No announcement yet.

Best Catchers of All Time

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Best Catchers of All Time

    --I am hoping to push for a little more thought put into these and a broader scope than our previous best position player polls. I'll be asking for top 20 rather than top 10. This will probably make for more interesting discussion as we're mined the ground pretty heavy on the very top guys. Discussion will be encouraged - at least to the point of comments along side your rankings (not required).
    --The actual ranking will be for MLB players only. We've had some issues in the past where some rank Negro leguers highly and others exclude them entirely. That makes it difficult to slot with with any kind of fairness. What I'm asking for here is an addendum to your ballot which catergorizes them in one of the following ways; 1) probably best ever at their position, 2) probably top 5 at their position, 3) probably top 10 at their position, 4) probably top 20 at their position. The final ranking will slot them accordingly. I'll ask for the same type addendum for non-US players for those who wish to comment on them.
    --I'll also ask you to list the Hall of Famers outside your top 20 in a separate addendum. Not that it won't be easy to identify them without it, but just to show; a) you considered all the likley candidates and b) to illustrate where mistakes have been made and highlight the players who do make the top 20 and are not in the Hall of Fame.

  • #2
    1) Johnny Bench: arguably best defender and 2nd best hitter ever
    2) Yogi Berra: most consistent of the elite catchers
    3) Mike Piazza: best hitting catcher - by a wide margin
    4) Mickey Cochrane: great hitter, defender and leader
    5) Gary Carter: just a shade behind Bench at everything
    6) Carlton Fisk: a few great seasons and a bunch of good ones
    7) Roy Campanella: some of the best years ever - if you assume he had more of them in the Negro Leagues he could be higher
    8) Gabby Hartnett: earlier version of Fisk
    9) Ivan Rodriguez: great arm, good bat, found leadership late
    10) Buck Ewing: one of greatest 19th century players, but didn't quite catch enough
    11) Bill Dickey: no power outside Yankee Stadium, but a good hitter anywhere.
    12) Bill Freehan: underrated due to terrible offensive environment, but 11 time AllStar is very impressive.
    13) Ted Simmons: terrific hitter for a long time
    14) Joe Torre: same knock as Ewing, but wasn't as dominant a player
    15) Charlie Bennett: first great career catcher
    16) Deacon White: best catcher of the 1870s with 2nd (lesser) career as 3B
    17) Roger Bresnahan: best deadball catcher
    18) Thurman Munson: good D and bat - probable HoF had he lived
    19) Elston Howard:outstanding peak - probable HoF if not for Berra
    20) Lance Parrish: very good power and arm, but rest of game not as good

    Probable Negro League/non-U.S. slotting:
    J. Gibson: probable top 5 (could be number 1)
    L. Santop: probable top 20
    K. Nomura: probable top 20

    Hall of Famers outside my top 20:
    Lombardi, Schalk and Ferrell


    • #3
      My slate of candidates for Top 20 Catchers: I put a high premium on defense and arm.

      1. Buck Ewing - 1880-96 - Had whole package; best handler of P., best arm - suppressed running game; good Top 10 bat, good runner, hit leadoff, good, popular manager.

      2. Johnny Bench - 1967-83 - Fully-loaded package; Defense, hit, power, arm. 14 all star teams, led in HRs twice.

      slotted by unranked. Josh Gibson - (1929-46) Negro L., good defense, Bombs Away.

      3. Mickey Cochrane - 1925-37 - Did it all. Defense, hit, ran, arm, manager, fire. Led his team to 2 straight pennants when given his managing chance, and won WS on his second shot. Hit by pitch ended his career.

      slotted by unranked. Biz Mackay - 1920-47, '50 - Negro Leagues - Defense deluxe; hit well. Negro Leagues.

      4. Yogi Berra - 1947-63 Good defense, hit well, power, managed, Yankee bounce.

      5. Mike Piazza - Thunder club/glass arm, light glove.

      6. Bill Dickey - 1928-43 - Superb defense, backbone of 30's Yanks, w/Gehrig of course.

      slotted but unranked. Louis "Santop" Loftin - (1909-26) Negro L. Nice defense, Gibson light at plate.

      7. Roy Campanella - (1937-45, Negro L.), (1946-48, minor L.)(1948-57, ML), good D., but not up to the others. Was protégé of mentor, Biz Mackey

      8. Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez - 1991-present - Superb defense. 10 all star teams. Credible bat, but he's all about the glove.

      9. Gary Carter (1974-92) - superb D, not bad bat. Led L. in RBIs once, 4 times over 100 RBIs. Twice over 30 HRs. 11 All-Star games, 3 GGs, 324 career HRs, 3 Top 10's in SLG., 7 Top 10's in HRs, 6 Top 10's in RBIs, 6 Top 10's in EBHs.

      10. Carlton Fisk (1971-93) - excellent D., OK bat. 11 All-Star games, 1 GG, 2 Top 10 BA., 3 Top 10 onbase, 4 Top 10 SLG., 3 Top 10 in HRs, 2 Top 10 in RBIs, 1 Top 10 in BB.

      11. Gabby Hartnett - (1922-41) Hefty bat/superb glove made him a great favorite. Cubs receiver was strong rival to Cochrane/Dickey.

      12. Thurman Munson (1969-79) - good glove, OK bat. 7 All-Stars, 3 GGs, 5 Top 10's BA, 1 Top 10 onbase, 1 Top 10 SLG. Career aborted by death at age 32, hurt his legacy.

      13. Michael "King" Kelly - (1878-93) great catcher, played OF, hit/ran well.

      14. Ray Schalk (1912-29) - Deluxe Defense, weak bat. All leather and no bat prevents his higher ranking.

      15. Charlie Bennett - (1878-93) Cutting-edge defense, superb arm. Arm rivaled that of Ewing.

      16. Johnny Kling; - (1902-08, '10-13) Master technician behind plate, bat had hole in it.

      17. Jimmie Archer - (1907, '09-18) Didn't last long enough, bat too light, but D. was superb, and arm of iron. Threw from crouch, like Ewing.

      slotted but unranked. Bruce Petway - (1906-25) - Negro Leagues; Superb receiver, great arm.

      18. Marty Bergen - (1896-1899) superb receiver, with arm of steel. Best catcher of his short career. Overcame his mental illness for 4 seasons, before it caught up with him.

