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Top 30 Logos: 20-11

Continuing the three-part series started yesterday, here's the second installment of the thirty best logos, one from each franchise. As I said yesterday, many thanks to Chris Creamer and sportslogos.net.

20. Texas Rangers, primary, 1984-1993
Like about half the logos on this list, the only thing I can think of when I see this is "Nolan Ryan." Anyway, I've always had a soft spot for this logo.  There's something so calmingly retro about it, I just can't explain.  I'm confused as to why the state of Texas is bulging due to a huge baseball in the middle of it (they really couldn't have fit the ball within the state's normal borders?), but there's nothing bad about this.

19. New York Yankees, primary, 1913-1946
Babe Ruth.  Tradition.  Lou Gehrig.  Aura.  Mystique.  Sorry, I got carried away there.  This logo gets props for being "classic" in a way that's actually not bad.  The interlocking NY is admittedly iconic, and they've more or less kept it the same since the early 20th century.  Also, this logo gets points for not being the Yankees' only other logo--the terrible one with the hat.

18. Boston Red Sox, primary, 1976-2008
Ha, the Red Sox beat the Yankees!  Take that, Aaron Boone!  This is another classic-seeming logo (though it's only actually been around since the 1970s, apparently).  I like the socks on the baseball, though I actually prefer it with the team name surrounding it (as opposed to this earlier model).  Honestly, this logo's kind of boring, in that there's nothing particularly exciting about it, but I can't find any flaws with it.  Solid job.

17. Minnesota Twins, primary, 1976-1986
There are a number of variations on the Minnie & Paul theme, but I like this one the best.  The "Win! Twins!" theme is hokey in a very cute way, and the whole concept is just a lot of fun.  That said, it's way too busy to be a really effective logo.  It strikes me more as a cartoon that the Minneapolis Star Tribune would have run in the 1960s.  This is probably ranked too high (as in, closer to #1), but I'm just a huge fan of the friendly twin city embodiments.

16. Houston Astros, primary, 1975-1993
Whoever thought to put the Astrodome on this team's logo was either an idiot or a genius.  Honestly, though, it works pretty well.  I don't like how it distracts from the team (they should be the focus, not their stadium), but the Astrodome was such a key part of the Astros' identity that it makes some sense.  The atom symbol doesn't though.  Just because a team is related to space doesn't mean that they get to envelop everything science related.  This logo is so dated that you can't help but love it.

15. Chicago Cubs, primary, 1979-present
At first I chose this logo for the Cubbies, and then realized I was making a huge mistake.  Similar to the Sox logo above, this one seems so familiar that you don't realize it didn't exist in its present form until 1979.  That being said, I just love it.  Again similar to the Sox logo, there's nothing particularly great about it, hence why I can't rank it higher, but I like it a lot nonetheless.

14. Philadelphia Phillies, primary, 1992-present
There's a lot going on in this logo.  Unlike with some other logos, however, that's not that much of a problem, as it all goes together pretty well.  We have a baseball diamond, a liberty bell, and the team name with stars dotting the "i"s, but I don't have any big problems with it.  The red, white, and blue is a bit conventional--but what did you expect from a team with a liberty bell on its logo?--and they don't always go well together.  In fact, there's so much of each of these colors that it can get a bit distracting.  Still, this is a classy logo.

13. Detroit Tigers, primary, 1961-1993
This (cocaine using?) tiger isn't the fiercest--though it's better than this--but it's a good logo nonetheless.  It gets to the point: here is our name, here are our colors, here is a visual representation of our team name.  They lose a little bit, but not that much, due to the sloppiness of the tiger.

12. Pittsburgh Pirates, primary, 1968-1986
I really like this.  Rather than make the pirate seem too fierce, as this team's been known to do, they have a simple drawing of a guy on what looks like a wanted poster.  The team name is a little bit on the small side, and the drawing is perhaps too complex--ideally, you'll want your logo to be easily drawable by kids--but I can overlook that.  I love how the "paper" is tearing around the edges, as well as the nails in the corners.  Good stuff.  (Side-note: does anybody else think the pirate looks like Jim Palmer?)

