Over the years, the Cardinals have prided themselves on having high-caliber third basemen patrolling the hot corner. Let's look at the top five third basemen in the Cardinals' history.
The Cardinals have had some of the games top third basemen over the years.
Troy Glaus and Gary Gaetti were third basemen who many hoped who carry over from prior success. Todd Zeile was a prospect the organization had high hopes for success, and David Freese was the hometown kid who may not have been all that at third base, but he hit a home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, making him a Cardinals legend.
Let's take a look at some of the honorable mention best third basemen.
This is a part of a running series on Redbird Rants ranking the top 5 Cardinals at each position. You can find the other position groups we have ranked so far below.
Honorable mention best third basemen
Kenny Reitz. A fan favorite for many years, Kenny Reitz spent eight seasons with the Cardinals at third base. He won a Gold Glove in 1975 and was an All-Star in 1980. Known as The Zamboni, he had an incredible .970 fielding percentage, leading the league in the metric six times over his career. He had 219 double plays, 2,477 assists, and 996 putouts.
He wasn't the greatest of hitters, with career numbers of .260/.290/.359 with an OPS of .649. He had 68 home runs and 548 RBI.
After he retired from the game, he did promotional work for the Cardinals, including golf events and the annual Cardinals Caravan, allowing players and alumni to meet with Cardinals fans from around the region.
Reitz passed away in March 2021, and while he may never have a Cardinals Hall of Fame induction, Reitz is a beloved former Cardinal, and in Cardinals nation, that matters a lot in Cardinals nation.
Mike Shannon. Shannon played the last four seasons of his career at third base for the Cardinals, starting in 1967. The Moonman hit .255/.311/.387 with an OPS of .698 with 68 home runs and 367 RBI.
Shannon hit the last home run at Sportsman's Park and the first home run at Busch Memorial Stadium. A kidney disease cut his playing career short. He had an amazing second career in the radio booth as a color comentator for the broadcasts from 1972-2021. He was known for his home run calls in which he would call for the ball to "Get up, baby! Get up!"
Shannon was inducted in the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.
Joe Torre. He joined the Cardinals in 1969- 1974. Torre won the NL MVP in 1971 while manning third base for the Cardinals. His .363 batting average and 137 RBI led the National League that season. He was an All-Star third baseman from 1971-74.
Torre went on to manage the Cardinals from 1990-95 and was inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2016.