Top 10 Third Basemen of All-Time (2015)

The Hot Corner is one of those positions that requires a great glove and a hefty, middle of the order, bat in today's game.  Remembering our two basic rules, we did not select anyone pre 1920 and we went with players that played a predominance of games at third.  Cal Ripken and Alex Rodriguez missed due to time at SS.  There are a few players that also didn't make the list but are worth a mention when it comes to the topic of best 3B of all time.  Pie Traynor (great name) was a career .320 hitter with 6 top 10 MVP seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  He is also a member of the Hall of Fame.  Paul Molitor would have made the list, but he spent much of his career as a DH and playing other positions.  Although he entered the Hall as a 3B, he wasn't quite right for this list.  Hall of Famer George Kell got some consideration as did Yankee/Padre great Graig Nettles.  Here's the list we came up with for third.

1.  Mike Schmidt
2.  George Brett
3.  Eddie Mathews
4.  Brooks Robinson
5.  Chipper Jones
5.  Wade Boggs
7.  Ron Santo
8.  Adrian Beltre
9.  Ken Boyer
10. Scott Rolen

It's pretty much Schmidt and then everyone else.  With 548 HR and 3 MVPs along with 10 gold gloves and 12 All Star appearances, he's far and away the best 3B to play the game.  Offense and defense were both prevalent in his great career.  Brett was another who could flat out hit.  He's one of the very few players to flirt with .400 in the past 74 years since Ted Williams did it.  Eddie Mathews played on some great Brave teams and is another member of the 500 homer club.  Boggs and Chipper tied in our rankings, and much as I hate Chipper as a Mets fan, I will concede he was a phenomenal player deserving of induction to Cooperstown.  We were all happy to see the underrated Santo make the Hall within the past few years as he was one of the best during his run.  Let us know who you think should have made the cut, we love your feedback!

4 comments:

  1. No love for Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds or Alex Rodriguez of the Mariners/Rangers/Yankees? I realize those two are controversial characters but come on, their numbers don't lie.

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  2. No love for Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds or Alex Rodriguez of the Mariners/Rangers/Yankees? I realize those two are controversial characters but come on, their numbers don't lie.

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  3. For these "All Time by Position" lists, we maintain a strong bias towards players that played a bulk of their career at a particular position (at one point, we were using a mandatory 70% of innings played but I think we've backed off from that)... Rose and A-Rod both fall into that camp (although, my colleagues might pass on A-Rod because of PED's - can't speak for them). Regardless, we plan on doing a "catch-all" list for all of the players, like Rose, who don't quite qualify at any position. Thanks for commenting... did you know Rose has +600 career innings at six different positions? Not sure anyone else in history can say that.

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  4. If you go by just ARod's numbers at 3b, he is probably top 6-8.

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