The hot corner is often known to be a power producing position over the history of the sport. It's also a physically demanding defensive position that requires quick reflexes and a strong arm to help prevent opposing runners from getting on base.
Over the past century and a half, the Philadelphia Phillies have had various players who have had the distinct opportunity to play at third base for the ballclub, but only a select few have risen above and beyond expectations. Before counting down the top five third basemen in team history, let's recognize a few honorable mentions.
Dave Hollins was picked up by the Phillies from the San Diego Padres through the Rule 5 Draft in 1989. He may have only been a Phillie for just six seasons from 1990 to 1995, but he was fundamental in helping the ballclub reach the World Series in 1993. Not only was he named an All-Star that year, but he also ranked second on the team in runs scored (104), third in hits (148), fourth in home runs (18) and second in RBI (93).
Looking back a few generations, Merrill Glend “Pinky” May may ring a bell for some of the longest-tenured fans. Despite having just a five-year MLB career from 1939 to 1943 during World War II, he made the most of it with five productive seasons with the Phillies. With a strong plate approach, May posted a solid .275 career batting average while maintaining an exceptional walk-to-strikeout ratio greater than 2:1. His best season came in 1940 when he hit for a career-best .293 average, with a .727 OPS, 58 walks, and 59 runs scored, leading to his only All-Star nomination.
Going back a little further in history, Pinky Whitney played a major role with the Phillies in parts of 10 seasons from 1928 to 1933 and 1936 to 1939. More notably, he was an absolute stud in his early years with the ballclub, constantly putting up close to a .300 batting average along with triple-digit RBI production in four of his first five seasons in the league.
Without further ado, let's dig in to the five greatest third basemen in Phillies history.