Cincinnati Reds: Top 5 third basemen over the last 50 years

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Cincinnati Reds

5 Jul 1996: Cincinnati Reds manager Ray Knight looks on from the dugout during game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Reds won the game 3-0. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport

4. Ray Knight (1974-1981)

Ray Knight was taken by the Reds in the 1970 MLB Draft. The 10th-round selection made his MLB debut in September of 1974 and would not make an appearance in the Major Leagues again until 1977 when he replaced the iconic Pete Rose at third base. By the way, Rose is not part of the Top 5 third basemen, as the majority of his starts as a Red came in the outfield.

Pete Rose left the Reds in 1979, and it became Knight’s time to shine. That season, Knight played 150 games, hit .316 with a .369 on-base percentage. Knight had 10 home runs and 79 RBIs and finished 5th in the MVP vote to Willie Stargel and Keith Hernandez.

The following season, Knight made the All-Star Game. He would go once more in 1982 as a member of the Houston Astros. During the 1980 season, Knight’s average dropped to .264 and his OBP to .307. He did, however, have a career-high 14 home runs that season.

Knight was traded to the Astros after the 1981 season in which he hit .259 and had only 34 RBIs in 106 games. Knight went on to become the MVP of the 1986 World Series with the New York Mets. Knight scored the winning run in Game 6 over the Red Sox during the infamous play in which Bill Buckner allowed Mookie Wilson‘s ground ball to go between his legs.

After his playing career, Knight would go on to manage the Cincinnati Reds from 1996-1997. Knight fired midway through the 1997 season and replaced by Jack McKeon. During his 7 year career with the Reds, Knight hit .277 with 210 RBIs and a .325 on-base percentage.

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