Pittsburgh Pirates Top Five Third Basemen

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3. Tommy Leach (1900-1912, 1918)

During his heyday, Tommy Leach was quite the star for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In fact, he is listed as all time leader in Wins Above Replacement of any Pirates player ever at third.

So, why is Leach not higher on this list? Well, for starters, he played approximately half of his career games at third, while also splitting time in center and in left. Of those games in the outfield, it is unknown as to how many were at which position, given the shoddy nature of stat keeping or box scores back in those days.

What is indisputable is how well Tommy Leach performed in those fourteen years as a  Pirate. In that time, Leach put together a .271/.332/.373 batting line, hitting a respectable 43 home runs, leading the National League with six homers in 1902, and stealing 271 bases. Leach finished in the top three in slugging percentage three time, and was in the top ten in total bases five times during his time in Pittsburgh.  Presently, Leach ranks 23rd all time in triples with 172, with a career best 22 to lead the NL in that 1902 season.

A lot of solid ball players from the turn of the century have been forgotten about through the years, and Tommy Leach may well be one of those. Yet, he was still one of the best third basemen to play for the Pirates.

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