A decade ago, the question was enough to spark a barroom battle royal: Who's the best shortstop in baseball?
Depending on the month and year, there were as many as four acceptable answers: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada and Nomar Garciaparra. (Since I'm certain the matter is unsettled in certain precincts, please note I listed those names in no particular order.)
"I was in junior college when all that was going on," Ian Kinsler, the Texas Rangers' All-Star second baseman, recalled Wednesday morning. "It was those four guys. It was pretty cool to watch them change the position."
While baseball fans argued about Jeter and A-Rod, Kinsler was in the midst of a peripatetic route to the majors. He was enrolled at three schools -- Central Arizona College, Arizona State and Missouri -- within a nine-month span in 2001 and 2002. The Rangers selected him in the 17th round of the 2003 draft. Nothing about Kinsler's amateur career suggested that he would become a franchise playe...