Friday, December 5, 2008

Stephens ahead of his time at short

Long before Cal Ripken Jr. and Alex Rodriguez picked up a bat, Vern Stephens held the honor as the greatest power-hitting shortstop in baseball history.

He played 15 seasons for the St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles (1941-47, '53-55), Boston Red Sox (1948-52) and Chicago White Sox (1953, '55). An eight-time All-Star, Stephens smacked 247 home runs with 1,174 RBIs, batting .286 with 1,859 hits. Cooperstown hasn't forgotten his power prowess.

Stephens will be considered for the Class of 2009 at the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Any player receiving at least 75 percent of the vote from the Veterans Committee, which consists of the 64 living Hall of Famers, will be enshrined at Cooperstown.

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