Who played the hot corner the best for the Los Angeles Dodgers?
The Los Angeles Dodgers have gone through a total of 69 different Opening Day third baseman, more than any other position except for left field, which creates a rich history of players to sort through in trying to identify the five best to play the position in franchise history.
I should point out that Jim Gilliam and Pedro Guerrero didn’t spend enough time manning the hot corner to be considered for this list. It’s not that their versatility is being counted against them; Gilliam appears on our all-time Dodger second baseman list, and Guerrero was the everyday third baseman only in 1983. They’re both Dodger legends, just not at third base.
The Dodgers also have a history of acquiring big-name third basemen at the end of their careers, such as Bill Madlock, Tim Wallach, and Casey Blake. That said, this list will focus on players who made a name for themselves donning Dodger Blue.
We begin with the fifth best and count our way down to the best third baseman in franchise history.
5. Joe Stripp
“Jersey” Joe Stripp wasn’t a star, but he was a steady contributor for the Dodgers in the mid-thirties. Very much the product of his time, Stripp was a spray hitter who made a lot of contact, but lacked power. His career high in homers for a season was only six, but he hit .295 over his six-year Dodger career, and he walked more than he struck out.
Jersey Joe’s best season in Brooklyn came in 1934, when he hit .315 with 19 doubles, six triples, and a homer. His biggest claim to fame also took place in 1934, as he became the last batter to legally be thrown a spitball. The league started phasing it out in 1920, and spitballer and future Dodger manager Burleigh Grimes, who was the last pitcher allowed to throw it, retired at season’s end.