When voting on whom to put in the Hall of Fame, both the writers and players take into account far too little of what it means to be truly great in the game of baseball. Throughout MLB history, players have been passed over time and again because those two groups fail to appreciate certain types of greatness.\
Sometimes, the guys who miss the cut are those who simply do not play long enough to appease some notion of necessary longevity the writers admire greatly. Ralph Kiner suffered thus. He led the league seven times in home runs and three times in walks, and posted a .398 career on-base percentage in a 10-year career. The writers made him wait until his final shot, his 15th ballot, to enter the Hall, despite his dominance.
More often, though, players get left out because they possess certain skills that the majority of writers fail to appreciate. Most prominent of those skills is a solid glove, especially on the infield.
Writers are rarely wrong about who the great outfielders are. They make mistakes when handing out Gold Gloves, but almost all outfielders derive their primary value from offense, so it matters little in Cooperstown debates.
On the dirt, though, they get hazy. Flash is sometimes confused for substance. Range, the most important factor in defensive aptitude, often gets lost in the shuffle when evaluating a defensive infielder. Even when the Hall of Fame is out of the question, or when a player is a lock, the problem of defensive evaluation leaves too many writers with unclear or downright wrong pictures of who guys who play second base, third base and shortstop really are. To set the record straight, here are the 25 best defensive infielders of all time.