The best Third Basemen in Major League Baseball history
10) Pie Traynor – A two time All Star, Traynor played 1,863 games in 18 years at third for the Pirates from 1920-1937. He had a career batting average of .320, drove in 1,273 runs and stole 158 bases. His .947 fielding percentage equaled the league average for that time period.
9) Graig Nettles – In 21 seasons from 1968-1988 “Puff” played 2,412 games at third base mainly for the Yankees, Indians, Twins, and Padres. A six time All Star and two time Gold Glove winner his fielding percentage of .961 was higher than the league average of .952, and he saved 134 runs at the hot corner. Nettles batted .248 with 390 home runs, and 1,314 RBI’s.
8) Scott Rolen - From 1996-2012 Rolen played 2,023 games at third base for the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Reds. A seven time All Star and eight time Gold Glove winner, his fielding percentage of .968 was higher than the league average of .954, and he saved 150 runs at third base. Rolen had a career batting average of .281, with 316 home runs, 1,287 RBI’s and 118 stolen bases.
7) Ron Santo – A five time Gold Glove winner and nine time All Star, Santo played 2,130 games at third for the Cubs in 15 seasons from 1960-1974. He had a .954 fielding percentage, with the league average being .948, and saved 27 runs in his career. Santo had a .277 batting average, 342 home runs, and 1,331 RBI’s.
6) Chipper Jones – Winner of the 1999 National League MVP award Jones played 1,992 games at third base for the Braves in 19 seasons from 1993-2012. He also played the outfield. An eight time All Star, Jones batted .303, with a .401 on base percentage, 468 home runs, 1,623 RBI’s, and 150 stolen bases. His .954 fielding percentage was close to the league average of .953.
5) Wade Boggs – “Chicken Man” played 2,215 games in 18 seasons at third base from 1982-1999 for the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays, and was selected to 12 All Star teams. He won two Gold Gloves, saved 95 runs, and his fielding percentage of .962 was higher than the .951 league average. Boggs batted .328 with a .415 on base percentage in his career, and won five American League batting titles.
4) Eddie Mathews – “Cap’n Eddie” was a 12 time All Star during 17 seasons, mainly with the Milwaukee Braves. He batted .271 with a .376 on base percentage, .509 slugging percentage, 512 home runs, and 1,453 RBI’s. Mathews played 2,181 games at third base, is credited with saving 40 runs defensively, and his .956 fielding percentage was higher than the league average of .950.
3) George Brett – “Mullet” was named to 13 All Star teams while playing 1,692 games at third in 21 seasons from 1973-1993 for the Royals. Brett collected 3,154 hits while batting .305 with 317 home runs, 1,596 RBI’s and 201 stolen bases. He won the 1980 AL MVP and a Gold Glove in 1985, and is credited with saving 54 runs on defense in his career.
2) Brooks Robinson – Perhaps the best defensive baseball player of all time, winning 16 Gold Gloves and credited with saving an amazing 293 runs in 2,870 games at third base for the Orioles in 23 seasons from 1955-1977, the “Human Vacuum Cleaner” was named to 18 All Star teams. Robinson’s fielding percentage of .971 was higher than the league average of .953 for third basemen. He batted .267 with 268 home runs and 1,357 RBI’s in his career, and was named the American League MVP in 1964.
1) Mike Schmidt – A 12 time All Star and 3 time National League MVP, “Schmitty” played 2,212 games at third base for the Phillies in 18 years for the Phillies from 1972-1989. Schmidt hit .267 with a .380 on base percentage, 548 home runs, 1,595 RBI’s, and 174 stolen bases. He won 10 Gold Gloves; his .955 fielding percentage is higher than the league average of .949, and he saved 129 runs defensively during his career.