      19. Johnny Bassler (1914, 21-27) Voted into Top 7 in MVP in '22-'24; Hit .346 in 1924, 5th in league, league ave. .290. Perhaps best defensively in L.

      slotted but unranked. Frank Duncan (1920-48) - Negro Leagues' defensive star.

      slotted but unranked. Larry Brown (1919-49) - Negro Leagues' defensive star.

      20. Roger Bresnahan - good glove, good bat. Johnny Kling could out-receive him, but was not as good a hitter. But I give defense a high premium in my catcher rankings.

      Honorable Mentions:
      Bill Freehan, Benito Santiago, Charles Johnson, Bob Boone.

      Hall of Famers not in my Top 20
      Rick Ferrell
      Ernie Lombardi
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-03-2008, 02:09 PM.


      • #4
        Form Chart: Catchers---Some Reference Resources.

        Pre-1910: Jack Clements, "Deacon" Jim McGuire, Red Charlie Dooin, Buck Ewing, Mike "King" Kelly, Charlie Bennett, Charles "Pop" Snyder, Marty Bergen, Bill Bergen, Johnny Kling, Roger Bresnahan, Chief Zimmer, Duke Farrell, John Warner, Wilbert Robinson, Doc Bushong, Moses Fleetwood Walker.

        1910-60: Hank Severeid, Bob O'Farrell, Bill Killefer, Ray Schalk, Wally Schang, Johnny Bassler, Walker Cooper, Sherman Lollar, Jim Hegan, Jimmy Archer, Muddy Ruel, Steve O'Neil, Billy Sullivan, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Gabby Hartnett, Al Lopez, Ernie Lombardi, Walker Cooper, Rick Ferrell, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Del Crandall, Smokey Burgess.

        1960-present: Ted Simmons, Lance Parrish, Jim Sundberg, Jerry Grote, Johnny Bench, Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk, Thurman Munson, Mike Piazza, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Bill Freehan, Benito Santiago, Charles Johnson, Bob Boone, Mike Matheny.

        Negro Leagues:
        Josh Gibson (1929-1946)
        Louis "Santop" Loftin (1909-26)
        Bruce Petway (1906-25);
        Frank Duncan (1920-48)
        Larry Brown (1919-49)
        James Raleigh "Biz" Mackey (1920-47, '50)
        Bil James' Top Catchers: 1. Yogi Berra 2. Johnny Bench 3. Roy Campanella 4. Mickey Cochrane 5. Mike Piazza 6. Carlton Fisk 7. Bill Dickey 8. Gary Carter 9. Gabby Hartnett 10. Ted Simmons 11. Joe Torre 12. Bill Freehan 13. Ivan Rodriguez 14. Thurman Munson 15. Elston Howard 16. Roger Bresnahan 17. Buck Ewing 18. Darrell Porter 19. Lance Parrish 20. Wally Schang 21. Bob Boone 22. Ernie Lombardi 23. Gene Tenace 24. Tim McCarver 25. Darren Daulton 26. Tom Haller 27. John Roseboro 28. Smodky Burgess 29. Rick Ferrell 30. Del Crandall 35. Ray Schalk 47. Johnny Bassler 48. Johnny Kling 49. Charlie Bennett
        1st Round of Greatest Position Players - November 14, 2004 - December 10, 2004, by Leecemark

        --Voting is closed and here are the top 10 (first place votes in paras). Josh Gibson got the most first place votes, but was left off many ballots and finished 4th. He was the only catcher not on my top 10 list to make it and I surely can't argue that he wasn't top 10 even though I don't know where to rank him myself. Buck Ewing was the only player to get a first place vote and not make the top 10.

        1. Johnny Bench 158 (5)
        2. Yogi Berra 151 (3)
        3. Mickey Cochrane 135 (1)
        4. Josh Gibson 93 (7)
        5. Roy Campanella 73
        6. Gabby Hartnett 71
        7. Bill Dickey 67
        8. Ivan Rodriguez 63
        9. Mike Piazza 56
        10. Carlton Fisk 35
        11. Gary Carter 22
        12. Buck Ewing 18 (1)
        13. Biz Mackey 17

        Honorable Mention: Nine other catchers received votes but didn't crack double figures in points.
        2nd Round of Greatest Position Players - October 13, 2005 - December 27, 2005, by 53820

        1. Johnny Bench-183 (10)
        2. Yogi Berra-131
        3. Josh Gibson-106 (5)
        4. Mike Piazza-87
        5. Mickey Cochrane-84
        6. Roy Campanella-67
        7. Ivan Rodriguez-63
        8. Bill Dickey-50
        9. Gary Carter-35
        10. Carlton Fisk-31
        11. Buck Ewing-30 (1)
        12. Gabby Hartnett-28
        3rd Round of Greatest Position Players - April 14, 2007 - June 12, 2007 - conducted by Bill Burgess

        There were 15 ballots, and the following are the point totals.

        1) Johnny Bench 141 (8)
        2) Yogi Berra 124 (2)
        3) Mickey Cochrane 93 (1)
        4) Josh Gibson 86 (3)
        5) Mike Piazza 84

        6) Gary Carter 50
        6) Ivan Rodriguez 50
        8) Carlton Fisk 43
        9) Bill Dickey 41
        10) Ray Campanella 31

        11) Buck Ewing 26 (1)
        12) Gabby Hartnett 24
        13) Biz Mackey 13
        14) Lance Parrish 5
        14) Louis Santop 5
        14) Ted Simmons 5

        17) Katsuya Nomura 2
        18) Elston Howard 1
        18) Joe Torre 1
        Of the catchers, I must give top honors for Defense to Ewing, Biz Mackay, Bennett, Kling, Bench, Schalk, Rodriguez.

        Top throwing arm honors go to Ewing, Bennett, Archer, Mackay, Bench, Pudge Rodriquez.

        Top Bats go to Gibson, Piazza, Bench, Santop Loftin. Most could hit well. The only light hitters were Bennett, Kling and Archer, Schalk, both Bergens.

