In this latest installment of this series, where we choose an all-time Team Virginia, we round out the starting infield with our Shortstop.
And the clear choice here is Pirates SS, and Richmond-native Gene Alley.
Alley played for the Pirates from 1963-1973, a career that was cut short due to injuries. In his time, he was never a great hitter, but made his mark with his glove. He won 2 Gold Gloves in his career (1966-1967) turning double plays with Pirates HOF great Bill Mazerowski, one of only 8 middle-infield duos to win Gold Gloves together in the same year. In 1966, Alley worked with his double play counterpart to turn 161 DPs, a record that still stands today. Alley was a 2-time all-star (1967-1968) and won a World Series with the Pirates in 1971.
Alley was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.
Next on the countdown of the all time greatest ballplayers to come from Virginia, we go to #9.
#10 1B George McQuinn (Arlington)
#9 SS Gene Alley (Richmond)
Alley played SS for the Pirates from 1963-1973, before sholder and knee problems ended his career. In that time, he batted .254 and fell one hit short of 1000 for his career. Never a great hitter, Alley was known more for his defense, having won Gold Gloves in 1966 and 1967. He was also an All-Star in 1967 and 1968 and helped the Pirates go to the NLCS 3 straight years, 1970-1972, winning a World Series in 1971.
Alley retired in 1973 and was elected to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.