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3rd Basemen

Brooks Robinson
Doug DeCinces
Cal Ripken, Jr.
Melvin Mora

Third Base

Brooks Robinson

Brooks was the greatest 3rd baseman in the history of baseball. Nicknamed the "Human Vaccum Cleaner" and "Hoover" because he captured every ball that was hit his way, he was a pleasure like none other to watch. He played his entire twenty-two year career with the Orioles from 1955 to 1977.


Memory is unreliable. What I remember most about Brooks are his triple plays. I had the notion that Brooks turned a triple play every game, or at least every other. However, my research proves otherwise. The following quote about triple plays comes from Wikipedia:


Triple plays are very rare, since a triple play requires at least two runners already on base, no outs, a batted ball hit in a way that allows it to be fielded so that three baserunners (usually including the batter) can be put out or unusual incompetence in baserunning, and quick action from the fielders to perform. The unassisted triple play, a triple play in which only one fielder handles the ball, is the least common type of triple play, and is arguably the rarest occurrence in baseball: it has happened only 14 times in the Modern Era. Triple plays, even of the unassisted variety, are not extraordinarily difficult for major league fielders to achieve; their rarity is due to their dependence on specific circumstances arising in a game.



According to the Society for American Baseball Research, there have been 672 triple plays in Major League Baseball from 1876 to 2007. The most recent of the 14 unassisted triple plays was recorded May 12, by second baseman Asdrúbal Cabrera of the Cleveland Indians against the Toronto Blue Jays. Since the year 2000, the chance of seeing a triple play in a given inning has been less than 1 in 10,000.

In 1973, Baltimore Orioles third baseman started two 5-4-3 triple plays: one on July 7 against the Oakland Athletics' Gene Tenace, and one on August 20 against the Detroit Tigers' Frank Howard. In both cases, Bobby Grich was the second baseman.

In fact, Brooks Robinson only made three triple plays in his career, and in an ironic twist, holds the record for hitting into triple plays, four during his career. In twenty-three seasons, Brooks made only 263 errors.

Doug DeCinces

Doug DeCinces replaced Brooks Robinson at 3rd base when Brooks retired. DeCinces played for fifteen seasons for the Orioles, turning two triple plays himself and making 198 errors during his carreer. More information will be added as time permits.


Cal Ripken, Jr.

Cal Ripken, Jr. played his entire career with the Orioles, starting as shortstop and eventually moving to 3rd base. We all know how wonderful Cal Ripken was, but of course, I'll add more information as time permits.


Melvin Mora

Melvin Mora is the current Oriole third baseman. In 2007, he fielded shortstop and in 2008, moved to third base to replace Miguel Tejada, traded to the Houston Astros during the 2007 off-season. The Wayward Oriole has the Melmosity Meter which measures our love for Melmo.


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Brooks Robinson won 16 consecutive gold gloves from 1960 to 1974


Cal Ripken was MVP 10 times.


Cal Ripken won two gold gloves as shortstop.




Last Updated: September 18, 2008


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