        Quote: Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe:
        "I played with both Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson on the Crawfords. They say Josh Gibson was the greatest catcher. Josh was not the greatest catcher; he was the greatest hitter. We had 5 or 6 men who could outcatch him. Josh couldn't receive with Larry Brown or Frank Duncan or Biz Mackey or Roy Campanella or any of those fellows. Of course I wouldn't include myself because that wouldn't be right, but they thought a lot of me, because I caught more East-West games than anybody." (Voices From The Great Black Baseball Leagues, by John Holway, 1975, pp. 171-172)

        (One may include Bruce Petway & Louis "Santop" Loftin in the group of those Negro L. catchers who could outcatch Josh Gibson.)
        On January 12, 1894, at the age of 39, while still active as a ballplayer, Charlie Bennett was run over by a train at Wellsville, KS, and had to have both his legs amputated. Detroit's ballpark was subsequently named after Charlie.
        On January 19, 1900, at the age of 28, Martin Bergen, due to mental illness, killed his wife, daughter, son and himself.
        On May 25, 1937, at the age of 34, Mickey Cochrane was hit in the head by a fastball, and that ended his career abruptly.
        At 3:34 AM, January 28, 1958, at the age of 36, Roy Campanella was driving home to Long Island, NY, from his store in Harlem, when his car hit a slick spot, and he hit a telephone pole. Pinned upside down for 30 minutes, his 5th & 6th cervical vertebrae were fractured and dislocated. Paralyzed from the chest down.
        On August 2, 1979, at the age of 31, Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash.
        On January 20, 1947, Josh Gibson died in Pittsburgh, PA, at the age of 35, of a stroke. Some allege that it was facilitated by alcoholism, chronic depression, and possibly non-prescription drug abuse.
        AstrosFan has contributed this wonderful hitting chart of relative stats for catchers.
               FN               PA	AB	AVG+	OBP+	SLG+	ISO+	OPS+
        King	Kelly		6455	5894	119	116.5	125.4	143.4	141.9
        Mike	Piazza		7416	6602	114.7	111.3	128.9	153.1	140.2
        Mickey	Cochrane	6055	5169	110.1	116.3	114.3	123.7	130.6
        Buck	Ewing		5764	5363	111.7	106.3	123.6	157	129.9
        Roy	Campanella	4786	4205	102.9	106	121.3	155.8	127.3
        Johnny	Bench		8658	7658	101.8	103.6	123.4	169.5	127
        Gabby	Hartnett        7170	6432	103.6	106.6	120.2	160.2	126.8
        Bill	Dickey		7009	6300	110.5	107.6	118.2	135.3	125.8
        Ernie	Lombardi        6331	5855	111.3	105.7	118.5	135.8	124.2
        Roger	Bresnahan	5262	4481	104.6	116.7	107.2	115.3	123.9
        Yogi	Berra		8355	7555	107.6	102	121.7	150	123.7
        Carlton	Fisk		9827	8756	103	103.9	116.6	143.6	120.5
        Charlie	Bennett		4310	3821	 99.5	109	111.2	144.4	120.2
        Gary	Carter		8986	7971	 99.9	101.5	113	140.5	114.5
        Ivan	Rodriguez  	8298	7745	112.7	101	113.3	114.4	114.3
        Thurman	Munson		5882	5344	112.6	105.9	107	 95.2	112.9
        Johnny	Bassler		2766	2319	105.7	116.8	 91.2	 53.1	108
        Johnny	Kling		4534	4241	102.3	 96.4	102.4	102.5	 98.8
        Jimmy	Archer		2787	2644	 95.7	 88.7	 96.9	100.5	 85.6
        Ray	Schalk		6003	5306	 90.4	 97.3	 82.5	 60.7	 79.8
        Marty	Bergen		1340	1278	 92.1	 85.2	 91.8	 90.9	 77
        538280 graciously shared this with us.

        The 2005 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia has data on SB and CS off catchers for all of baseball history going back to the 1890s (no Buck Ewing data is perhaps the most notable they're missing). But this was data considered unavailable until this now as far as I know. Anyway they present percentages above average for catchers in stolen bases allowed per inning. This is the best way to gauge stopping the running game because CS per inning often has the best catchers low because teams rarely run on them. By using 'steals allowed per inning' we not only see the catcher's actual performance in shutting down the running game but also how often other teams attempted, which can also show how other teams thought the catcher could throw. Anyway here are some marks for some notables (just like other relative stats, 140 is 40% above average, 80 20% below, you all know how that works):

        Ivan Rodriguez; 203 (through 2004)
        Johnny Bench: 170
        Roy Campanella: 153
        Thurman Munson: 153
        Gabby Hartnett: 138
        Ray Schalk: 130
        Bill Dickey: 130
        Martin Bergen: 126
        Del Crandall: 126
        Jimmy Archer: 122
        Gary Carter: 120
        Yogi Berra: 115
        Johnny Kling: 115
        Joe Torre: 110
        Mickey Cochrane: 109
        Carlton Fisk: 107
        Roger Bresnahan: 106
        Gene Tenace: 105
        Ernie Lombardi: 102
        Bill Bergen: 99
        Ted Simmons: 97
        Mike Piazza: 78 (through 2004)
        ............OPS+....Rel.ISO.....EqA.....BRAR.....B RAR/650
        Bench.....126.......169........291.......589...... ...44.16
        Berra.......125.......153.......288.......523..... ....40.64
        Piazza.....144.......155.......314.......705...... ....60.87
        Ewing......130.......155.......289.......377...... ...42.42

        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-24-2008, 10:38 AM.


        • #5
          Additional, supplimental Reference Resources.

          Buck Ewing-----------------Mickey Cochrane------------Bill Dickey
          supporters - 18 ------------supporters - 50 ------------supporters - 34

          Name--Year of inclusion in their All-Time All-Star teams.

