Nettles only won 2 Gold Glove Awards in his career, but should've won more. Over 2412 games at third base, Total Zone had Nettles worth 136 runs above average at third base, although he was no longer above average after 1981. Still, Nettles was a great defender both statistically and anecdotally. He brought a lot of value to the Indians and Yankees teams he played for in his defensive prime.
Nettles only had three seasons with an OPS over .800 and those were his age 31-33 seasons with the Yankees. He hit a career high 37 homers in 1977 and hit 32 homers in 1976, the only two times he ever hit more than 30 home runs. He did finish with a fairly high total of 390 home runs in his career. Nettles actually enjoyed a decent walk rate, but his low batting averages kept his career on-base percentage (OBP) around .329. Then again, OBP was not considered as important back in the 70's and 80's. That's also an acceptable mark due to his also hitting for some power.
By any standards, Nettles has fringe Hall-of-Fame credentials with the merits of his glove alone. However, defensive statistics are not always agreed upon. So, having about 20 of his career WAR associated with his defense alone sort of hurts his case. It's possible the Veterans Committee votes him in one day, but his case isn't as strong as some other third baseman. After all, Ron Santo was voted in posthumously in 2012 after deserving to be in the Hall forever.
Nettles is still a player well worth remembering, though. At one time, Nettles was one of the better defensive third basemen in the history of the game. He's still regarded pretty highly among fans, too, especially Yankees fans, as he played in four World Series for them, winning in 1977 and 1978.
What is a Graig Nettles Baseball Card Worth?
Graig Nettles shared his 1969 Topps Rookie Stars card with pitcher Danny Morris. You can grab a PSA 8 graded example for between $40 and $50 (as of 2/2019) as they are fairly plentiful. PSA 9 copies are far tougher to find, and the last one on eBay sold in May of 2018 for about $300.
The most expensive Graig Nettles card that's sold recently at auction was actually a 1970 Topps Graig Nettles PSA 10 example. There are only 6 in the world, so it's little shock that it got $850 in January 2019 at auction. PSA 9 examples are hard to come by, as well, but PSA 8 and PSA 8.5 examples are cheap. A 1971 Topps Graig Nettles PSA 9 example sold for $500 in December 2018.
The most expensive recent sale of a Graig Nettles card with him depicted on the Yankees was a 1977 O-Pee-Chee Home Run Leaders card he shares with Phillies legend Mike Schmidt. This card as a PSA 10 example sold for $205, but possibly could have sold for more!
Nettles is a fine example of a player who had his best seasons with a big-market team. It also helps that he had a breakout season in one of the seasons where that team, the Yankees, won the World Series. A player’s popularity does a lot for his cards, and Nettles is no exception when it comes to New York Yankees fans.