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Top 50 Catchers

Top 50 Catchers

The Top 50 Catchers List

With a commanding presence behind the plate and a rocket arm, Johnny Bench was the best defensive catcher in history. But that wasn't all. The powerful right-handed slugger won a pair of Most Valuable Player awards and led the Reds to six division titles, four pennants, and two championships. He hit an amazing .533 in the 1976 World Series and belted 10 post-season homers.

More Top 50 Player Rankings

Best Catcher in the History of Baseball

Johnny Bench

With a commanding presence behind the plate and a rocket arm, Johnny Bench was the best defensive catcher in history. But that wasn't all. The powerful right-handed slugger won a pair of Most Valuable Player awards and led the Reds to six division titles, four pennants, and two championships. He hit an amazing .533 in the 1976 World Series and belted 10 post-season homers.

Catchers of Note:

Largest digits - Ernie Lombardi
Most underrated - Steve O'Neill
Best plate-blocker - Mike Scioscia

 

Don't Miss...

Catcher Facts

Roger Bresnahan was the first catcher to wear shin guards...following the example played by europeans in Cricket.

Steve Yeager was the first to wear the flap below his mask to protect his neck...After a splintered bat struck him in the adam's apple.

Most Cerebral Ballplayer

Moe BergLight-hitting, Princeton-educated Moe Berg managed to play 15 seasons in the majors. Recruited as a spy during WWII, Berg once listened to a lecture by Werner Heisenberg with orders to shoot him if the physicist hinted that the Germans were close to building a nuclear weapon.

"Why has our pitching been so great? Our catcher, that's why. He looks cumbersome but he's quick as a cat."— Yankee manager Casey Stengel praises Yogi Berra

Negro Leaguers

Had Josh Gibson had the chance to play in the major leagues, he may have become the greatest catcher in baseball history. His raw power was scary. Buck O'Neil claimed that Gibson hit a ball out of Yankee Stadium.

Best of the Unranked - Almost Made the Cut

Rick DempseyBenito Santiago - Established a Major League record for a rookie by hitting safely in 34 straight games. This also stands today as the longest hitting streak ever by a catcher. He won the National League's Rookie of the Year Award unanimously that year

Manny Sanguillen - Manny Sanguillen had the unfortunate honor of catching in the National League during the heyday of Johnny Bench, perhaps the greatest backstop in the senior circuit’s history.  As such, Sanguillen never won a gold glove or a starting slot on an All-Star Team, but was a gold glove caliber catcher during his prime and a .300 hitter.

Rick Dempsey - Won 2 World Series, played 24 seasons and has the record for games behind the dish for the Orioles.

Jim Hegan - One of the games finest defensive cathers. Over 17 years he never played another position.

Deacon McGuire - all time leader in seasons played as a catcher and assits with 1859.

Most One-Dimensional

Bill Bergen - Couldn't hit a ball if his life depended on it, but he could catch anything

Cliff Johnson - Could hit anything.

Best Managers After They Hung Up Their Catchers' Masks

Connie MackAl Lopez - He took over the reigns in Chicago managing the White Sox in 1957 and led them to a surprise World Series berth in 1959.  Overall Lopez, who was very effective at positively influencing players and try to use the best attributed each had rather than try to force a system down their throats that they weren’t able to be successful at, retired in the midst of the 1969 season with a 1410-1004 record, good enough for a .584 winning percentage, 9th highest of all time.

Connie Mack - Player, manager, scout, general manager, owner — Cornelius MacGillicuddy (Connie Mack) — did it all. For more than half a century he owned and managed the Philadelphia A's — nearly their entire existence. He built two dynasties that won a total of five World Series titles, and he still holds the unbreakable records for most games managed, won, and lost.

Wilbert Robinson - He won ball games, and twice won pennants (1916 and 1920) with teams not given a pre-season chance. Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1945.

Ralph Houk - Former catcher Ralph Houk replaced legend Casey Stengel as manager of the Yankees in 1961, in an unpopular move. He guided the team to pennants his first three seasons, winning championships in his first two, before being replaced by Yogi Berra following the 1963 season.

Joe Torre - After more than 2,000 games as a player and another 2,000 as a manager, Torre finally made it to the World Series, winning the world championship in his first season in pinstripes. He finished second in 1997, but reeled off three straight titles from 1998-2000, and seven straight division titles through 2004, as he took his place among Yankee dugout legends.

Mike Scioscia - Won several divison titles and a World Championship in 2002.

Steve O'Neill - Huge reputation for managing and finding Hall of Fame talent 

Bruce Bochy - Won world series in 2010 and reached in as well in 1998, his teams in general have been considered over achieving.

Paul Richards - Paul Richards neither led a team to a pennant as a field manager nor presided over a winner as a general manager. He often got a team ready to win, only to move to another franchise before success was realized. He was considered among baseball's most brilliant and innovative strategists, an astute judge of pitching talent, and a skilled teacher.

Gold Glovers Not Top 50 but Worth a Mention

Jody DavisCharles Johnson - Four time gold glover who also caught 3 no hitters.

Benito Santiago - Established a Major League record for a rookie by hitting safely in 34 straight games. This also stands today as the longest hitting streak ever by a catcher.

Brad Ausmus - One of the finest catchers to play the position. He finished his career in 2010 ranked third in major league history with 12,839 putouts as a catcher, trailing only Iván Rodríguez and Jason Kendall, seventh in games caught with 1,938, and 10th in both range factor/game (7.12) and fielding percentage (.994). For his career, he threw out 30.2% of potential basestealers

Sandy Alomar Jr. - Six-time All-Star, and won one Gold Glove.

Ray Fosse - Ray Fosse played 12 seasons in the majors, winning two Gold Gloves at catcher, appearing in the 1973 and 1974 World Series, and being named to the All-Star team in 1970-71.

Randy Hundley - Despite being a light-hitter, Hundley was regarded as one of the best defensive catchers of his era and, the best Cubs' catcher since Gabby Hartnett in 1940.

Johnny Edwards - Richard Kendall of the Society for American Baseball Research devised an unscientific study that ranked Edwards as the second most dominating fielding catcher in major league history.

Jody Davis - In a 10 year career, Davis played in 1082 games, accumulating 877 hits in 3585 at bats for a .245 career batting average along with 127 home runs and 490 runs batted in. He ended his career with a .987 fielding percentage as a catcher.

Earl Battey - 3 time Gold glove Winner

By The Baseball Page

 

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Tagged:
Al Lopez, Benito Santiago, Bill Bergen, Brad Ausmus, Bruce Bochy, Buck O'Neil, Charles Johnson, Cliff Johnson, Connie Mack, Deacon McGuire, Earl Battey, Ernie Lombardi, Jim Hegan, Jody Davis, Joe Torre, Johnny Bench, Johnny Edwards, Josh Gibson, Manny Sanguillen, Mike Scioscia, Moe Berg, Paul Richards, Ralph Houk, Randy Hundley, Ray Fosse, Rick Dempsey, Roger Bresnahan, Sandy Alomar, Steve O'Neill, Steve Yeager, Top 50 Catchers, Wilbert Robinson

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