October 23, 2003

Baseball's greatest: final installment

Here are my picks for the greatest at each position for the period from the late '80's to the present.
As I haven't paid as close attention in the past decade as I did previously I may be clueless about some great ones, especially American Leaguers. That said, here we go!

1B Frank Thomas
2B Roberto Alomar
SS Derek Jeter
3B no clue
C Mike Piazza
LF Barry Bonds
CF Ken Griffey Jr
RF Tony Gwynn
RHP Greg Maddux
LHP Randy Johnson

As I'm deliberately not doing any research -- just trying to trust my gut, here -- I have no idea to put as the best Third Baseman. The only worthwhile candidate I can think of off the top of my head is Ventura, but there MUST be better. Suggestions anyone?

Posted by Tuning Spork at October 23, 2003 07:04 PM

At first I'd put Rafael Palmiero. Steady, quiet excellence.

Posted by: Ted at October 23, 2003 08:06 PM

I'd also think about Pudge Rodriguez at catcher and Alex Gonzalez at shortstop. Chipper Jones, is he a third baseman?

Posted by: Ted at October 23, 2003 08:08 PM

Rafael Palmiero!! Excellent!!!! I'd forgotten all about him!

Granted Piazza's performance with the Mets hasn't been what it was with the hated Dodgers, and Rodriguez may be a worthy replacement.

Chipper atarted as catcher, then moved to third.. but isn't he an outfielder now? Hmm, not sure. If Chipper's at third then he's a great choice. Thanks, Rocket!!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 23, 2003 08:18 PM

Yep, just googled Chipper and he's in left field nowadays. I have no idea of how many seasons he played at 3rd, but there's gotta be a more stable position man out there. Was Barry Larkin a 3rd Baseman (or was he shortstop)?

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 23, 2003 08:24 PM

Larkin plays short... the only third basemen I can think of is Ripken (not my choice though) or Scott Rolen, who's only had a few good years. Hmmmm...

Posted by: Ted at October 23, 2003 08:30 PM

Ripken was a career shortstop who moved to third only in his last 2 or 3 seasons. I'd still put Robin Ventura over Rolen, but there's gotta be someone better... hmmm...

Posted by: Tuning Spork at October 23, 2003 08:52 PM

MLB has downplayed the Hot Corner lately. It's too bad, because it's an important position that is difficult to play well. BTW, Ripken started at third, moved to ss, and then was moved back to third in the twilight of his career. He once commented on the difference betweent third and ss as he didn't get hit in the cajones as much at ss.

Posted by: Victor at October 27, 2003 08:17 AM

You're gonna want some proof, so I went to the Rochester Redwings page, and looked at their history, and at http://www.redwingsbaseball.com/history/birdofafeather.htm#R

Cal Ripken Jr. is credited as having played third and ss for Rochester. On another note, he was a player (at third base) in the longest baseball game on record: 33 innings, Rochester Redwings at Pawtucket Red Sox, won by Pawtucket 3-2. The box score is at http://members.aol.com/charliezeb/states/pawsox.htm

Posted by: Victor at October 27, 2003 08:26 AM

He who gives up freedom for security deserves neither.

Posted by: Becker Michelle at October 1, 2004 06:50 AM

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