Third Is The Word

Image credit: Adrian Beltre rivals Brooks Robinson (pictured) in terms of defensive excellence and longevity.

Adrian Beltre has appeared in more games at third base than any player in history but Brooks Robinson. The 39-year-old Beltre, who will be a free agent this winter, would need another season of regular play to pass Robinson.

No. Player Games As 3B
1 Brooks Robinson+ 2870
2 Adrian Beltre 2736
3 Craig Nettles 2412
4 Gary Gaetti 2282
5 Wade Boggs+ 2215
6 Mike Schmidt+ 2212
7 Buddy Bell 2183
8 Eddie Mathews+ 2181
9 Ron Santo+ 2130
10 Aramis Ramirez 2112
+Hall of Fame

Beltre also trails Robinson in career double plays turned at third base ranks third in career assists to Robinson and Graig Nettles.

While Beltre is accomplished defensive third baseman who owns five Gold Gloves, he is equal renowned for his work at the plate. With 3,137 career hits, he has a chance to pass George Brett (3,154) for most ever by a third baseman. Wade Boggs is the only other third baseman with 3,000 hits. 

When Mike Schmidt’s record 548 home runs by a third baseman is probably out of Beltre’s reach (he has 469), he should retire with the third most homers at the position, trailing Schmidt and Eddie Matthews (512). Chipper Jones (468) is the only other third baseman with 400 homers.

Beltre’s well-rounded resume should make him a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible. 

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