11. Los Angeles Dodgers, primary, 1958-present
Speaking of classic, the Dodgers haven't changed their logo since they moved out west.  It's easy to see why. The great Dodgers script is the best script logo in the game, and the shooting ball adds a bit of color (red) to the logo without overpowering the traditional blue in any way.  The logo is lively enough without being distracting in any way.  True, it's a bit boring like all "classic" logos are, but this one does it better than almost any of the others.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Top 30 Logos: 30-21

What I did here is took the best logo from each franchise's history (yes, Montreal counts for Washington) and ranked them.  Not much to it, really.
  • Note 1: First and foremost, thanks so much to Chris Creamer's sportslogos.net.  This is one of the best and most fascinating sports websites, and if you've never visited it... you should.  Right now.
  • Note 2: There's no real methodology to these.  If I thought the logo was boring, I ranked it low.  If I was particularly taken with it for any reason, I ranked it high.  Cheesy cartoons from the 1970s?  High.  Native Americans?  Low.  "Clever" logos?  High.  Logos that don't really do anything other than say the team's name?  Low.


30. Tampa Bay Rays, primary, 2008-present
Is there anything more boring than this logo?  The two things that are good about this one are the light blue shadow around the diamond and the ray of light in the middle of the "R".  That's still not anything that can rescue this from the bottom of these rankings, however.  The dark blue is very standard, and the lettering is nothing special (is the bottom of the "R" supposed to be like a tail? it's too subtle to be commended, if so).  A very weak effort for a team with such great color/logo potential, though they still have time.

29/28. Cleveland Indians, primary, 1980-present / Atlanta Braves, primary, 1972-1986
I... hrrm.  Okay, so I've never had a huge problem with the Native American logos.  They always seemed more playful than offensive, though that may be because I grew up in the sanitized, post-Chief Knockahoma era.  Anyway, the point is that these are clearly offensive on some level, and that shouldn't be tolerated.  I give the edge to the Braves' logo, if only because it has such close associations to Hank Aaron, but really.  Even if these weren't offensive, they'd still be very boring, and that's quite the logo sin.

27. Chicago White Sox, alternate, 1976-1990
There's really nothing to this logo.  The picture is weird, I suppose, but how is it unique to the White Sox?  (Answer: it isn't.)  This is just a dull logo for what was, by all accounts, a dull team.

26. Arizona Diamondbacks, primary, 1998-2006
I have fond memories of this logo based on the 2001 World Series, but it's clearly problematic.  I give a huge thumbs up to the color scheme, but the gold on purple is very tough to read.  Also, it's just an A.  There's nothing special about it, save for the line running along the left side.  Meh.

25. Kansas City Royals, primary, 2002-present
This is a typical "nice try, but still boring" logo.  On the one hand, the crown over the logo is both obvious and nice.  On the other hand, there's nothing interesting about this.  The "KC" and "Royals" aren't well integrated--they're even in a different typeface, I believe.  I'm not sure how this one can be improved.  Their alternate that eliminates the "Royals" part isn't bad, but at that level it's a bit barebones.  Who knows, I'm not a graphic designer.

24. Oakland Athletics, primary, 1968-1982
On the one hand, I love the colors and the hokiness of this.  On the other hand, it's a bit on the busy side, no?  I mean, why does it say  "The Swingin' A's" but then have a picture of cleats?  For that matter, why have the cleats at all?  I chose this to represent this franchise because I love the green on yellow, but there's just too much going on.

23. Cincinnati Reds, primary, 1972-1992
Who is that man?  Is it Mr. Redlegs?  No, he has a fun moustache.  Is it Mr. Met?  No, that can't be.  No, it's, umm... Mr. Red.  According to Wikipedia, he existed in sleeve patch form in the 1950s, only to then disappear until this logo.  Anyway, much as I love fun cartoons his appearance here is a bit random.  He's not an iconic mascot (heck, he's not even the most well-known mascot on his own team), and just distracts from everything else.  That said, all of the other Reds logos are pretty boring, and this one reminds me of the Big Red Machine.  I do like how this is their only logo to actually spell out Cincinnati though.

