1. George Davis (1893-1901, 1903), New York Giants
Stats: 132 OPS+, .332/.393/.467, 1,432 H, 53 HR, 819 RBI, 844 R
WAR: 44.6 rWAR/45.3 fWAR
Accolades: Hall of Fame (1998)
WS Titles: 0
George Davis was acquired from the Cleveland Spiders prior to the 1893 season in a swap of future Hall of Famers. Catcher Buck Ewing went the other way in the deal.
In his first season with the Giants, Davis posted a gaudy 155 OPS+, hitting .355/.410/.554 with 22 doubles, 27 triples, 11 home runs and 119 RBI.
While that proved to be his high-water mark in terms of OPS+, he was over 120 in eight of his 10 seasons with the team.
Davis led the NL In RBI (135) during the 1897 season when he posted a career-high 6.9 WAR.
To show what a different game it was back when he was playing, here’s the transaction note from Baseball Reference on how he came to join the Chicago White Sox prior to the 1902 season:
"Before 1902 Season: Jumped from the New York Giants to the Chicago White Sox."
A simpler time.
Davis was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1998. He wrapped up his 20-year career with 84.3 WAR, which is good for 52nd on the all-time list.
Will the Giants ever have a better shortstop? Only time will tell.