THIRD BASE: GEORGE BRETT
C’mon, George Brett has a statue in Kauffman Stadium. He’s the franchise model that every KC Royals player aspires to emulate.
There was no way I was leaving Brett off this Kansas City Royals all-time defensive team, even if he’s famous for his bat and not his glove.
That’s not to say George Brett doesn’t belong here. Brett was an outstanding defensive player who could really pick the ball at third base. His defensive reputation took serious dings early in his career due to some critical throwing errors in KC Royals playoff games against the Yankees, but he knew his way around the hot corner.
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Brett had the misfortune of running into the tail end of third base defensive legend Brooks Robinson‘s career, and the prime of Buddy Bell‘s career in the AL, and Mike Schmidt‘s run of 10 Gold Gloves at third base in the NL. Consequently, Brett never won the recognition his defense deserved.
Brett DID win a single Gold Glove with the KC Royals in 1985, but that was after he was past his defensive prime. He probably should have won in 1977, but that year the award went to New York Yankees third sacker Graig Nettles (who famously kicked George Brett in Game 5 of the ALCS).
I did consider current third baseman Mike Moustakas, who can fling the leather though he may never win any hardware with Manny Machado at the hot corner in the AL. Joe Randa and Gary Gaetti could also make some plays around the third base bag for the Kansas City Royals. None of them were better than George Brett.
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