30 June 2006

DPD: Golden Age for the Hot Corner

Certain times throughout the history of baseball have featured a plethora of talent at a particular position.

Center Field became the center of attention in the 1950s, as Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Duke Snyder, Richie Ashburn and Larry Doby all compiled the bulk of their Hall of Fame credentials.

The Decade of the Starting Pitcher might have been the 1970's. (Excluding the 19th Century and Dead Ball Era, when it seems like 20-game winners grew on trees.) Hall of Famers Steve Carlton, Catfish Hunter, Fergie Jenkins, Phil Niekro, Jim Palmer, Gaylord Perry, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver and Don Sutton all saw their heyday in the 1970's, though most of them pitched very well during other decades as well.

In the 1990s we saw the re-birth of the Shortstop. With due and appropriate respect, Sir Cal may have paved the way for good-hitting shortstops in the mid 1980's, but his influence was not fully felt until the mid-90's, when Barry Larkin, Nomar Garciaparra, Alex Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter joined Ripken's ranks and started regularly making All-Star appearances, not to mention Omar Vizquel.

But what about the Aughts? What's the best position, if there is one, for the 2000s? While the snide answer to that question may be "Pharmacist", I'm here to tell you that we are blessed with some of the greatest third base talent ever to take the field in a major league stadium. Let's examine this premise, shall we?

Read the rest at Double Play Depth...

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