1959 - 1962: Junior Gilliam was the primary 3rd baseman but forgettable players like Dick Gray, Daryl Spencer and Andy Carey spent some time at the hot corner. Shocking to me, Tommy Davis saw some action at 3rd base and actually played over 100 games during his early career. I guess he was a bit like Pedro Guerrero in that they both played the outfield and 3rd base, were the best hitters on the team, and suffered career altering ankle injuries. Other players of note were Bob Aspromonte who we lost to the Colt 45's in the expansion draft.
1963 - 1966: Ken McMullen saw the most action in 1963 but Gilliam took the job back in 64 and 65. More forgettable players like John Kennedy,Dick Tracewski, Derrell Grifith, Johnny Werhas, Don LeJohn, and of course Bart Shirley. In 66 Lefebvre also played some 3rd. McMullen who was going to be heir apparent to the 3rd base job was traded along with Frank Howard for Claude Osteen after 1964. That helped us win the series in 65 but I've wondered if we couldn't have used the offense that Howard and McMullen would have provided more the Osteens pitching during the next 6 years. On the other hand how would we have gotten the Toy Cannon in 1974 if we didn't have Osteen?
1967 - 1969: Quite a few people played 3rd during this era but no one was any good. Bob Bailey, Bill Sudakis, and Jim Lefebvre received the bulk of time and all were found wanting. Players who played sparingly were Luis Alcaraz and Ken Boyer at the end of great career.
1970 : Finally someone grabbed the job by the horns but Billy Grabarkewitz only lasted 1/2 a season before cooling off. Still it was one of the great first halves in LA Dodger history. Doing most of his damage in the 1st half he garnered 29 win shares for the season. Garvey showed up in 1970 and when he played 3rd, Gabby was playing SS and it looked at the time like the Dodgers would have quite an infield heading into the 70's.
1971 : Dick Allen then showed up and did what he always did which was hit the snot out of the ball. He played 3rd but also saw time in the outfield and 1st base. When Allen wasn't playing 3rd Steve Garvey was showing off his scattershot arm and Bobby Valentin made his appearance. So after 1971 the Dodgers had a glut of young prospect infielders in Garvey, Gabby, and Valentin. Which one would become the 3rd baseman?
1972 :Allen only lasts a year and gets traded for Tommy John, 3rd base in 72 is shared by Gabby, Valentin, Garvey, and Lefebvre but none of them were any good. Injures or skills had made Gabby a useless player. Valentine was young and Garvey just couldn't play 3rd base well enough to take the job.
1973 - 1982: Finally the Penguin showed up and put order into the hot corner. By this time Valentine had been traded, Garvey was sitting on bench, Gabby was done as a Dodger. They weren't convinced so they brought in Ken McMullen but Cey took the job and never gave it up. Ron Cey is the only 3rd baseman to show up multiple times in the top 10 peak win shares table. The Penguin's happy feet gave him spots 5-8 and 10-11. He had a heck of a run and is easily the best LA Dodger 3rd baseman in history. His peaks were not as high as the individual seasons but he more then made up for by putting up above average numbers every year. Other players who got a snippet of time during his reign were Hatcher, Goodson, Auerback, Lacy, Ted Martinez, Derrel Thomas, and Guerrero.
1983 - 1984: In 1983 Pedro Guerrero played 3rd base exclusively and put up huge numbers but even those numbers would pale to what he would do in 1985. Pedro's 1983 season ranks as the 6th best in peak value but his 1985 season ranks as the 3rd best tied with a pitching legend. So as far as offense goes he had the 3rd best peak with 35 win shares. He didn't qualify in 1985 as a 3rd baseman as he played more games in the outfield that year. Other players who tried the hot corner were Bob Bailor, Rafael Landestoy, and German Rivera
1985 - 1989: The yucky years with Dave Anderson, Enos Cabell, Jeff Hamilton, Tracy Woodson, Mickey Hatcher, Lenny Harris and Mike Sharperson all giving us below average work at 3rd base. Only Bill Madlock had any luck and was very good in 1985 but by 1987 he was done. Somehow we won a World Championship in during that reign but it wasn't because of our 3rd base play.
1990 - 1992 :In 1990 Lenny Harris and Mike Shaperson put together one of the great 3rd base platoon jobs in LA Dodger history. They each garnered 14 win shares that season so combined they had one of the best seasons ever. Other players to play 3rd during this tenure were Dave Hanson, Hamilton, Hatcher, Anderson, and Cory Snyder.
1993 - 1995: The Tim Wallach years with Hansen, Harris, Garvey Ingram, Castro, Busch, and Blowers getting some time.
1996 - 1998: The Todd Zeile years. See a pattern. Zeile of course was sent packing with Piazza and we had to endure Bobby Bonilla because of it.
1999 - 2004: The Adrian Beltre years. His 2004 ranks 5th in peak win shares all time and number one as a 3rd baseman. At age 21 it looked like he was going to be a star as he posted 22 win shares but he wouldn't break 16 win shares again until 2004 at age 25. He is a strange case as at age 21 he had both power and plate discipline but he never again showed the plated discipline of his year 21 season. He is putting up some huge counting numbers and by the time he's done he will probably have more home runs and rbi's then just a handful of 3rd baseman but I thought he was going to be so much more back in 2000. His defense at 3rd base is the best I ever saw at Dodger Stadium and no one has ever handled the dribbler down the line as a Dodger like he did. Other to play 3rd during the Beltre reign were Hansen, Vizcaino, Elster, Bocachica, Donnels, Hiatt, Coomer, Hernandez, and Robin Ventura
2005 - 2007: A flurry of names they either got hurt, were at the end of their careers, AAAA fodder or in the case of Boom Boom not given enough of a shot. Edwards, Aybar, Perez, Robles, Saenz, Valentin, Mueller, Martinez, Lugo, Izzy, Nomar, Abreu, Valdez, Hillendbrand and of course Boom Boom Betemit. LaRoche gets a taste in 2007 and hopefully just like the Penguin will put his stamp on the hot corner for the next decade.
Looking back on this list it appears that I like Dodger 3rd baseman. Starting with Grabarkewitz, the following 3rd baseman Cey, Guerrero, Beltre and Boom Boom had at one time been my favorite Dodger on the team. Here's hoping Andy LaRoche keeps the trend alive but he would have to go a long way to beat out Martin, Kemp, and Loney. In fact I can't think of a Dodger team in recent memory who had so many players that I like. It is easier to list the players I don't like on the current team. Jeff Kent
|Los Angeles Dodger Peak Win Shares 3rd Base|
|Los Angeles Dodger Career Win Shares 3rd Base|
|Los Angeles Dodger Win Shares 3rd Base|