Phillies All-Time Team: Third Base

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sun, February 10, 2013 07:57 AM | Comments: 24
Phillies All Time Team 2013, Posts

Photo: nndb.com

It’s up to you to tell us who should be part of the Phillies All-Time team. During the winter, we’ll unveil one position at a time for you to vote on. After all the votes are tallied, and all the position filled, we’ll release the results. Make your vote count!

  • Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones (13 seasons, 2x All-Star): .258 avg., .756 OPS, 190 HR, 812 RBI, 21.1 WAR
  • Dick Allen (9 seasons, 1964 ROY, 3x All-Star): .290 avg, .902 OPS, 204 HR, 655 RBI, 34 WAR
  • Mike Schmidt (17+ seasons, 2x MVP, 1x WS Champ, 12x All-Star, 10x Gold Glove): .267 avg, .908 OPS, 548 HR, 1,595 RBI, 103 WAR
  • Scott Rolen (7 seasons, 1x All-Star, 4x Gold Glove): .282 avg., .877 OPS, 150 HR, 559 RBI, 28.1 WAR

Who we’re voting for:

-Pat Gallen: Dick Allen and Puddin’ Head were way ahead of my time, and I’m sure they were nice players. Scott Rolen actually had the chance at being the next Mike Schmidt in Philly – if he hadn’t been a baby and run himself out of town, which is what he wanted anyway. It’s of course Mike Schmidt, who could also be the best third baseman in MLB history.

-Ian Riccaboni: When I was a kid, Scott Rolen was the player I wanted to be. He had power, killer instincts at third base, and got big hits. Looking at his stats, I was surprised to realize that Rolen actually played more games in Philadelphia than anywhere else, finishing with Phillie numbers 150 HR, 71 SB, .282/.373/.504. All of this is to say he’s my runner up to my vote of Mike Schmidt in this vote.

-Ryan Dinger: I can only vaguely remember Mike Schmidt as a member of the Phillies (he retired when I was just three years old), but, like every Phillies fan, I know his reputation. With 548 career home runs, a .908 career OPS, three MVP awards, a World Series ring and multiple Gold Gloves to his name, Schmidt is not only the greatest Phillies third basemen ever, he’s the greatest third basemen, period. End of story.

-Jon Nisula: Thinking about the best third basemen in Phillies history is like thinking of the best wide receiver in 49ers history. It’s easy. Mike Schmidt.

Who is the Phillies all-time third baseman?

View Results

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1714 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 JMills

    I started following the Phillies in 1974 just as Schmidt exploded with 36hr and 116rbi. He quickly became my favorite player and I was able to enjoy his entire career. Scott Rolen came along and he quickly became my favorite player. How disappointed it was when he forced the Phillies to trade him. I feel really blessed to have watched the best third baseman of all time, thank you Michael Jack Schmidt.

  • Posts: 5400 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Offensively and defensively, Schmidt is simply the greatest third baseman in Major League Baseball history. I don’t think there are many historians that would question it.

    It’s also interesting that when looking at many of the “greatest Major League third baseman lists” that Scott Rolen is usually in the top 15 or so as well. A hundred + years and a lot of great third baseman- and 2 Phils are in the top 15. I agree that it’s too bad his whole career couldn’t have played out here.

    Maybe we can find another great one some day, but I doubt we’ll ever see the likes of Michael Jack.

    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      “Schmidt is simply the greatest third baseman in Major League Baseball history. I don’t think there are many historians that would question it.”

      I’m not looking to make this topic controversial, but I did some skipping around to see just how unanimous it is about Schmidt being the best ever. I ran across 1 website, baseballstatistics.com that the poster voiced the opinion that Brooks Robinson, Clete Boyer and Pie Traynor were the best 3 defensive 3rd basemen of all time. It’s a LONG time ago that I saw Brooks and the younger Boyer play, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that’s nuts. Boyer was indeed real good, and Brooks’s rep is well supported, and well deserved..

      Then I ran across this other site where the author does admit that this is based on slash line in the headline, but if you wanted to use that as a focal point, you could present a case for Chipper being the best, and this might surprise, pretty dominantly so.

      I guess it speaks to you can say a lot of different things with statse ven though it’s thought of by many (at least generally) as the foundation of opinion.

      Anyway, I feel like Schmidt is the best ever, but the field contains some real good players, and I think use of measures like by far and away, and easily are at least a little stretchy, to coin a phrase. I look at guys like Chipper and George Brett, and think how do you be easily better than them and that seems proper.


      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        Ken, I don’t see how the first paragraph in any way contradicts what Lefty said. In other words, I don’t think he meant the best offensively AND the best defensively, but rather, overall, or all-around the best, considering both offense and defense.

      • Posts: 2896 Chuck A.

        Avatar of Chuck A.