22. California Angels, primary, 1986-1992
Again, I like it, but... meh.  There's not that much to like, ya know?  The California in the background is nice, but makes this logo a bit busy.  Three layers might be one too many.  That said, it's a fairly simple logo, and I've always been a fan of the the "A" with the halo.

21. Florida Marlins, primary, 1993-2011
I admire the Marlins' inclusion of an actual Marlin on their logo, though I still have quite a few problems with this.  The lettering is way too small, and is barely able to be seen over the background (teal on light blue creates problems).  Also, the aforementioned marlin is just too big; you can have a fun drawing on your logo, but it shouldn't dwarf and distract from your team name.  The color scheme is too receded, though I just noticed how the baseball is lined with orange.  Anyway, this is a good logo in theory, but I think the execution is just a little bit flawed.  Hopefully they can flesh it out for the team's rebranding next year.  This alternate isn't so bad, though I didn't count it because I've never actually seen it in use (and it also looks a bit amateurish).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Top 10 Shortstops

Boy have I been away for a while.  Let's see what I missed... the Pirates are in first?  Jose Bautista has 80 (or so...) home runs?  Oh my!  Anyway, I'm not going to make any promises that I can't keep, such as posting every day, but I'll try to post as I see fit.  I love baseball, and this season's been great, but sometimes you just don't feel like taking a few hours to write an article, you know?

Now, however, is not one of those times.  Another thing that's happened this season is that Derek Jeter got his 3000th hit.  Even though I hate the Yankees, and am not a big fan of Jeter's, I can appreciate what #2 has done.  What I don't appreciate is how many Yankee fans and sportswriters constantly overrate Jeter, in the pantheons of both all-time Yankees and shortstops.  Over at SB Nation, Rob Neyer has Jeter at fifth- and third-greatest, respectively.  Today, let's examine just where Derek Jeter fits into the top shortstops of all-time.

  • Note 1: What is a shortstop?  Somebody who has played at least 60% of their games at the position.  For instance, Alex Rodriguez does not count, while Cal Ripken does.
  • Note 2: The team abbreviation in parentheses is the team I feel that player did his best work with.
  • Note 3: As always, thanks to Baseball-Reference.com

    1. Honus Wagner, 1897-17 (PIT): .328 AVG/154 OPS+/134.5 WAR
    Was there any doubt?  Wagner was, by all accounts, an incredible ballplayer.  While media portrayals can often be overwrought and whatnot, the stats don't lie.  In an era known for awesome pitching, Wagner was putting up amazing offensive seasons year after year.  1908, in which he led the league in hits, doubles, triples, RBIs, stolen bases, average, OPS, and WAR, was particularly amazing, though other seasons around then were almost as good.  He was also a great fielder, registering a career fielding value of 85.  This is a bit of a short entry, but that's how clear-cut this is.  Wagner was one of the greatest ballplayers, let alone shortstops, of all-time, and is the clear #1 choice for this list.

    2. Cal Ripken, 1981-2001 (BAL): 431 HR/3184 H/89.9 WAR
    While Wagner is notable for dominating the dead-ball era, Ripken is notable for breathing offensive life into a position that was now known for a lack of hitting.  In plainer language: Ripken was the first, and best, of the modern, hitting-heavy shortstops.  Cal never overpowered--he only hit more than thirty home runs once in a season, and got more than 200 hits twice--but was a very steady, solid presence on the left side of the Orioles' infield for twenty years (he moved to 3B in 1997, but his total career stats appear on this list).  His 1078 career extra base hits (he's also the career SS leader in doubles, in addition to home runs) is way above any other shortstops.  He received two MVP awards and Rookie of the Year, which I'm usually dubious of using to assess anything, but Cal actually seems to have earned his awards, leading the AL in WAR during 1983 and 1991.  If Cal's offensive numbers don't overwhelm (and indeed, they don't, but one must admit that they're quite extraordinary), his fielding numbers will surely win you over.  He's primarily known for his hitting, but is third all-time among shortstops in career fielding value (181).  His body wore down over the course of his career, but at age 34 he was still saving over twenty runs per season.  Any way you look at it, Cal Ripken was one of the greatest players of his era, and well deserving of a top spot on this list.