          Billy Sunday,Jan.24,09-------Ban Johnson,29------------W.Johnson 34
          Cap Anson,-Jun.17----------William Hanna,30-----------Fred Logan =38
          Sam Crane,Apr.18-----------George Sisler,Ap.31---------Bill Coughlin 41
          Monty Ward, BE,25----------George Moriarty,33---------Joe Dugan 42
          Francis C. Richter,Fe,26------Hugh Fullerton=35----------Ed Rumill 42
          William B. Hanna=26----------Jim Nasium,35--------------Waite Hoyt =42
          John B. Sheridan=28---------E.A. Batchelor,Apr.39-------Grant Rice 43
          John McGraw,31-------------Jimmy Isaminger,41---------Duffy Lewis 45
          Joe Vila,34------------------Zach Wheat,41-------------Ford Frick =45
          John B. Foster,BE38---------Hal Chase,41---------------Tom Yawkey =45
          Fred Logan,=38-------------Bill Coughlin,------41--------Dan Daniel 45
          John Drebinger,38-----------Muddy Ruel,42--------------Steve O'Neil 50
          Mickey Welch,BE,39---------Del Baker,42----------------Connie Mack,50
          Amos Rusie,39--------------Dolly Stark,42---------------John Kieran, 50
          Nick Altrock,42-------------Joe Dugan,42----------------Ken Smith, 52
          Arlie Latham,52-------------Ed Rumill,42-----------------Arlie Latham,52
          Clark Griffith,52-------------Ward Morehouse,42----------Clark Griffith = 52
          John McCarthy,94-----------Waite Hoyt,=42--------------Bill McGowan,54
          ----------------------------Tris Speaker,44--------------Ed Burkholder,55
          ----------------------------Ford Frick,=45--------------Ed Walsh, 57
          ----------------------------Joe Williams,46--------------Dazzy Vance, 61
          ----------------------------Conie Mack,50--------------Casey Stengel,61
          ----------------------------Eddie Collins,50-------------Ty Cobb, 61
          ----------------------------John Kieran,50--------------Rogers Hornsby,62
          ----------------------------Clark Griffith,= 52-----------John Ogden, 63
          ----------------------------Bill McGowan,----54--------Tommy Holmes,64
          ----------------------------Frank Baker,55-------------Fred Lieb, 77
          ----------------------------Ed Burkholder,55------------Paul Richards, 77
          ----------------------------Nap Lajoie,56---------------Doc Cramer, 85
          -----------------------------Ed Walsh,57---------------Whitey Witt, 85
          -----------------------------Ty Cobb,61----------------Joe Sewell, 87
          -----------------------------Casey Stengel,61-----------Ken Keltner, 87
          -----------------------------Rogers Hornsby,62----------George Selkirk, 87
          -----------------------------John Ogden,63--------------Whitlow Wyatt,87
          -----------------------------Branch Rickey,65
          -----------------------------Jimmy Dykes,67
          -----------------------------Lefty Grove,74
          -----------------------------Fred Lieb,=77
          -----------------------------George Kelly,84
          -----------------------------Mark Koenig,85
          -----------------------------Frank Ellerbe,85
          -----------------------------Jocko Conlon,85
          -----------------------------Billy Rogell,85
          -----------------------------Doc Cramer,85
          -----------------------------Rip Sewell,87
          -----------------------------Buck Leonard,87
          -----------------------------Buck Jordan,87
          -----------------------------Charles Gehringer,87
          -----------------------------Steve Wulf,92
          -----------------------------Shirley Povich,97
          Freakshow contributed this nice addition.

          The top 16 in games at catcher, through 1892, with year retired:

          894 C. Bennett '93
          877 P. Snyder '91
          743 S. Flint '89
          668 D. Bushong '90
          646 J. Clements '00
          635 B. Ewing '97
          566 K. Kelly '93
          542 J. Milligan '93
          538 B. Holbert '88
          534 W. Robinson '02
          516 C. Zimmer '03
          486 C. Mack '96
          472 J. Clapp '83
          461 D. Miller '96
          459 B. Gilligan '88
          458 D. White '90

          By 1900, four catchers had reached the 1000 mark.
          The top 18 in games at catcher, through 1900, with year retired:

          1171 D. McGuire '08
          1162 W. Robinson '02
          1095 C. Zimmer '03
          1073 J. Clements '00
          954 C. Bennett '93
          877 P. Snyder '91
          815 D. Farrell '05
          743 S. Flint '89
          739 M. Kittridge '06
          668 D. Bushong '90
          636 B. Ewing '97
          636 D. Miller '96
          630 P. Schriver '01
          609 C. Mack '96
          605 J. O'Connor '07
          595 H. Peitz '06
          585 J. Milligan '93
          583 K. Kelly '93
          Brad Harris (Chancellor) contributed this gem in the historical section, to the thread, "The Greatest Catcher Ever", post #47, on July 30, 2004, 01:43PM

          And it still sparkles with insight. An Impacted Life Join Date: Sep 2002, Posts: 2,493

          I'll stick with Johnny Bench.

          Bench is still considered, by a majority of people, to have most likely been the greatest defensive catcher in history. His offensive contributions are extremely underrated because of the era in which he played. Bench was the leader of his teams (not Rose, not Morgan, not Perez). Bench played in baseball's most balanced competitive climate ever and was twice named the Most Valuable Player in the league. Bench played against integrated competition whereas most catchers on these lists did not.

          The only knock against Bench is his problems with his knees which forced him to move to first base for a few years, prolonging his career, but dropping his rate stats where he is compared to an average player (like TPR). Personally, I think in discussing who the "greatest" is, we are primarily discussing how great someone was at their peak. Bench's peak is certainly the most impressive of anyone on this list, in my opinion. At least when you consider all the surrounding factors (like environment and quality of competition).

          The only two catchers I might rank as high are Buck Ewing and Josh Gibson and I'll tell you why I continue to select Bench over either of them.

          Buck Ewing was certainly the greatest catcher in baseball history from the time he played until the Age of Messers. Cochrane, Hartnett and Dickey. Ewing was certainly one of the best players (regardless of position) of his era. However, Ewing was born before the Civil War and died at the age of 47, shortly after his retirement from the game. He certainly wasn't as physically gifted as Bench (or any great athlete born more than a hundred years later.) The competition Ewing faced wasn't necessarily the best in the country at that time as the many of the top "minor" league teams and players were of "major league" caliber. Ewing never had to face the top black or latino athletes in the hemisphere, either. In terms of dominating their respective eras, I can see where Ewing might be considered better than Bench, but in terms of the quality of baseball being played in those eras and doing cross-era comparisons of the all-time greats, I don't see how Ewing could be considered better than Bench at all. Bench excelled against a much higher level of competition, making his dominance more impressive (in my opinion.) Finally, on a defensive note, the catcher's position wasn't quite the same as living fans are prone to think of today and I believe that great defense behind the plate in the 1880s and 1890s is less impressive than great defense behind the plate in the modern era.

