Third Base: Graig Nettles

Publish date:

Hall of Fame standards: 67.4 Career WAR / 42.7 Peak WAR / 55.0 JAWS
Nettles: 68.0 Career WAR / 42.7 Peak WAR / 55.1 JAWS

Nettles spent the bulk of his 22-year career (1967 to '88) in the shadow of fellow third baseman Brooks Robinson, so despite elite defense (+134 runs), he won just two Gold Gloves. Get a highlight film of Game 3 of the 1978 World Series and you'll see the impact one infielder can have on a game; his leaping stops kept the Dodgers at bay and turned the series in the Yankees' favor.

Though he didn't hit for high averages, Nettles had plenty of power (390 career home runs). He earned All-star honors six times and played on five pennant-winning teams for the Yankees and the Padres, with additional stops elsewhere. Thanks to his glovework, he led his league in WAR twice (1971 and '76) and ranked in the top 10 five times. Overall, he ranks 12th in JAWS, within a few runs in either direction of all three standards.

Nettles lasted just four years on the BBWAA ballot, peaking at 8.3% in his debut year of 1994, but particularly given the shortage of third basemen in the Hall (just 13, compared to as many as 24 in rightfield), he has a solid case for induction someday.