Picking the five best St. Louis Cardinals third basemen since 1967

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 17: Scott Rolen #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals fields the ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 17, 2007 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Pirates beat the Cards 6-1. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 17: Scott Rolen #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals fields the ball against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 17, 2007 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Pirates beat the Cards 6-1. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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ST. LOUIS, MO – 1972: Joe Torre of the St. Louis Cardinals stands ready at third during a game of the 1972 season at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by St. Louis Cardinals, LLC/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO – 1972: Joe Torre of the St. Louis Cardinals stands ready at third during a game of the 1972 season at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by St. Louis Cardinals, LLC/Getty Images) /

4. Joe Torre

Many Cardinal fans may only remember Joe Torre as the Hall of Fame skipper of the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees, and Dodgers. However, Torre was one darn good ballplayer during his day, especially, his six years in St. Louis where he made four All-Star appearances.

The right-handed Torre came up as a catcher with the Twins, but by the time he arrived in St. Louis in 1969, he also played first and third. In fact, he had the best year of his career playing 161 games at third base for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971.

It was in 1971 where Torre had a monster year and captured the NL MVP Award. Additionally, he won a batting title (.363), led the league in hits (230), RBI (137), and total bases (352). He also led the league in runs created (145), times on base (297), and offensive WAR (8.6).

In 1972, he was still the Cardinals’ primary third baseman and played 117 games in the position. Although he didn’t repeat his 1971 performance, Torre still managed a slash line of .289/.357/.419 with 11 homers, 81 RBI, and a 122 OPS+.

However, no one would mistake Torre defensively for one of the better defenders in Cardinal history. Not a potential Gold Glove winner at third, he never was one of the league leaders in Defensive WAR or fielding percentage. In fact, the only stats he led the league at third in 1971 was errors (21, not good) and putouts (136, not bad).

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