        You guys said what I was gonna say before I read your dialogue. Defensively, I give it to Brooks, but OVERALL it’s definitely Schmidt. Lefty, that 1970 Series was unbelievable.


      • Posts: 5400 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Chuck thanks for posting that. I was listening to Billy Ripken the other day on MLB network, and he said that what he, Cal and Cal Sr. most admired was his arm- believe it or not. That play where he ranges over the foul line is a great example of that strength.

  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Following up a couple when I was a kid refernces, for myself, I was introduced to a book by John Rosenberg at age 8/9 called The History of Baseball that included an all-time 9. The 3rd baseman was Pie Traynor, maybe a good choice, maybe already passed by Eddie Mathews, I never checked it, or have long since forgot. And it has been a LONG time now, 30ish years since Schmidt’s prime, so maybe the depth at the position is limited these days, but it’s a position that has since seen continued excellence. Despite that, Schmidt continues to be the pretty if not quite clear choice as the all-time best 3rd baseman. I thought Alex might be worth thinking of as the best, maybe as recently as 3-4 years ago, but even that’s pretty shot.

    Thinking of it in terms of Phillies best is so ridiculous, might as well look at it in terms of the sport and it’s history. There really isn’t much of a list to talk about, and it’s even less populated at short. Rolen and Allen are fine to mention, and that shows underappreciation for Allen, the same way Pat mentioning Willie Jones in the same sentence as Crash, but this is pretty comparable to trying to engage in conversation about the the best RF in Yankee history. With due respect to those that played there, and well. Maris, Reggie as examples.

    Like a beer vendor at the Vet used to say when Schmidt stepped to the plate.”Last call before Schmidt homers!!!!”

  • Posts: 877 schmenkman

    Avatar of schmenkman

    Surprisingly, there seems to be some doubt as to whether Schmidt is widely regarded as the best third baseman of all time. I dug up some recent rankings, even some amid the lovefest of Chipper’s farewell tour.

    Out of the first 10 rankings I found, 9 had Schmidt first. One, at thebaseballpage, had Mathews first and Schmidt 2nd.

    What I thought was most telling in this search wasn’t among the ten rankings. It was an article in the Atlanta Journal Consitution in July about a Braves interleague series in Kansas City, with this title: “Chipper in George Brett’s town; who is 2nd-best 3B ever?”

    It included this: “Actually, the question is which of them ranks second and which ranks third on the list behind Mike Schmidt, the great Philadelphia Phillies slugger widely regarded as the gold standard for third basemen.”

    • Posts: 877 schmenkman

      Avatar of schmenkman

      The ten rankings…

      1) Schmidt, 2) Jones, 3) Mathews – ESPN SweetSpot, 8/28/11
      1) Schmidt, 2) Robinson, 3) Brett – Yahoo Voices, 4/22/10
      1) Schmidt, 2) Brett, 3) Mathews – Ranker, current
      1) Schmidt, 2) Brett, 3) Mathews – (Detroit) examiner dot com, 11/6/12
      1) Schmidt, 2) Robinson, 3) Mathews – Fox Sports, 10/20/11
      1) Schmidt, 2) Brett, 3) Mathews – About dot com
      1) Schmidt, 2) Jones, 3) Brett – bleacher report, 10/9/12
      1) Mathews, 2) Schmidt, 3) Brett – thebaseballpage dot com
      1) Schmidt, 2) Brett, 3) Mathews – baseballstatistics dot com
      1) Schmidt (16th among all players), 2) Brett (30th), 3) Mathews (39th) – ESPN’s Hall of 100, Nov 2012

  • Posts: 556 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    George, I’m only highlighting Allen’s value (based on career performance) as a hitter by giving one example in a game situation that is no less valuable or important than Schmidt offensive power numbers accumulated over 17 years. Of course, Schmidt’s glove is what differentiate him from all the rest of the Phillies’ third baseman.

    • Posts: 0 George

      One situation? Big deal. Anyone can be more valuable in a given situation than another person who in most other ways is better equiped everyday. It’s the entire reason for lefty specialists and defensive replacements.

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    Schmidt was better than Brooks defensively.
    Brooks had a great world series. the best 6 game streak of his career in the world series.

    I am too young to have seen them both play regularily but people many people whose opinions I trust feel this way.

    Then when you add in hitting it is not close.

    He could also run the bases. Especially before the turf ate his knees up.

    Still the best Phillie of all time and starting at 3b on the all time AFW roster.