          Josh Gibson, on the other hand, is less well-documented by meaningful and accurate statistics than the major leaguers we're comparing. Though the anecdotal (and available statistical) evidence is useful to an extent and, no doubt, very impressive, Gibson played primarily in an era that was hitter-friendly in the major leagues and didn't play in the organized "white" leagues. No doubt the competition he faced was top-notch, but Gibson's absence from the major leagues (through no fault of his own) makes comparing him to Bench an extremely difficult exercise if one is to be fair to all sides. Personally, I have Gibson rated as the #2 catcher of all-time, right behind Bench (with almost no room to spare) and I'm sure that if Gibson had played in an integrated major leagues that he would have been considered the greatest catcher in history at least until the time Bench played (if not still). However, I can't accurately project Gibson as the #1 catcher without feeling as though I'm stretching the analysis and giving extra credit because I want to believe the results.

          Putting Ewing or Gibson over Bench requires adopting a line of reasoning that I'm uncomfortable with and feel would be wrong-headed in such a comparison. I have to stick with Bench. Gibson #2. Ewing is #5 in my book (after Berra and Cochrane).

          1. Bench 2. Gibson 3. Berra 4. Cochrane 5. Ewing
          Chancellor on Catchers:

          Brad Harris (Chancellor) contributed this scintillating analysis in the Hall of Fame Talk section, on the thread, "Best Players not in the Hall of Fame", page 5, post# 101, on February 9, 2004, 1:53PM:

          Munson had a 116 OPS+ in 5,900 plate appearances. Bennett had a slightly higher OPS+ in roughly 1,500 fewer PAs. The difference, however, in playing time has everything to do with the eras in which they played.

          Munson played regularly from 1970-78 and was the "starting" catcher in 1979, when injuries made him miss 65 games. For Munson, he was a starter at the age of 23 and died (in the second-half of his career) at the age of 32.

          Bennett was the starting catcher on his teams from 1881-91, through eleven seasons (as opposed to Munson's 10). Quite simply, if the season had been 162 games in the 1880s, Bennett would very likely have at least as many PAs as did Munson.

          So I think, in the context of their times, it is reasonable to say that their offense is a wash. Munson was a horrible baserunner. He stole 48 bases in 11 seasons, but was caught stealing 50 times! Bennett, on the other hand, stole 42 bases from the age of 31 on; there's no verifiable data on CS for those years or for SB totals prior to 1886. It isn't difficult to imagine that Bennett's career steals would look a little bit better if all the data were available. For now, let's call that a wash too.

          So how about their defense? Well...Munson won 3 gold gloves. Bennett, playing many generations before the award was invented, won none of course.

          According to defensive win shares, however, Bennett should have won 4 - in 1881-82, 1886 and 1890. And Munson? Defensive win shares point to a pair of undeserved awards; Munson shouldn't have received the prize in 1974-75. For their careers? Bennett receives an "A" while Munson is graded at a "B minus".

          Of course, Munson received important hardware in 1976 when he was part of the first Yankee team to win a pennant in twelve years. The AL MVP that year, however, should have gone to someone else. Graig Nettles, Mickey Rivers and Roy White all had better seasons than Munson in 1976 -- and those were just his teammates. The best player in the AL in 1976 was among George Brett, Rod Carew and Bobby Grich. Brett led the league with 33 win shares - 9 more than Munson and there were a total of 21 players who had as much or more value than Munson did to their respective teams.

          This isn't meant so much as a disaccreditation of hardware in modern baseball so much as it is to point out that the absence of hardware in an era before those awards were given regularly is no more/less telling than a few awards in modern baseball because, after all, even voters miss the mark from time to time.

          Munson has a point in his column for his excellent post-season play. Bennett also won 2 post-season championships (and with two different teams) and had 13 hits and 10 RBIs in the 13 post-season games he appeared in.

          So it looks like Munson and Bennett are basically a tie. And here's where we leave Munson behind.

          Bennett was regarded as the best catcher (i.e. not player as Buck Ewing or Roger Bresnahan were, but catcher) of the 19th century (and on into the deadball era.)

          Bennett meets 26.3 of the Hall of Fame's standards (where an "average" Hall of Famer meets 50.0), but Munson - playing in an era with over 50% more games per season - met only 29.5.

          Of course, just as Munson's career was ended prematurely by the plane crash, so Bennett's career was abruptly interrupted by his losing both legs in an accident when he slipped crossing train tracks in 1894. Bennett was, in fact, so highly thought-of at the time that his former team, the Detroit Wolverines (later Tigers), named their ballpark after him; to this day Bennett remains the only player ever to receive that honor.
          Brad Harris (Chancellor) contributed this scintillating analysis in the Hall of Fame Talk section, on the thread, "Best Players not in the Hall of Fame", page 5, post# 103, on February 9, 2004, 4:05PM:

          Ewing played more games at catcher than at other positions in the following seasons: 1881, 1883-86, 1888-90. In total, Ewing was behind the plate for only 636 out of 1,345 games. Bennett, on the other hand, played 954 of 1,084 career games at catcher.

          Ewing, interestingly enough, is also credited with 4 "gold gloves" (as determined by defensive win shares), the same number as Bennett.

          I poured over Win Shares for a few minutes, gathering the following:

          From 1881-83, Charlie Bennett was the best catcher in the National League each of those three seasons. (Buck Ewing was usually second-best.)

          From 1884-86 and from 1888-89 Buck Ewing was the best catcher in the National League each of those five seasons. (Charlie Bennett was usually second-best.) Also, in 1890, Buck Ewing was the best catcher in the Players League.

          From 1881-89 either Bennett or Ewing was the best catcher in the NL with the sole exception of 1887, when Jim O'Rourke played 40 games at catcher, more than at any other position. (O'Rourke also played 38 games at third and 28 games in the outfield.) If you wanted a minimum percent of games played to qualify, then, you could technically crown Ewing the best catcher in the NL that year, too.

          In their declining years in the 1890s, both Bennett and Ewing were eclipsed by Chief Zimmer, Jack Clements and Duke Farrell as the best catchers in baseball.

