Detroit Tigers All-Time Lists

Detroit Tigers: Top 10 Second Basemen in franchise history

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Placido Polanco of the Detroit Tigers throws to first base during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on September 21, 2005. The Royals won 4-3. (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)
Placido Polanco of the Detroit Tigers throws to first base during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on September 21, 2005. The Royals won 4-3. (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images) /
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DETROIT- SEPTEMBER 27: A general view of Tiger Stadium prior to the final baseball game played at the 87 year old Tiger Stadium as the Detroit Tigets host the Kansas City Royals on September 27, 1999 in Detroit, Michigan. There was 6,873 games played at the corner of Michigan and Trumbul streets. The Tigers won the game 8-2. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Gettyimages)
DETROIT- SEPTEMBER 27: A general view of Tiger Stadium prior to the final baseball game played at the 87 year old Tiger Stadium as the Detroit Tigets host the Kansas City Royals on September 27, 1999 in Detroit, Michigan. There was 6,873 games played at the corner of Michigan and Trumbul streets. The Tigers won the game 8-2. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Gettyimages) /

Eddie Mayo

Detroit Tigers: 1944-1948

Eddie Mayo only spent 4.5 seasons in the Motor City, but like Priddy he was good offensively and defensively. In an era where second baseman were almost always glove-first, Mayo flashed an above average bat.

Mayo made his debut in 1936 with the New York Giants. He hit .199 that season before getting shipped off to the Boston Bees. Mayo only saw 186 at-bats in the next two seasons, hitting .226.

Then, similar to Priddy, he put his major league career on hold to go serve in the military. He returned in 1943 with the Philadelphia Athletics. He played third base for the A’s and hit .219.

In an era where second baseman were almost always glove-first, Mayo flashed an above average bat.

The Tigers acquired Mayo after the season, switched him to second base and saw his career take off. He only hit .249 in 1944 but led the league in sacrifice hits.

Mayo’s 1945 season was good enough for a second-place finish in MVP voting. He finished behind teammate Hal Newhouser and ahead of Hall of Famers Lou Boudreau and Hank Greenberg.

Mayo slashed .285/.347/.404 with 10 home runs, seven stolen bases, and a 112 wRC+. His 4.6 bWAR was 8th in the league.

For his Tiger career, Mayo hit .265 with an 86 OPS+ and a 7.2 bWAR. His numbers are freakishly similar to Infante’s numbers in Detroit (.266 with an 87 OPS+ and a 7.1 bWAR) but Mayo was a significantly better defensive second baseman and played more of his games there.

Up next we find a Gold Glove Award winner, who also had some sneaky pop with the bat.

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