Best Third Basemen of All Time in MLB

Best Third Basemen of All Time in MLB - Knup Sports

The Best Third Basemen of All Time is the next installment of the MLB series for KnupSports.

10 Best Third Basemen of All Time

Let’s look at Tom’s list of the best third basemen of all time in MLB. 

10.  Craig Nettles

Nettles was a six-time All-Star player. As a part of four pennant-winning Yankee teams, Nettles enjoyed his best season in 1977 when he won the Gold Glove Award and had career-highs in home runs (37) and runs batted in (107) in leading the Yankees to the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.He was the ALCS MVP in 198` and two time Gold Glove recipient. 

9. Scott Rolen

Rolen was named Mr Basketball in Indiana in 1993. Then in 1997, he was National League rookie of the Year while with the Phillies. He is eight time Glod Glove winner and a seven time All-Star selection. In 2002, he was named the National league Silver Slugger award winner/ He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2023. He has been named to the t.Louis Cardinal Hall of Fame.

8. Ron Santo

he was a nine time All-Star selection and a five time Gold glove winner. Santo was signed as a free agent by the Chicago Cubs in 1959, and made his debut on June 26, 1960. In 1961 he set a Cubs record with 41 double plays at third base, breaking the previous mark of 33 set by Bernie Friberg in 1923.

In 1962 he led the National League in assists for the first time with 332, setting the team record for assists at third base, breaking the mark of 323 set by Randy Jackson in 1951. Santo continued to lead the NL in assists every year through 1968, breaking Ned Williamson’s major league record of leading the league six times; Santo went on to lead the American League eight times.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012. 

7. Brooks Robinson

Robinson batted .267 in his 23-year career, accumulating 2,848 hits, 268 home runs, and 1,357 RBI] In 39 postseason games, he batted .303 with 5 home runs and 22 RBI. Defensively, Robinson set an AL record by leading the league in fielding percentage for 11 seasons. His career fielding percentage of .971 was higher than that of any other third baseman when he retired.

Other third baseman’s records he holds include most games played at the position (2,870), most putouts (2,697), most assists (6,205), most total chances (9,165), and most double plays (618). He was an All-Star 18 times and played on two World Championship teams. Brooks was American League MVP in 1964 and World Series MVP in 1970. He was the winner of 16 Gold Glove Awards, along with winning the Roberto Clemente award in 1972.

Robinson was the American League BI leader in 1964 and was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. 

6. Chipper Jones

Jones retired in 2012 and he finished with a .303 batting average, 1,623 runs batted in along with 468 home runs. As a third baseman, he had the most RBIs. As a switch hitter, the finished only behind Eddie Murray for career runs batted in and the only switch hitter with a career batting average over .300.

He had over 5000 at bats . Chipper was an 8 time All=Star selection and National League MVP in 1999. He took the Silver Slugger award twice and was batting champion in 2008.

5. George Brett 

Brett’s 3,154 career hits are the second most by any third baseman in major league history, surpassed only by Adrián Beltré (3,166 hits), and 18th among all players.[Baseball historian Bill James regards him as the second-best third baseman of all time, trailing only his contemporary, Mike Schmidt.

In 1999, he ranked Number 55 on The Sporting News’ list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. Brett is one of only five players in MLB history—the other four being Stan Musial, Willie Mays, Miguel Cabrera, and Hank Aaron—to accumulate 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and a career .300 batting average. Most indicative of his hitting style, Brett is seventh on the career doubles list with 665. He trails only Tris Speaker, Pete Rose, Stan Musial, Ty Cobb, Albert Pujols and Craig Biggio.

He was a thirteen-time All-Star and was American League MVP in 1980, and won a gold Glove in 1985. Brett won the batting title three times and was a Silver Slugger win three times in his career. He was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 2999. 

4. Wade Boggs

In 1983, he won the first of five batting titles and he hit .349 in his rookie season. He had seven consecutive seasons where he had more than 200 hits. In six seasons, he  had over 200 runs and over 40 doubles. Boggs won the Gold glove award twice. He was a twelve-time All-Star.

3. Adrian Beltre

He played for 21 seasons and won five Gold Gloves. He also won the Silver Slugger award four times and played in four All-Star games. When he retired, he was the only third baseman to have 3,000 hits and 400 home runs in a career.

He is the all-time third-base leader in career hits and RBIs and third in home runs. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2024 in his first year of eligibility. 

2. Eddie Mathews 

Mathews played for 17 seasons and three different organizations for the Braves

( Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta). In 1978, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was a twelve-time All-Star, twice he led the league in home runs, and twice he was a member of the World Series championship team. The Atlanta Braves retired his number plus he is enshrined into the Brave Hall of Fame. He retired with a WAR of 96.1,

1.  Mike Schmidt

Defensively, he won ten Gold Glove awards while playing his entire career with the Phillies. Offensively, he won six Silver Slugger awards and led the Majors in home runs six times between 1974 and 1983. The 1980 season saw Schmitty lead the National League in home runs (48), RBI (121), slugging percentage (.624), OPS (1.004), OPS+ (171), and Total Bases (342).

To top off the legendary season, he was named World Series MVP as the Phillies beat the Royals in six games. Mike Schmidt is the greatest third baseman of all time. His lifetime WAR was 106.8.

That’s a glance at our 10 best third basemen of all time. Thanks for reading!

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