          For a little over a decade, however, Bennett and Ewing were neck-and-neck as the best catchers in the game.

          Editors Note: After Bill's comments made me look I must concede that Ewing's value as a catcher is diminished somewhat less by his 636 games than I had first thought.
          Brad Harris (Chancellor) contributed this scintillating analysis in the Hall of Fame Talk section, on the thread, "Best Players not in the Hall of Fame", page 5, post# 109, on February 11, 2004, 8:47AM:

          Of the three names you mentioned - Bennett, Ewing and Kelly - I would have to rate them as offensive players in the following order:

          Mike "King" Kelly
          Buck Ewing
          Charlie Bennett

          However, Kelly played more games in the outfield than at catcher and, in fact, is categorized in the Hall of Fame as a rightfielder, not as a catcher. Only 5 of Kelly's 16 seasons saw him play at catcher more games than at any other position. And those were 5 of his final 6 years. Kelly barely amassed 1,600 plate appearances in those seasons so it really would be fair to include him in this discussion of great hitting catchers of the nineteenth century.

          Ewing, who is closer to Kelly than to Bennett offensively, played many more seasons primarily as a catcher and finished his career with more games at catcher than anywhere else (though he, too, was used at a number of other positions on a regular basis.)

          Bennett was a full-time catcher, but his OPS+ of 118, while much better than most players, wasn't as good as Ewing - even if you just include Ewing's "catcher seasons".

          So, I'd rate Ewing an edge over Bennett where I would tend to keep Kelly out of the ratings at all (though he was a better hitter than Ewing, if you're just talking about offensive ability.

          Also...I would rate Deacon White in between Ewing and Bennett. White was the best catcher of the early years of professional baseball and was one of the game's first stars.

          I also happen to think White belongs in the Hall of Fame.
          Bill asked Chancellor this question.
          I was wondering how you'd rate Jimmie Archer, Martin Bergen, and Billy Sullivan defensively? I think it would be a great service to make a small file on pre-1900 catchers. And throw in Johnny Kling into the mix just to mix it up with spice. All in all, how would you rate the top 10 19th century catchers, both defensively and offensively with Kling added in.

          Brad Harris (Chancellor) contributed this scintillating analysis in the Hall of Fame Talk section, on the thread, "Best Players not in the Hall of Fame", page 5, post# 116, on February 16, 2004, 10:50PM:

          Good questions all.

          I'll get to some of them after a little more research. Suffice it to say at the moment that I've compiled a list of the best defensive catcher in each league/season from 1876-2003. This is, essentially, a list of the most "gold gloves", though in fact it ignores actual gold gloves won in favor of who win shares said was the best (as opposed to the subjectivity of the voters). This is a measurement of defense only.

          Most win shares "gold gloves", catcher
          9 Ray Schalk
          8 Gary Carter
          6 Gabby Hartnett
          6 Ivan Rodriguez
          5 Yogi Berra
          5 Roy Campanella
          5 Mickey Cochrane
          5 Bill Dickey
          5 Bill Freehan
          5 Bill Killefer
          5 Jim Sundberg

          In the 19th century, only Charlie Bennett, Buck Ewing and Pop Snyder led catchers in their league in defensive excellence four times. No catcher in history did it for a fifth time until Ray Schalk, at the end of the deadball era.

          A few things to note. Johnny Bench and Ivan Rodriguez have the most actual gold glove awards, I believe. Bench has 4 win shares gold gloves.

          Also, Roy Campanella won 5 win shares gold gloves, but didn't reach the majors until he was 26 because of the ban on black players; it's possible he'd won one or two more if he'd debuted a few years earlier.

          Lance Parrish, Ossie Schreckengost and Jim Hegan join the 19th century triumvirate (mentioned above) and Bench as the only players with 4 win shares gold gloves.

          Johnny Kling garnered 3.

          Jimmie Archer and Billy Sullivan won a single "gold glove" each while Marty Bergen never led his league in defensive wizardry behind the plate.

          This isn't the final word on how good those players were defensively, but it's one way of examining things and I thought I'd pass the info along as I got it.
          Win Shares Gold Gloves - Catchers

          The Slaff: Aug. 22, 2005; 11:45 AM; Join Date: Jan., 2003; Posts: 269;


