This is the fifth round of voting on the SDMB Baseball Hall of Fame. In this round we will be voting on third basemen.
The rules remain the same as before:
Please vote for TEN third basemen who have played major league baseball in North America, not including Negro League play, for which we will have other rounds of voting. You may vote for fewer than ten if you like, but I do ask you name ten if you possibly can. If you vote for more than ten, all names past #10 are discounted. The order you place the players in makes no difference.
Your votes are not restricted by any restriction Cooperstown uses. You may vote for currently active players, players who have just recently retired, or players who eligibility to Cooperstown has passed.
The ten players who receive the most votes are immediately inducted into the Hall of Fame. Voting closes at midnight EDT on Sunday.
Although I will provide, in this post, a full list of all third basemen who are in the Hall of Fame, likely candidates, or had careers of significant length and accomplishment, it is an open ballot and you may vote for absolutely anyone you wish. If I miss a really significant name, please make it known.
Discussion is encouraged but please let some votes gather up first. Detailed discussion of this series of threads may be found here:
Eligibility Note: Alex Rodriguez, while he is currently a third baseman, was elected as a shortstop. You still have time to vote on the shortstop ballot before midnight tonight - AND THERE’S ANOTHER TIE FOR TENTH!
Frank “Home Run” Baker
Actually, he didn’t even play a third of his games at third base.
He’s a multipositional star pretty much by definition. I can see the argument for putting him at third, though, and you can vote for him if you like. Everyone’s free to vote for him here if they want. The list is provided as a service, not a direction.
It was compiled in one of the two greatest offensive eras in league history. In 1930, for instance, the league average for batting average was .303. That was admittedly the high water mark, but it hovered from the mid-.280s to the mid-.290s throughout most of Traynor’s career. (As a comparison, the NL batting average last year was .266; the AL was .271.) He was a good hitter, sure, but even at a weak position like third base I don’t think he cracks the top ten all-time. Ken Boyer, for one, is clearly better with the bat, in my opinion.
McGraw’s a weird case in that his peak was spectacularly high - he was sort of the Wade Boggs of his time - but his playing career started winding down around age 28. If you assign all your value to peak he’s like the fourth or fifth greatest third baseman of all time, and if you don’t he’s like fortieth.
We are having a managers category and obviously he will be elected there. I think.
Home Run Baker
Rationales: Mike Schmidt towers over this position; if A-Rod ends up playing most of his career at third base he may end up being the greatest, but even then, Schmidt will remain the best career, all-around third baseman ever. One0 f my favourite baseball factoids is this; George Brett won three batting titles and hit over .300, and Mike Schmidt, who hit .267, still had a better on base percentage. Graig Nettles is my honorable mention. The call between him, Stan Hack and Ken Boyer was awfully close to me, and I basically ended up making it based on two things:
Nettles put about as many wins on the board but it took him much longer to do so and
Boyer’s era is already well represented, whereas Hack was the best third baseman of his time and that counts for something, I think. Hack is the only player I have between the dead ball era and the late 50s.
As well regarded as Pie Traynor and George Kell were they were not even close to making it; I think their stats are not nearly as good as they superficially seem (conversely, I am convinced Jimmy Collins was a much greater player than his stats superficially appear.)
Wade Boggs *Great Hitter and solid glove. He did not deserve his gold gloves but a great hitter. * Pie Traynor: He was very well known for his glove and had a great batting eye. Ken Boyer: .287 .349 282hr 1141RBI 1104R Great Glove, as good as Brooks and a good bat. Brooks Robinson: .267 .322 268hr 1357rbi 1232r He had the best glove in my lifetime (Pitchers era) Graig Nettles: .248 .329 390hr 1314rbi 1193r He had almost as good a glove as Brooks (Pitchers era) Stan Hack: .301 .394 57hr 642rbi 1239r
It was tough leaving off John McGraw who was a great pesky batter that fought for every hit, every base and every run and he hit great and stole many and scored a lot.
I was happy to keep Nettles and I actually would have dropped Stan before Nettles.
I see many votes for Santo, in what way was he better than Boyer or Nettles?
Living near Philadelphia as a kid, Mike Schmidt was my hero growing up. I firmly believed that he and Greg Luzinski towered majestically over the rest of baseball.
I remember when the Phillies won the World Series in 1980 – I was 11 years old, and when Tug McGraw struck out Willie Wilson in game 6, my dad ran to the front door of our house and just started screaming with joy into the night. I could hear other dads doing the same up and down the street. After watching my father’s anguish at all of the Phillies’ close calls in the late 70’s, I was the happiest kid alive, realizing that baseball could also bring him such elation. I think that’s the moment that turned me from a kid fan into a Crazy Baseball Fanatic.
Just seeing the name “Mike Schmidt” is still enough to bring a smile to my face.
There’s not a huge distance between Santo and Boyer, but both were excellent fielders (similar fielding numbers and 5 Gold Gloves apiece), and Santo was (I feel) a better hitter. He has more career HR, a higher OBP, and an OPS+ that’s 9 points higher over a career with 1100 more plate appearances.
You like defense, don’t you, **CateAyo **? Even their mom would say that Ken was much better than Cletis, although I admit that Clete had the best fielding stats of anyone on this list, including B. Robby. They were contemporaries but annually Clete’s fielding stats were FAR better than Robby’s, and Robby won the Gold Glove year after year. Why? A classic case of winning Gold Gloves with your bat.