When Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman returns from the disabled list this month, he may be using a different glove. Because new Braves acquisition Matt Adams has become a key part of the offense, Freeman may move across the diamond to play third to accommodate Adams at first.
If he does indeed make that shift, Freeman will join a tiny list of players who have moved from first to third. The last star to do it is American League Most Valuable Player Miguel Cabrera who, after Detroit acquired Prince Fielder in 2012, slid across the infield for the Tigers.
On the other hand, switching from third to first is quite common in baseball. Here are ten All-Stars who were once regular third basemen but later in their careers moved to first.
Coming up with the Washington Senators in 1954 and following the team to Minnesota, Killebrew manned the hot corner for the 1966 pennant winning Twins. After moving over to first base in the mid seventies, he became just the fourth slugger in the history of baseball to reach the 570 mark in career home runs.
Boomer spent fourteen years in the Big Leagues, mostly for the Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. After moving from third to first in 1975, Scott led the A.L. with 36 home runs and 109 runs batted in.
For the five seasons of his Big League career with Cincinnati, Perez played exclusively third. When he switched to first after 1971, the Reds became perennial contenders as the Big Red Machine took World Series Championships in 1975 and 1976.
Charlie Hustle had already shown much versatility by playing every outfield spot and, after Perez went across the diamond, Rose took over at third. He earned another World Series crown after becoming the starting first baseman for the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies.
Tremendous power helped get Esasky into the Cincinnati lineup, serving for his first few years at the hot corner. He settled more comfortably at the opposite side of the infield, where he enjoyed a productive career spent mostly with the Reds and the Atlanta Braves.
Since Most Valuable Player Mark McGuire was entrenched at first base, Giambi served his early tenure at third for Oakland. Once he switched to first, he earned M.V.P. honors for the Athletics.
Cleveland had a dominant offensive attack in the nineties, anchored by guys like outfielder Albert Belle and third baseman Jim Thome, who helped the Indians capture the pennant in 1997. A few seasons into his career, Thome became the regular first baseman at Jacobs Field.
Philadelphia’s Rookie of the Year not only switched positions and teams, but also first names. After being shipped to Chicago he became Dick Allen and earned the M.V.P. while playing first base for the White Sox,
As Cincinnati’s third baseman for four seasons, Double E displayed promising power. A trade to the Blue Jays resulted in a shift to first base, and since has become one of the premier sluggers in the game.
One of the most revered player in the history of the Braves, the slugger moved from third to first in the last few seasons of his Hall of Fame career.