    1B Gehrig
    2B Morgan
    SS Ripken
    3B Schmidt
    OF Ruth
    OF Cobb
    OF Williams
    C Bench

  • Posts: 0 Andrew from Waldorf

    All time 11 man pitching staff ( 8 starters- 3 relievers)

    SP Walter Johnson
    SP Sandy Koufax
    SP Steve Carlton
    SP Cy Young
    SP Nolan Ryan
    SP Christy Mathewson
    SP Randy Johnson
    SP Pedro Martinez

    RP Mariano Rivera
    RP Dennis eckersley
    RP Lee Smith

    • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

      Show ya how hard this all time team is, you take your roster, I’ll give you one, and we’re talking 7 games, bottom of the 15th, and still tied. I think. Lemme throw some names at ya

      1B – Gehrig I’ll take Jimme Focc
      2B – Your Morgan to my Gehringer
      SS – Cal, and I’ll take Bingo Banks
      3B – Schmidt versus Brett (even Chipper’d be okay)
      OF – You had Cobb, Babe and Ted, I’ll take Bonds, Willie and Hank
      C – Bench – talk about an all-time inarguable – it’d be easy to say Yogi,. I’m actually kinda inclined to take Piazza

      staff – (not listing yours, right above)

      starters – (not in order) Spahn, Maddux, Jim Palmer, Lefty Grove, Bob Gibson, Bob Feller,
      Seaver, Catfish

      pen – Sutter, Chad Qualls, Elroy Face

      PLAY BALL!!!!

  • Posts: 0 George

    We probably moved in different circles, but I remember almost nothing but disgust for Allen. I knew people who thought he should be thrown off any team, not just the Phils. I’d also guess that that particular doubleheader was the exception. People tend to cheer even those they don’t care for when that particular player does remarkably well. I don’t think they’d have booed early on had he been truly popular, and if he’d had a bad night, he might have been lynched. One thing that turned people off to Allen was his abilty to have a gigantic game when he needed support, and people seemed to think he should have gigantic games more often, which is, of course, asking too much.

    By the way, I do have some memory of that day you speak of, even though I wasn’t there.

  • Posts: 0 wbramh

    I saw Puddin Head and Dick play.
    I have never seen anyone hit the ball harder and farther than “Richie” (back then) Allen.
    In the National League, McCovey and Stargell (and maybe Kingman) were the only players I ever saw he Allen-like homers.
    No matter the score, I never leave a game until the last out is made…except for one instance.
    It was a night game at Connie Mack and I was with three friends, one of whom whose car we drove in. The Phils were down by three runs going into the bottom of the ninth when our driver insisted we leave to get a head start on the crowd. Over my “but anything can happen” objections, I was out-voted. Our car was parked on Somerset Street right behind the bi-level left field bleachers. We turned on the car radio just in time to discover the Phils had loaded the bases with Richie Allen coming to bat.

    As we pulled out of our parking space we could hear the crowd roar as Allen hit the ball clear over the left field roof. The ball landed at or within inches of where our car windshield had been located about 3 seconds earlier and neighborhood kids scrambled to retrieve it.

    How I wished the ball would have broken the windshield – oh how I wished…

    Richie was no Mike with the glove but every at-bat was worth the price of admission.

  • Posts: 556 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    I was too young to see Cox play with the Dodgers. He was traded before the 1955 season and Jackie Robinson took over 3rd base with Junior Gilliam at 2nd base. Of course, that was the year the Brooklyn “Bums” won their first World Series Championship against their hated rival, Yankees. I do remember reading a few lively stories about Cox in Roger Kahn’s classic book “The Boys of Summer”. :-)

    Greg Nettles! Another great fielding 3rd baseman and what a clutch hitter for the Yankees. Yeah..I think he should be ranked among the top ten all time fielding 3rd basemen.

  • Posts: 556 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    I like your comment about your memorable experience with Allen in a game like no other. :-)

  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    I sincerely hope you get to open this link and listen to the audio. It’s play by play of Crash’s first trip back to Philly to play the Phils. Enjoy!


  • Posts: 2896 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    So did I see that Hoover act all the time. He was dubbed the “Human Vacuum Cleaner.” Unbelievable defensive third baseman.

  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    Chuck A,

    That’s shocking news that Thompson called the Phils games at that point. Saam makes sense for absolute sure. Herring could well be true. And I’m not questioining where you found that tidbit, but I find that really strange that the name Gene Kelly (father of the everpopular John Sims) didn’t show up. Seems like that was right around his time. Oh, well.

  • Posts: 0 brooks

    I listened to Chuck Thompsons “Going Going Gone…” from 1964 until I moved to this area in 1970. I loved Chuck but he was a car salesman – he definitely could host or MC any event but Harry, pure baseball. Regardless of any venue we heard Harry (I did hear him do college football once in a while), he could never take the ballpark out of his voice.
    I would take Harry Kalas over Chuck Thompson in a heart beat.

    Andrew, your starting pitchers are second to none.. but, I would consider the Rocket. And, the relievers ahhm not to thrilled about. I would have to give it some thought.

  • Posts: 0 Ryne Duren

    sorry george, but i left luzinski off the buzz list!

  • Posts: 2005 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    And we do bow to your greatness AFW..
    Yes, you missed first base and you’ll never guess who got top honors? That’s right, your all time favorite Guillermo Montanez!

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