Second Base – Charlie Gehringer
Charlie Gehringer was known as “The Mechanical Man” for his consistently high level of production on a yearly basis. Former Yankees pitcher Lefty Gomez once said about Gehringer, “You wind him up in the spring, turn him loose, he hits .330 or .340, and you shut him off at the end of the season.”
That statement isn’t entirely correct — Gehringer only hit .330 or better in six of his 16 full seasons — but the general sentiment holds true. He appeared in parts of 19 seasons (all with the Tigers) and accumulated more than 10,000 plate appearances with a .320/.404/.480 slash line.
Gehringer was named to six consecutive All-Star teams from 1933 to 1938 and was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League for the 1937 season. He’s one of only six former players who has his career commemorated with a Comerica Park statue.
Gehringer’s year in, year out excellence earned him the reputation of being one of the best players in the history of the game. He currently ranks fifth all-time in career WAR among major league second basemen.
As far as all-time team rankings go, Gehringer is second in runs scored, third in hits, fourth in runs batted in, and fifth in OPS (.884).
Next: Third Base