    3. Derek Jeter, 1995-Present (NYY): 3010 H/.312 AVG/70.1 WAR
    Well well well.  It looks like I have to agree with Mr. Neyer: Derek Jeter is the third-best shortstop of all-time.  For his whole career--well, up until last year--Jeter was a great leadoff hitter, OBP'ing over .370 for twelve of his sixteen seasons.  He's gotten over 200 hits five times, and a WAR over 5.0 six times--a figure that would be higher were it not for Jeter's atrocious defense.  Yes, we have to get something out of the way: despite his flashy and famous plays, Derek Jeter has never been a good fielder.  His highest single-season fielding value is 5.  His career number is -134.  That's nothing short of terrible.  Yet despite his weakness at a very important defensive position, his hitting is too strong to ignore.  Jeter's often derided by non-Yankee fans and -sportswriters for being overrated, but it's easy to argue that he deserves two MVP awards--two more than he has to his name.  (Yes, it's fairly surprising that the sportswriters haven't bestowed the MVP honor on their favorite player of this generation.)  You don't have to make me like the man or his team, but I accept that he is one of the best players at his position of all-time.

    4. Arky Vaughan, 1932-48 (PIT): .318 AVG/.406 OPS/75.6 WAR
    Here's where it gets a bit murkier.  Arky Vaughan, who would rank first on this list if we were sorting by best name, was only a full-time player for twelve years.  He ranks tenth among shortstops in all-time runs created, twenty-third for hits, and fifteenth for RBIs.  Those stats, however, are accumulative, and I don't want to punish Vaughan too much for his World War II-interrupted career.  Consider this: Vaughan has a lifetime OBP of .406.  That's twenty-sixth all-time among all players, and well in first place among shortstops.  His OPS+ of 136 and AVG of .318 are second only to Wagner on the list of shortstop statistics.  Additionally, Vaughan ranks third all-time among shortstops for WAR, despite having played in many fewer games than the players below him on that list.  If you take Vaughan's statistics, and stretch them out over a career as long as Ripken's, he'd be first on this list. It is, of course, not fair to do that, but it gives you a good idea of just how good Arky Vaughan was.  This is a difficult call to make, but I'm pretty confident in it: Arky Vaughan is the fourth-best shortstop of all-time.

    5. Luke Appling, 1930-50 (CHW): 2749 H/.399 OBP/69.3 WAR
    On one hand, Appling is fourth among shortstops in all all-time runs created, fifth in WAR, and fifth in hits.  On the other hand, he had the great fortune to play during the notoriously weak-pitching World War II years, a fact which contributes to his lackluster OPS+ of 113.  However, he only played two full seasons out of those four, one of which was pretty sub-par, the other of which was quite excellent, so it's difficult to say just how much of an effect this had on his career numbers.  As mentioned above, he holds lofty positions on the leaderboard of many key statistics, though his WAR is virtually tied (within 3 points) with that of four other players.  His .399 career OPS is second on this list to Vaughan's, though I'm still having a tough time getting past that low OPS+.  True, Ripken's is 112, but he played in an arguably much stronger hitting era.  Appling only hit 45 home runs for his career, though it takes some considerable skill to amass 2749 hits.  If I sound conflicted about all of this... it's because I am.  Ah well.  On to the next entry.

    6. Joe Cronin, 1926-45 (BOS): 1370 RC/.857 OPS/62.5 WAR
    While Cronin is primarily remembered as a manager, he was also quite a shortstop.  His 119 OPS+ and 1370 runs created are sixth all-time among shortstops, and his .301 average is eighth.  Nothing in his career overwhelms, but he was a pretty good presence in the Washington and Boston lineups for thirteen seasons.  While he wasn't a big home run hitter, he was prodigious at getting extra base hits: his 515 doubles is second-all time (among shortstops), while his 118 triples is fourth.  All told, he has 803 extra base hits to his name, good for second (only behind Cal Ripken's amazing 1078).  That .390 OBP is pretty impressive too, helped by 1059 career walks.  Cronin's name doesn't often get bandied about as an elite shortstop, but it's clear from his numbers that it should be.

