New York Yankees all-time best second basemen – No. 2: Tony Lazzeri
Few players can claim to be an all-time great yet only the third-best player on their team. Tony Lazzeri can make such a claim. It is even better when you are being overshadowed by the likes of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
Lazzeri had seven 100-plus RBI seasons out of his 12 with the Yankees. He was also one of the early power hitters of the New Ball Era. In 1926 and 1927, he bashed 36 home runs total, and while that may not seem like a lot now, Only Ruth’s 107 and Gehrig’s 63 topped Lazzeri’s 36.
In fact, in 1927, that threesome were the top three home run hitters in the American league – Ruth had 60, Gehrig, 47, and Lazzeri, 18.
Lazzeri was in the top ten for slugging percentage four times, as well as in the top 10 in home runs four times.
In his career with the Yankees, he hit 178 homers and 1,194 RBI. He batted .292, with five seasons at .300 or higher. In 1929, he hit an astounding .352.
In his 12 seasons, he never accumulated less than 2.3 in WAR, and in 1929, he set his career-high in that statistic at 7.2.
Lazzeri was a well-rounded player, on one of the best teams ever. He also got to play with two of the greatest players the game has ever known.