          1876 J. Clapp / D. White
          1877 Lew Brown
          1878 Pop Snyder
          1879 Pop Snyder
          1880 Silver Flint
          1881 Charlie Bennett
          1882 Charlie Bennett … Pop Snyder (AA)
          1883 Doc Bushong / Barney Gilligan … Bill Holbert (AA)
          1884 Buck Ewing … Pop Snyder (AA) … George Baker (UA)
          1885 Buck Ewing … Doc Bushong (AA)
          1886 Charlie Bennett … Doc Bushong (AA)
          1887 Tom Daly … Kid Baldwin (AA)
          1888 Buck Ewing … Wilbert Robinson (AA)
          1889 Buck Ewing … W. Robinson / Jack Boyle (AA)
          1890 Charlie Bennett … Jack O'Connor (AA) … Duke Farrell (PL)
          1891 Chief Zimmer … Morgan Murphy (AA)
          1892 Chief Zimmer
          1893 John Grim
          1894 Duke Farrell
          1895 Deacon McGuire
          1896 Ed McFarland / C. Zimmer
          1897 John Warner
          1898 Lou Criger
          1899 Ed McFarland
          1900 Ed McFarland
          1901 Malachi Kittridge … Billy Sullivan
          1902 Johnny Kling … Ossee Schreckengost
          1903 Pat Moran … Lou Criger
          1904 Admiral Schlei / J. Kling … D. McGuire / L. Criger
          1905 Red Dooin … Ossee Schreckengost
          1906 Johnny Kling … Ossee Schreckengost
          1907 Red Dooin … Ossee Schreckengost
          1908 Red Dooin … Boss Schmidt
          1909 George Gibson … Ira Thomas
          1910 George Gibson … Jack Lapp
          1911 Chief Meyers … Ira Thomas
          1912 Jimmy Archer … John Henry
          1913 Bill Killefer … Ray Schalk
          1914 Bill Killefer … Ray Schalk … Walter Blair (FL)
          1915 Frank Snyder … Ray Schalk … Bill Rariden (FL)
          1916 Hank Gowdy … Ray Schalk
          1917 Bill Killefer … Ray Schalk
          1918 B. Killefer / Walter Schmidt … Steve O'Neill
          1919 Bill Killefer … Ray Schalk
          1920 Mickey O'Neill … Ray Schalk
          1921 Walter Schmidt … Ray Schalk
          1922 Bob O'Farrell … Ray Schalk
          1923 Frank Snyder … Muddy Ruel
          1924 Zack Taylor … Muddy Ruel
          1925 Frank Snyder … Muddy Ruel
          1926 Bob O'Farrell … Luke Sewell
          1927 Gabby Hartnett … Mickey Cochrane
          1928 Gabby Hartnett … Mickey Cochrane
          1929 Jimmie Wilson … Mickey Cochrane
          1930 Gabby Hartnett … Mickey Cochrane
          1931 Jimmie Wilson … Bill Dickey
          1932 Earl Grace … Mickey Cochrane
          1933 Gabby Hartnett … Rick Ferrell
          1934 Gabby Hartnett … Rick Ferrell
          1935 Gabby Hartnett … Bill Dickey
          1936 Gus Mancuso … Luke Sewell
          1937 Al Lopez / G. Hartnett … Bill Dickey
          1938 Al Todd … Rudy York
          1939 Harry Danning … Bill Dickey
          1940 Harry Danning … Rollie Hemsley
          1941 Mickey Owen … Bill Dickey
          1942 Mickey Owen … Birdie Tebbetts
          1943 Ray Mueller … Paul Richards
          1944 Ray Mueller … Frankie Hayes
          1945 Ken O'Dea … Frankie Hayes
          1946 Ray Mueller … Buddy Rosar
          1947 Bruce Edwards … Buddy Rosar
          1948 Del Rice … Jim Hegan
          1949 Roy Campanella … Jim Hegan
          1950 Wes Westrum … Jim Hegan
          1951 Roy Campanella … Yogi Berra
          1952 Del Rice … Yogi Berra
          1953 Roy Campanella … Sammy White
          1954 Del Crandall … Jim Hegan
          1955 Roy Campanella … Sherm Lollar
          1956 Ed Bailey … Yogi Berra
          1957 Roy Campanella … Yogi Berra
          1958 Del Crandall … Yogi Berra
          1959 Del Crandall … Sherm Lollar
          1960 Hal Smith … Sherm Lollar
          1961 Johnny Roseboro … Earl Battey
          1962 Johnny Edwards … Earl Battey
          1963 Johnny Edwards … Earl Battey
          1964 Johnny Edwards … Elston Howard
          1965 Tom Haller … Bill Freehan
          1966 Johnny Roseboro … Bill Freehan
          1967 Tim McCarver … Buck Rodgers
          1968 Johnny Bench … Bill Freehan
          1969 Randy Hundley … Bill Freehan
          1970 Johnny Bench … George Mitterwald
          1971 Manny Sanguillen … Bill Freehan
          1972 Duffy Dyer … Ed Herrmann
          1973 J. Bench / Joe Ferguson … Thurman Munson
          1974 Johnny Bench … Glenn Borgmann
          1975 Steve Yeager … Brian Downing
          1976 Johnny Bench … Jim Sundberg
          1977 Gary Carter … Jim Sundberg
          1978 Gary Carter … Jim Sundberg
          1979 Gary Carter … Jim Sundberg
          1980 Gary Carter … Rick Cerone
          1981 Gary Carter … Jim Sundberg
          1982 Gary Carter … Bob Boone
          1983 Gary Carter … Lance Parrish
          1984 Tony Pena … Lance Parrish
          1985 Gary Carter … Bob Boone
          1986 G. Carter / Jody Davis … Rich Gedman
          1987 Mike Scioscia … Ernie Whitt
          1988 Tony Pena … Andy Allenson
          1989 Mike Scioscia … Bob Boone
          1990 Darren Daulton … Lance Parrish
          1991 Tom Pagnozzi … Lance Parrish
          1992 Joe Oliver … Ivan Rodriguez
          1993 Rick Wilkins … Ron Karkovice
          1994 Benito Santiago … Terry Steinbach
          1995 Joe Girardi … Ivan Rodriguez
          1996 Charles Johnson … Ivan Rodriguez
          1997 Charles Johnson … Ivan Rodriguez
          1998 Javier Lopez … Ivan Rodriguez
          1999 Mike Lieberthal … Ivan Rodriguez
          2000 Mike Matheny … Brad Ausmus
          2001 Brad Ausmus … Einar Diaz
          2002 Brad Ausmus … Bengie Molina
          2003 Brian Schneider … Ramon Hernandez
          2004 Brian Schneider … Damian Miller
          The Slaff Aug. 24, 2005, 11:47 AM Join Date: Jan 2003; Posts: 269

          Win Shares Gold Gloves: Catchers
          Number of times:

          Gary Carter, Ray Schalk

          Gabby Hartnett

          Ivan Rodriguez

          Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Bill Freehan, Bill Killefer, Jim Sundberg

          Charlie Bennett, Buck Ewing, Jim Hegan, Lance Parrish, Ossee Schreckengost, Pop Snyder

          Brad Ausmus, Earl Battey, Doc Bushong, Del Crandall, Lou Criger, Bob Boone, Red Dooin, Johnny Edwards, Johnny Kling, Sherm Lollar, Ed McFarland, Ray Mueller, Muddy Ruel, Frank Snyder, Chief Zimmer

          Harry Danning, Duke Farrell, Rick Ferrell, George Gibson, Frankie Hayes, Charles Johnson, Deacon McGuire, Bob O'Farrell, Mickey Owen, Tony Pena, Wilbert Robinson, Buddy Rosar, Johnny Roseboro, Walter Schmidt, Brian Schneider, Mike Scioscia, Luke Sewell, Ira Thomas, Jimmie Wilson

