Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
After the Dodgers were ousted from the playoffs the other day by the Cardinals, Robin Ventura retired after 16 years in the majors.
Ventura will be remembered as a good player (a two-time All-Star) and a very good defensive third baseman (six Gold Gloves). He'll be remembered for being baseball's version of Joe Theissman: he caught his spikes sliding into home in an exhibition game in spring training of 1997 dislocating his ankle and suffering a compound fracture. Amazingly, he returned just after the All-Star break (a week before the famous White Sox-Giants "White Flag" trade). He's also one of 86 players ever to play for both the Yankees and the Mets.
Though Ventura is in no way a Hall-of-Fame caliber of player, he does reside in that next tier of very good players that seem to be brimming with third basemen. Here are all the players with at least 250 home runs and at least 1000 games at third. Ventura is 12th. The recently deceased Ken Caminiti just missed the list with 239 HRs. Both Chipper Jones and Vinny Castilla passed him this season:
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