Third base has been home to some of the greatest players in the history of the Boston Red Sox.
The hot corner seems to attract gritty players and Boston has a proud tradition of having some of the finest in the major leagues.
It’s a hard task to pick among the best Red Sox third-sackers because there have been so many Hall of Famers, All Stars and key members of championship teams that have come through Boston by way of third base.
Click through for a list of the five greatest third basemen in the history of the Red Sox.
Played for Boston: 2006-2010
Boston Stats: 612 G, .290 BA, 80 HR, 374 RBI, 650 H, 153 2B, 293 R
Although Mike Lowell had the shortest tenure in Boston of any third baseman on this list, he had a tremendous impact during his time with the team.
Considered an outstanding team leader, Lowell let his all-around play speak for him on the field.
His finest season in Boston came in 2007 when he hit .324 with 21 home runs and 120 RBI in 154 games, finishing fifth in the American League MVP voting.
He hit .400 with four extra-base hits in the 2007 World Series, as the Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies and Lowell earned the World Series MVP.
During his Boston career, Lowell excelled in the postseason, notching 16 RBI in 19 games.
Unfortunately, his career began and ended with serious medical issues. He overcame a battle with cancer as a younger player and a chronically bad hip that necessitated replacement surgery ended his playing days following the 2010 season at the age of 36.
Played for Boston: 1955-1965
Boston Stats: 1,359 G, .276 BA, 131 HR, 716 RBI, 1,454 H, 153 2B, 641 R
A native of the Bronx, Frank Malzone played 11,969.1 innings on the field during a 12-year major league career. All but 256 of those innings came at third base with Boston.
Malzone’s time in Boston spanned the final years of Ted Williams’ career and through the early part of Carl Yastrzemski's tenure at Fenway Park when Yaz burst onto the scene and became a star for the Red Sox.
Although he may have been overshadowed by his more famous teammates, Malzone was an excellent player in his own right, making eight All-Star teams and winning three Gold Gloves.
He spent two full years in the military, delaying his arrival to the majors and contributing to Malzone not becoming a regular in Boston until he was 27.
His best season came in 1962, when he hit .283 with 21 home runs and 95 RBI in 156 games.
In an interview with The Boston Globe’s Jon Goode, Malzone showed why he is a true Red Sox player for life:
The only thing that I regret is that I never got to play in the postseason. When I look back on my career, unfortunately it was the dreaded Yankees and they won it eight of the 10 years.
Played for Boston: 1908-1917
Boston Stats: 1,123 G, .282 BA, 16 HR, 481 RBI, 1,106 H, 151 2B, 87 3B, 388 BB, 496 R
A native of Vermont and a graduate of the University of Vermont, Larry Gardner’s New England pedigree served him well before he ever played a game for the Red Sox.
When it became apparent he had talent, he became a wildly popular player in Boston and a vital cog of three World Series winning teams (1912, 1915 and 1916).
The left-handed hitting Gardner was a great defender, but he was no slouch at the plate either.
His best season came in 1912 when he hit .315 with 18 triples, three home runs, 86 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 131 games.
Gardner played the entirety of his career in Boston in Major League Baseball's dead-ball era. While his power numbers were low, his other hitting statistics made him one of the most well-rounded players of his day and a truly great third baseman.
Played for Boston: 1901-1907
Boston Stats: 741 G, .296 BA, 25 HR, 385 RBI, 881 H, 171 2B, 65 3B, 448 R
Jimmy Collins was not only one of the finest third basemen in the history of the Red Sox. He also was Boston's first star position player.
After playing five-and-a-half seasons with the Boston Braves in the National League, Collins jumped to the Red Sox to be their player/manager when they officially began play in the American League in 1901.
He was a natural fan favorite in Boston because of his outstanding play and Irish-American background.
Besides being an excellent fielder (career DWAR of 16.8 is 75th all-time), he was also a solid hitter who never hit lower than .271 in a Red Sox uniform.
His best season with the Red Sox was his rookie campaign in 1901 when he hit .332 with 42 doubles, 16 triples, six home runs and 94 RBI in 138 games.
Collins managed the Red Sox from 1901 to 1906, compiling a record of 455-376. He skippered and starred for the 1903 team, which won the first-ever World Series.
Collins was recognized for his accomplishments by being elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.
Played for Boston: 1982-1992
Boston Stats: 1,625 G, .338 BA, 85 HR, 687 RBI, 2,098 H, 422 2B, 1,004 BB, 1,067 R
Wade Boggs was not only the greatest third baseman in the history of the Red Sox, but was one of the best offensive players the game has ever seen.
The left-handed hitter won five batting titles in a six-year span from 1983-1988 and had at least 200 hits every season from 1983-1989.
He could also draw a walk, as he surpassed 100 free passes in a season four times to go with a .415 career OBP that ranks 25th all-time.
His most productive season was in 1987 when he hit .363 with 24 home runs, 89 RBI and 108 runs scored in 147 games.
Many might attribute Boggs’ success to talent, but the superstitious player believed it came from a fastidious routine that included eating chicken before every game.
Boggs played eight of his 12 All-Star games in a Boston uniform. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 with the 91.86 percent of votes he received representing the 19th-best percentage ever at the time.
Statistics via Baseball-Reference