MLB stars who changed positions
Here are some stars who have changed positions for one reason or another.
Compiled by Anthony Castellano
Primarily a shortstop from 1953-61, he hit 298 home runs and was MVP in 1958 and 1959. At age 31 in 1962, he moved to first base and hit another 214 homers over the next 10 seasons.
The three-time American League MVP made his name as a catcher with the Yankees. Berra did play a little outfield during the first half of his career, but it wasn't until the 1960s, when Elston Howard joined the team, that he became primarily an outfielder. Fun fact: During the 1960 World Series, Berra was the leftfielder who watched Bill Mazeroski's game winning home run to give the Pirates the championship.
Torre began his career in 1961 primarily as a catcher. In 1965, Torre won the Gold Glove for his work at catcher with the Braves. But in 1971, at age 29, Torre moved to third base for the Cardinals; you could say that worked out pretty well for him, as he won the MVP award that same year.
The two-time All-Star moved from shortstop to third base full-time in 1971 at age 28 when Boston traded for Luis Aparicio.
The 17-time All-Star changed positions many times over his 24 seasons in baseball. Rose began his legendary career at second base with the Reds. In 1967, he moved into the outfield where he remained until 1975 when he switched to third base at age 34. When Rose signed with the Phillies in 1979, he played first base and he would finish his career at that position with the Reds.
The 1982 American League MVP moved to the outfield in 1985 at 29 after an arm injury. Yount won another MVP award in 1989 playing centerfield.
Jim Thome is approaching 600 home runs; about as many movies as his lookalike has been in ...
Gary Sheffield was called up to the Brewers in 1988 at age 19 to play shortstop. In 1989 he moved to third base and would remain there until the Marlins moved him to the outfield in 1994. Sheffield finished his career with over 500 home runs as an outfielder and DH.
The Kings Park native began his career as a catcher in 1988 with the Astros. He shifted to the outfield in 1990 and 1991, but in 1992, at age 26, he found a home at second base. He went on to appear in five All-Star games there. In 2003, when Houston signed Jeff Kent, he moved back to the outfield. Finally, in 2005, he moved back to second base, where he spent the final three years of his career. Despite all the moving around, Biggio ended his 20-year career with over 3,000 hits.
CAL RIPKEN JR.
In 1997, at age 36 and after playing shortstop for 14 years, Ripken moved to third base when free agent Mike Bordick came over from Oakland to the Orioles.
Chipper began his career in 1995 at third base and quickly drew comparisons to Mickey Mantle. He won the National League MVP award in 1999 and led the Braves to a World Series title in 1995. In 2002, he moved to leftfield to make room for Vinny Castilla. He struggled in the outfield, endured many injuries and moved back to third in 2004.
Mike Piazza will forever be known as one of the best-hitting catchers in history. But in 2004, at age 35, Piazza was starting to break down. The Mets tried to alleviate the rigors of catching by moving Piazza to first base. But he never looked comfortable there and by the end of the season, the experiment was scrapped.
The 2003 American League MVP had already won two Gold Glove awards with Texas when the Yankees acquired him in 2004. To accomodate Derek Jeter, A-Rod moved to third. He has gone on to win two MVP awards since moving there (2005 and 2007).
Reyes was a budding star at shortstop in 2004 when the Mets signed Japanese shortstop Kaz Matsui. In a nod to Matsui's experience and supposedly superior defense, Reyes shifted to second base. But Matsui made 23 errors in his first season and Reyes reclaimed shortstop in 2005.
Tejada won the 2002 American League MVP award as a shortstop with the Oakland A's. In 2010, at age 36, Tejada moved to third base in his second stint with the Baltimore Orioles.
After playing his entire career in centerfield, Carlos Beltran requested a move to rightfield during spring training in 2011. Beltran's knee is still not 100 percent after surgery in January 2010 and Angel Pagan, who was an adequate replacement last season, will move back to center. Beltran, 33, is in the final year of a seven-year, $119-million deal.