CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 7:   Jim Thome #25 of the Cleveland Indians bats against the Detroit Tigers during the second inning of their game on September 7, 2011 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.  The Tigers defeated the Indians 8-6.   (Photo by David Maxwell/Getty Images)

Top 10 Indians First Basemen

Updated October 2015

Some of the greatest Indians players of all time have been first basemen, including the team’s first MVP and current home run king. The position has changed much over the years with the oldest players on the list being defense first speedsters and the later players being big bashers, focusing on home runs and runs batted in.

10. Tony Horton – Years Starting 1B – 1967-1970

Horton took over for Whitfield and brought the Indians into the 1970’s, before being replaced himself by Rookie of the Year Chris Chambliss. Horton holds a tenuous place on this list with no outstanding numbers or feats to speak of.

9. Pat Tabler – 1983-1986

Tabler was never much of a power hitter, but he still managed to accrue some nice stats during his six years with the Tribe. His near .300 average ranks fourth among players listed and he had more than 600 combined runs and RBI.

8. George Stovall – 1904-05, 1907-11

Stovall was the Indians first long term first basemen and had the best speed numbers, stealing 110 bases and 40 triples during his time with the team.

7. Frank Whitfield – 1963, 1965-66

Whitfield is just one of four Indians first basemen to hit more than 90 home runs in his career, but had awful rate stats compared to the other three. He was one of the top offensive players on a particularly bad Indians team, leading the offense along with Leon Wagner and Rocky Colavito.

6. Carlos Santana – 2014-Active

Although he began his career as a catcher, Santana has now played more games as a first baseman than at any other position. Among Tribe first basemen, he ranks third in home runs, fourth in RBI and second in walks. Walking is possibly his greatest talent as he has drawn a base on balls more often than any other Indians hitter ever outside of Thome.

5. Luke Easter – 1950-1952

Easter was part of the powerful Indians teams of the early 1950’s and contributed heavily, despite a relatively short time with the Tribe. Easter hit over 90 home runs and 340 RBI in just six years with the team. His three years as a starting first baseman rank among the best ever in Indians history.

4. Ed Morgan – 1928, 1930-32

Morgan directly preceded Trosky and put up some impressive numbers of his own during his time. His best year was 1930 when he hit safely more than 200 times and knocked in 136 runs, a number that remains in the top ten best Indians seasons. In his career among third basemen, Morgan ranks second in average, third in walks and fourth in RBI.

3. George Burns – 1924-1927

Burns was the first Indians MVP and put up some impressive numbers despite a short time with the team. Burns career numbers are on the same level as Morgan’s, but far below those of the top two members of this list. Most impressive was his .327 career batting average, leading all Indians first basemen.

2. Hal Trosky – 1934-1941

The Indians have had two first basemen that stand heads above the rest and Trosky is the first. The original home run king for the Tribe, Trosky held the single season home run record from 1936 to 1953 (when it was broken by MVP Al Rosen) and was second in career home runs from the time he retired until Albert Belle broke the team record during the mid 1990s. Among all first basemen ever, Trosky ranks first in doubles and second in games, runs, home runs, RBI and walks, proof of both his long career and extreme talent.

1. Jim Thome – 1997-2002

Thome spent the first half of his career as the Indians third baseman, but had his best seasons playing first base during the last half of his time with the Tribe. He currently holds team records for home runs and strike outs, with more than 1,000 more of the latter than the next worst first baseman. Thome returned to the Indians in 2011 and pushed his walk total over 1,000 as well, placing him far in front of every other Indian in that stat as well. Not only is Thome the best first baseman in team history, but there is a strong argument that he is the best offensive player in the history of Cleveland baseball.

Jim Thome 1399 928 1353 263 337 937 1008 1400 .414 .566
Hal Trosky 1124 758 1365 287 216 911 449 373 .377 .551
George Burns 757 402 853 230 22 431 157 144 .365 .455
Ed Morgan 633 417 738 158 49 394 304 206 .398 .493
Luke Easter 491 256 472 54 93 340 174 293 .349 .481
Carlos Santana 804 394 696 168 117 421 539 619 .365 .433
Frank Whitfield 579 205 480 78 93 282 104 282 .298 .456
George Stovall 955 379 955 159 7 376 99 .279 .338
Pat Tabler 707 312 729 130 39 343 233 366 .356 .408
Tony Horton 513 217 506 86 68 255 119 253 .316 .439

Borderline: Doc JohnstonMike Hargrove, Vic Wertz, Vic Power, Paul Sorrento

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of and has been since its inception in 2011. He also writes for The Outside Corner and the Comeback and hosts the Tribe Time Now podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians. Follow on twitter @BurningRiverBB