    7. Lou Boudreau, 1938-52 (CLE): 120 OPS+/118 FV/56.0 WAR
    Boudreau is another player primarily know for his managing, though deserves many an accolade for his hitting as well (to be fair, he's in the Hall of Fame as a player).  His 118 fielding value is pretty spectacular, as is his career 120 OPS+.  He underwhelms in some of the accumulated statistics, but that's due to the fact that he played his last full season in 1949, at the age of 31, due to a combination of arthritis, having to focus on full-time managerial duties, and just a general decline of performance.  In 1948, however, Boudreau won the AL MVP with an AVG of .355, and OPS+ of 165, 18 home runs, 106 RBIs, and a WAR of 10.5, the sixth best shortstop season in history.  Boudreau stopped being an elite baseball player way too quickly, and one wonders just how good he would have been had he been a full-time player until he was even 35.  In any case, a 56 WAR after the equivalent of 11.5 full seasons is very impressive--even though he didn't play out his full potential, the stats he did display were still very good, and he's well deserving of a spot here.

    8. Barry Larkin, 1986-2004 (CIN): 198 HR/1381 RC/68.9 WAR
    Hey look, we've already talked about him on this site!  He remains just as worthy of Hall of Fame entry today as he was six months ago, but that's not today's topic.  It's still very clear that Larkin was an elite shortstop, especially given the names he's above on this list.  He had seven seasons of a 5+ WAR, though he never actually led the league in any statistics of any importance.  What gives him this place on the list is, similar to Ripken, his superlative hitting numbers at an otherwise weak-hitting position (though not for long, as Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and the like were just breaking into the league).  He's a bit worse than Ripken offensively, and is much worse at fielding (his 28 career FV is very meh), but we can't all be Cal Ripken.  While Larkin might have to wait another year or two for his much-deserved Hall call, he'll have to content himself for now with knowing that I think he's the seventh-best shortstop of all-time.

    9. Alan Trammell, 1977-96 (DET): 2365 H/75 FV/66.9 WAR
    It's another guy who should be in the Hall of Fame!  Unlike Larkin, however, Trammell will probably never get his Hall call.  It's a great shame.  He wasn't an awesome hitter, but his 1255 runs created is eighth all-time and his 185 home runs is tenth.  His WAR--seventh--reflects how good of an all-around player he was.  In addition being a pretty solid, if not spectacular, hitter, Trammell was a great fielder.  His fielding value of 75 is thirteenth all-time, but it's fourth if you only consider actually good/great shortstops (sorry, Jack Wilson).  Trammell was one of the league's great shortstops for twenty years, and despite being relatively light on hitting his statistics still stack up relatively well against the competition.

    10. Ozzie Smith, 1978-96 (STL): 239 FV/2460 H/64.6 WAR
    First things first: I'm certainly not trying to argue that Smith deserves a spot on this list due to his hitting.  His .666 career OPS is pretty pathetic (reflected by his 87 OPS+), and his oWAR is just 43--far lower than anybody else on this list.  He does have 2460 hits, but that's mostly due to longevity.  Let's stop kidding ourselves, though: Ozzie Smith is one of the best fielders all-time.  Some might try to argue that he's overrated based on how much the media loved him, but that's a very tough case to make.  He's only one point in fielding value behind the all-time leader at shortstop, and is fourth all-time (NB: this statistic is only complete through the 1950s, so this is sort of misleading).  Ozzie saved 21 wins due to his fielding; that's only one per season, but still very impressive nonetheless.  

    Runners-up: Luis Aparicio, 1956-73 (CHW); Joe Sewell, 1920-33 (CLE); Miguel Tejada, 1997-present (OAK)