New York Yankees: All-time best third basemen in franchise history
By Scott Roche
New York Yankees all-time third basemen – No. 3: Red Rolfe (26.2 WAR)
Rolfe spent all 10 of his years with the Yankees and was a five-time World Series champion. They won four straight championships from 1936-1939 and then one more again two years later in 1941.
Like Boyer, Rolfe was more known for his glove than his bat. Playing with the likes of Lou Gehrig, Joe DeMaggio and Lefty Gomez, the offense wasn’t necessarily needed. He finished his career with a slash line of .289/.360/.413 with 69 home runs and 497 RBI. His best offensive season was in 1939 with a .329 average, 14 home runs and 80 RBIs. He also scored 139 runs, ripped 46 doubles and led the league with 213 hits.
He made four consecutive AL All-Star teams from 1937-1940.
New York Yankees all-time third basemen – No. 2: Graig Nettles (44.4 WAR)
Acquired from the Cleveland Indians in 1973, Nettles would play 11 years in the Bronx and end up being one of the faces of the franchise during his tenure.
Another player known for his glove rather than his bat, he hit .253 for the Yankees in 11 years with 250 home runs and 834 RBIs. He made five All-Star teams with the Yankees in 1975 and then four straight from 1977-1980.
Defense was Nettles calling card at third base. He won two Gold Glove Awards in 1977 and 1978 during World Series championship seasons. His defense in the 1978 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers was a major reason why the Yankees were able to survive in six games. He was the Yankees captain for two years beginning in 1982.
The Yankees traded Nettles to the San Diego Padres in Spring Training of 1984 after comments from owner George Steinbrenner insulted him about being paid with another contract.