New York Yankees all-time best shortstops – No. 3: Roger Peckinpaugh
Roger Peckinpaugh joined the Yankees in 1913 and spent nine seasons with the team. There wasn’t much he couldn’t do for New York on the field.
His numbers were excellent for the era. He knocked out a lot of hits, had his fair share of doubles, walked a lot, and stole quite a few bases. As a Yankee, his batting average was only .257, but his on-base percentage was a respectable .334.
He was, evidently, pretty good defensively as well, according to Sabr.
"Roger Peckinpaugh was one of the finest defensive shortstops and on-field leaders of the Deadball Era…”Peck” was rangy and bowlegged, with a big barrel chest, broad shoulders, large hands, and the best throwing arm of his generation. From 1916 to 1924, Peckinpaugh led American League shortstops in assists and double plays five times each."
Interestingly enough, Deadball Era players were victims of defensive shifts. Maybe things haven’t changed as much over the last 100 years as we suspected. According to Tris Peaker, via SABR, Peckinpaugh could be kept off the base paths with proper positioning.
"…opponents were able to cut down on Peckinpaugh’s batting average by cheating to the left side, where the right-handed dead pull hitter found the vast majority of his base hits."
Peckinpaugh was traded after the 1921 season after hitting poorly in eight postseason games, and therefore he missed out on the Yankees rise to power. He did, however, get to play in the World Series two more times with the Senators, winning one championship.