Minnesota Twins: The Top 5 Third Basemen in Franchise History
By Otto Johnson
No. 3: Washington Senators’ Ossie Bluege
Years with the Washington Senators: 1922-1939 (18 Seasons)
Key Stats with the Washington Senators: 1867 G, 1751 H, 43 HR, 848 RBI, 140 SB, 723 BB, .272 BA, 27.7 WAR, 12.4 dWAR, Two Top-25 MVP Finishes, One time All-Star, 1924, 1925, 1933 American League Pennants, 1924 World Series Champion
One of the longest-tenured players in franchise history, Ossie Bluege played 1,867 games with the franchise, never playing for another team. Bluege sits at fifth in games played on the team’s all-time list, and eighth in at-bats.
Bluege was a very solid offensive player, knocking in 848 RBI and earning 1,751 hits (both eleventh in team history) over his eighteen seasons. Bluege was consistent, hitting for a .272 average and building a 27.7 WAR. He also was fast, stealing 140 SB, good for twelfth in team history.
He used that speed on defense as well. Bluege was one of the best on the team, earning a rating of 12.4 dWAR, tied with Greg Gagne for second best all-time. He made playing the hot corner look easy and led AL third basemen in double plays three times.
His biggest contribution was to the team’s success, as he helped the team win three AL pennants and the 1924 World Series. After he retired, he remained with the team as a manager, then a scout, with his most successful find being a young man named Harmon Killebrew (more on him later).
Bluege was the definition of a Twin for life. After playing with the Senators his entire career, he stayed with the organization as a manager until 1947, then was a scout until 1958, then became the team’s comptroller until his retirement in 1971, staying with the franchise once they became the Minnesota Twins. He meant more to this franchise than a lot of people realize, and is easily one of the best third basemen of all-time.