Greatest Third Basemen Of All Time
The following is a Three Part presentation on the Greatest Third Basemen of All Time (be sure to scroll down for photos). Part One will list the top-rated players in reverse order by Total Player Rating; Part Two will highlight the offense, and Part Three will cover the best defensive players.
“A guy who strikes out as much as I do had better lead in something!” — Mike Schmidt, after winning his third consecutive home run title in 1976.
Mike Schmidt, of the Philadelphia Phillies, heads our list of greatest third basemen ever. He was a rarity–a corner player who was equally adept at offensive production and defensive excellence.
Chipper Jones is at the top of our offensive list for third basemen. The talented switch-hitter has always been a high-level run producer for the Atlanta Braves.
Brooks Robinson is, unanimously, our greatest defensive third baseman. Others were good, but the Baltimore Orioles’ All-Star was, simply, the best..
Schmidt and the Negro Leagues’ brilliant Ray Dandridge are the only third sackers listed on both our top offensive and defensive lists.
While Edgar Martinez and Paul Molitor are generally considered Designated Hitters, they qualify for our ratings as third basemen. Also, Lave Cross remains the only player to bat in 100 runs in a single season without hitting a home run.
Alex Radcliff was a fearsome offensive force. He was the younger brother of Ted “Double Duty” Radcliffe (Alex dropped the “e” from his last name). Bob Horner is one of a small handful of players who, when signed, went straight to the Major Leagues.
John McGraw helped to define “small ball” as an overall team offensive strategy. Jimmy Collins was instrumental in developing the defensive parameters for playing the 3B position.
Below the list is a slideshow containing photos of each player. Be sure to check it out.
Alex Radcliff, Paul Molitor
Lave Cross, Judy Johnson, Ron Santo
Edgar Martinez, Eddie Mathews
Frank Baker, Ray Dandridge, John McGraw, Pie Traynor
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