Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Best Third Basemen in Team History
By Noah Wright
Number Three – Richie Hebner
Richie Hebner became the Pittsburgh Pirates primary third baseman in the late 1960s. He heled this position through the 1976 season, and was a key member of the team’s 1971 World Series Championship squad.
Hebner was a pretty good hitter from 1969 to 1974. In those six seasons, Hebner batted for a line of .287/.360/.466, with 98 home runs,and 137 doubles. His overall offense was pinned at a 131 OPS+.
In total, Hebner had a .277/.350/.442 line with the Pirates. His 122 wRC+ ties with Denny Lyon for the second highest mark among Pirates’ third basemen.
During the team’s 1971 World Series run, Hebner was terrific in the postseason. In 33 plate appearances he hit three home runs and posted a 163 wRC+. He also collected a double on his way to slugging .586. Without Hebner’s contributions, the team likely would not have won the World Series in ’71.
But, like with Bonilla, Hebner was not going to get any good review for his defense.
Throughout his Pirates’ tenure, Hebner had -49 total zone runs at third base for the Pirates. Overall, he provided -2.7 defensive WAR. Regardless, Hebner has the third highest fWAR among Bucco third basemen at 24.7.