A Wing of the BBA Hall of Fame
The position of the second baseman
The second baseman is a fielding position in the infield, between second and first base. The second baseman often possesses quick hands and feet, needs the ability to get rid of the ball quickly, and must be able to make the pivot on a double play. In addition, second basemen are usually right-handed. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the second baseman is assigned the number 4.
Good second basemen need to have very good range, since they have to field balls closer to the first baseman who is often holding runners on, or moving towards the base to cover. On a batted ball to right field, the second baseman goes out towards the ball for the relay. Due to these requirements, second base is sometimes a primarily defensive position in the modern game, but there are hitting stars as well.
2,574 Hits, 52 HR, 846 RBI, 538 SB, .326/.364/.409, 57.4 WAR
All-Star: 1982, 1985, 1990, 1991
Masaki was an incredible asset to the Omaha Barnstormers from 1978 throughout his entire career that spanned to 1991. In total Makasi finds his name atop the all-time franchise leader board in a number of different categories. Although Masaki kept to himself throughout much of his career, he was very well respected by his teammates and at times there was nobody better stealing 2nd, nor playing second. –Justin Niles
Rob Van Winkle
2,378 Hits, 190 HR, 1,066 RBI, 608 SB, .312/.372/.487, 67.9 WAR
1992 Zimmer Glove (SS), 1997 Zimmer Glove (3B), 1998 Zimmer Glove (2B)
All-Star: 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997
Van Winkle was an outstanding offensive player whose propensity for extra-base hits and stolen bases made him one of the most exciting and electric players of his era. He was also a versatile, if not exceptional, infielder who could play all four positions and would selflessly move about them depending on the needs of his teams.
Lance “The Dance” Pere
2,453 Hits, 400 HR, 1,411 RBI, 78 SB, .291/.392/.483, 61.4 WAR
2009 Zimmer Glove Award (1B)
All-Star: 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Pere had a lengthy career in the league, most of which was spent with a subpar Omaha Barnstormers team. Despite the lack of team success, Pere was a standout primarily with his bat. He was a power producer at second base, a bit of a rarity. Though he was a below average second baseman throughout his career, he ultimately would win his sole Zimmer Award later in his career as a first baseman.
Douglas “Chow” Newhouse
2,828 Hits, 447 HR, 1,444 RBI, 2,050 BB, 916 SB, .281/.405/.453, 102.7 WAR
2001 Johnson League Sawyer Silk Award, 2011 Zimmer Glove Award
All-Star: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012
Newhouse was the heart and soul of a Mounties franchise that went to four Landis Series during his tenure, winning two of them. He was a rare player for his time, taking more walks than any player in the history of the league at the time of his retirement, also having the rare power/speed combination for a middle infielder. While not an elite defensive player he was a pretty good second baseman consistently.
Donald “Iron Man” Noboru
(Las Vegas Hustlers)
2,311 Hits, 161 HR, 976 RBI, 25 SB, .325/.390/.465, 65.3 WAR
2005 Zimmer Glove Award
All-Star: 1999, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009
Noboru was one of the best pure hitters in the history of the Brewster. While not a home run hitter, he supplied his power by hitting to the gaps and getting extra base hits as a result. His great eye certainly contributed to his success as well, and in his prime was a excellent defender.
Bernard “Mo” Maselli
(Seattle Storm-BBA/Brussels Eagles-EBA)
1997-2004, 2009-2015 in BBA; 2005-2008, 2016 in EBA
2,347 Hits, 190 HR, 1,099 RBI, 32 SB, .315/.378/.467, 65.0 WAR (BBA)
934 Hits, 103 HR, 560 RBI, 22 SB, .349/.422/.540, 32.4 WAR (EBA)
All-Star: 1999, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014
Maselli burst into the league as one of the most electrifying contact hitters the league had seen in quite some time with the California Crusaders. After he moved on to the Seattle Storm, he continued producing his gaudy batting averages but also improved into a 20-homer a year bat. After the 2004 season, Maselli shocked the world by electing free agency, ignoring overtures from all BBA teams, and instead signing with the Brussels Eagles of the upstart European Baseball Association. As expected, he completely dominated that league over his four years there. Wanting a new challenge, he returned to the BBA in 2009 at age 34 and picked up where he left off. His longetivity was amazing as well into his age 39 season he was still a .330 hitter. In a tip of the cap to his European fans, he closed his career out in 2016 with the Rome Raiders at age 41. Maselli truly had a one of a kind career.
Charles “Cricket” Puckett
3,897 Hits, 695 HR, 2,071 RBI, 478 SB, .313/.416/.539, 169.7 WAR
Eight-Time Johnson League Sawyer Silk Award Winner (2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2014), 1998 Johnson League Gillstrom Newcomer Award Winner, Four-Time Johnson League Zimmer Glove Award Winner (2001, 2008 at 2B; 2006, 2007 at 3B)
All-Star: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
Perhaps the greatest position player in league history, Puckett is the All-Time Record Holder for Games Played, Runs Scored, Walks, and WAR. The league honored Puckett by establishing a “Golden Bat Award” for each position annually in his name, starting with the 2020 season, quite an honor for a player who at the time was still active. He was a top notch defensive player at both second base and third base, even playing shortstop at times. Puckett is truly one of those players who you could truly say “there may never be another one quite like him.”
(Atlantic City Gamblers)
2,171 Hits, 25 HR, 722 RBI, 364 SB, .299/.386/.387, 54.3 WAR
Seven-Time Frick League Zimmer Award Winner (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015)
All-Star: 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015
Eric Martin spent his entire career as a member of the Atlantic City Gamblers, and while at first glance his stats may not seem special, a second look proves otherwise. Martin is the gold standard as a defensive second baseman, winning a Zimmer Award seven times in his career. At the plate he was a solid contact hitter who also contributed on the bases with his speed and smarts.
Ernie “The Mennonite” Stauffer
2,659 Hits, 247 HR, 1,153 RBI, 45 SB, .300/.336/.447, 50.1 WAR
2009 Frick League Gillstrom Newcomer Award Winner, Two-Time Frick League Zimmer Glove Award Winner (2009, 2014), Two-Time Frick League Puckett Golden Bat Award Winner (2020, 2021)
All-Star: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978
Stauffer was, simply put, a model of consistency throughout his career. Early in his career he was an integral part of highly successful Montreal Blazers teams, and that continued as he moved on to the Las Vegas Hustlers. An incredibly durable player, he played in 150 or more games in 10 straight seasons. Early in his career Stauffer was a fantastic second baseman, and even as he aged he was more than serviceable. He was the type of player that flew under the radar as his career unfolded, but looking back at the whole of his efforts it becomes easy to see what a fantastic player he was.