New York Yankees all-time best second basemen – No. 6: Snuffy Stirnweiss
Snuffy Stirnweiss was the star second baseman for the Yankees in the forties. He enjoyed his biggest seasons during the final years of World War II when many of the best players were helping with the war effort. He was particularly dominant in 1944 and 1945.
In 1944, he led the American League in plate appearances, at-bats, runs, hits, triples, and stolen bases while finishing fourth in the MVP voting.
The next year was even better as he led the league in plate appearances, at-bats, runs, hits, triples, stolen bases, batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, and total bases. He finished third for MVP.
In 1946, he moved off second to make room for Joe Gordon, who returned from the war. Instead, he played third, with only 46 games at second.
His production started to drop off rather drastically once the war was over, and more players returned to the field. He hit .319 in 1944 and .309 in 1945 but never hit higher than .261 again. He averaged 200 hits a season during the war years but never chalked up more than 146 after the war.
Stirnweiss filled an important role, as did so many others, by keeping baseball active during the war years. Baseball provided an outlet for fans as they dealt with so much else in their lives during those years. He mounted some above-average performances in the years directly following the war, averaging nearly three wins above replacement.
In 1949, his numbers began to slide, and he was gone from the Yankees two games into the 1950 season, and out of baseball by 1952.