The best third basemen in baseball history
They call third base the "hot corner," and these legends have been forged in that fire. Here are the top five third basemen in Major League Baseball history.
5. Ron Santo
Spend enough summer days on the North Side of Chicago and you’ll learn about Santo.
The man concealed his diabetes during the start of his playing career and injected himself with insulin. By the time his secret came out, he was a seven-time All-Star.
Santo loved the game, and it showed in his defensive ferocity. He led National League third basemen in putouts seven times, assists seven times, and retired with the NL record for most double plays by a third baseman (which was eventually broken by Mike Schmidt).
4. George Brett
Brett is one of four players to rack up 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and hit better than .300 for his career.. The others on that list are Stan Musial, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron.
My personal favorite story about Brett was the answer he gave Tim Kurkjian, about what he wanted his final at-bat in the majors to be.
"I want to hit a really hard ground ball to the second baseman and run as hard as I can to first, so all the young players understand how the game is supposed to be played," he said.
3. Chipper Jones
While Larry Wayne Jones Jr. isn’t a household name, most everybody knows Chipper. He was on the Braves' 1995 World Series team and was an eight-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger winner.
Jones is also one of nine players in MLB history with at least 400 home runs, a .300 batting average, a .400 on-base percentage, and a .500 slugging percentage. His 1,623 RBIs are the most by a third baseman.
2. Mike Schmidt
Schmitt had the rare combo of defensive prowess and offensive brute. He racked up 10 Gold Gloves and hit 548 home runs, the most by a player who spent his entire career with one team.
1. Brooks Robinson
Robinson played 22 seasons with the Orioles, and he was an 18-time All-Star, won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves, and has two World Series rings.
While the knock on Robinson is often his batting average (.267), during the 1970 World Series, he hit .429 and in the American League Championship Series against the Minnesota Twins, he hit .583.
On the defensive side, the Human Vacuum Cleaner’s credentials are undeniable. Reds manager Sparky Anderson once said, "I'm beginning to see Brooks in my sleep. If I dropped a paper plate, he'd pick it up on one hop and throw me out at first."