          Andy Allenson, Jimmy Archer, Ed Bailey, George Baker, Kid Baldwin, Walter Blair, Glenn Borgmann, Jack Boyle, Lew Brown, Rick Cerone, John Clapp, Tom Daly, Darren Daulton, Jody Davis, Einar Diaz, Brian Downing, Duffy Dyer, Bruce Edwards, Joe Ferguson, Silver Flint, Rich Gedman, Barney Gill, Joe Girardi, Hank Gowdy, Earl Grace, John Grim, Tom Haller, Rollie Hemsley, John Henry, Ramon Hernandez, Ed Herrmann, Bill Holbert, Elston Howard, Randy Hundley, Ron Karkovice, Malachi Kittridge, Jack Lapp, Mike Lieberthal, Al Lopez, Javier Lopez, Gus Mancuso, Mike Matheny, Tim McCarver, Chief Meyers, Damian Miller, George Mitterwald, Bengie Molina, Pat Moran, Thurman Munson, Morgan Murphy, Jack O'Connor, Ken O'Dea, Joe Oliver, Mickey O'Neill, Steve O'Neill, Tom Pagnozzi, Bill Rariden, Del Rice, Paul Richards, Buck Rodgers, Manny Sanguillen, Benito Santiago, Admiral Schlei, Boss Schmidt, Terry Steinbach, Hal Smith, Billy Sullivan, Zack Taylor, Birdie Tebbetts, Al Todd, John Warner, Wes Westrum, Deacon White, Sammy White, Ernie Whitt, Rick Wilkins, Steve Yeager, Rudy York
          It took those informations in Bill James "Win Shares: Digital Update" available at stats-inc website.

          Yearly win shares leaders are listed...
          -Top 10 overall
          -Top 5 pitching win shares
          -Top 5 batting win shares
          -Top 5 defensive win shares for every position .
          ...1876 through 2001
          Some Pre-1900 Catchers Caught Infrequently:

          In the ancient times, pre-1900, many great catchers played very few games behind the plate. Many played other positions, due to the stress that crouching placed on their knees. A few of their records are:

          "Deacon" James White: caught 226 g, out of 1299 total
          Buck Ewing: caught 636 g, out of 1315 total, almost all in '80's. After that he lost his arm, and played 1B/OF in 90's.
          Jim O'Rourke: caught 209 g, out of 1774
          Mike "King" Kelly: caught 583 g, out of 1455. Mostly OF throughout career.
          Roger Bresnahan: caught 974 g, out of 1446. Mostly OF otherwise.
          Marty Bergen: caught 337 g, out of 344. Only played 4 seasons, 1896-99, before his mental illness caused him to take his own & his families lives.
          Charlie Bennet: caught 954 g, out of 1062. OF otherwise.
          League schedules in those days were not the 154 games that came in later.

          1883 ------- 100 games
          1884, 1885 - 115 games
          1886, 1887 - 125 games
          1887-1891 - 135 games
          1892 ------ 154 games
          1893-1897 - 135 games
          So that was my post back when. And then AG2004 rebutted me nicely with this following rejoiner.

          And let's not forget (just among those playing sometime in 1887)
          Pop Snyder: caught 877 g, out of 930 (including National Association games).
          Jack Clements: caught 1073 g, out of 1157.
          Chief Zimmer: caught 1239 g, out of 1280.
          Wilbert Robinson: caught 1316 g, out of 1371.
          Deacon McGuire: caught 1611 g, out of 1781.

          However, I'm wondering what happened to Ewing himself in 1887. Here are the number of games in which the following people caught for the (NL) club that season:

          Williard Brown - 46. 21-year-old rookie.
          Jim O'Rourke - 40. 36-year-old; one of only three seasons where he caught more than 15 games, and the only one where he played more games at catcher than at any other single position.
          Pat Deasley - 24.
          Pat Murphy - 17. 30-year-old making his first major league appearances.
          Buck Ewing - 8.

          Ewing played 19 games at 2nd and 51 at 3rd. This is in the middle of Ewing's prime years as a catcher, remember. Jim O'Rourke appeared in 38 games at 3rd that year, so it seems that Ewing could have had more appearances at catcher and O'Rourke could have had more appearances at third that season.

          The 1887 season doesn't seem consistent with Ewing's being the greatest catcher ever. Does anyone know why Ewing was playing 3rd so often that year instead of catching?
          Mark Leece contributed this nice, brief post.

          And Coop this one.

                             Games  Total
          Player              as C  Games  % as C    Debut
          Chief Zimmer        1239   1280   96.8   1884-07-18
          Wilbert Robinson    1316   1371   96.0   1886-04-19
          Jack Clements       1073   1157   92.7   1884-04-22
          Deacon McGuire      1611   1781   90.5   1884-06-21
          Charlie Bennett      954   1062   89.8   1878-05-01
          Con Daily            550    630   87.3   1884-06-09
          Bill Holbert         538    623   86.4   1876-09-05
          Jack Ryan            527    616   85.6   1889-09-02
          Connie Mack          609    723   84.2   1886-09-11
          John Grim            578    706   81.9   1888-09-29
          Pop Schriver         654    800   81.8   1886-04-29
          Jocko Milligan       585    772   75.8   1884-05-01
          Charlie Ganzel       578    786   73.5   1884-09-27
          Duke Farrell        1003   1563   64.2   1888-04-21
          Farmer Vaughn        553    915   60.4   1886-10-07
          Jack O'Connor        860   1451   59.3   1887-04-20
          Jack Boyle           544   1086   50.1   1886-10-08
          [COLOR="Red"]Buck Ewing           636   1315   48.4   1880-09-09[/COLOR]
          Doggie Miller        636   1317   48.3   1884-05-01
          King Kelly           583   1455   40.1   1878-05-01
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-23-2008, 01:57 PM.


          • #6
            Here is my usual, standard Pro-Buck Ewing write-up.

            Hope he gets some fair consideration here, even if his lack of sufficient games caught is serious.


            • #7
              My brothers. Leecemark is restarting the 4th Round of Greatest Position Players.

              We need some participation here. This is what we do. This is what we do better than anyone else.


              • #8
                I'm not very comfortable with this as I find catchers to be the hardest ranking to go with. I've been spending some time on this lately, though. I should have a ranking I'm comfortable with if I spend some time on it tonight.
                Hey, this is my public apology for suddenly disappearing and missing out on any projects I may have neglected.


                • #9
                  1. Bench
                  2. Piazza
                  3. Berra
                  4. Fisk
                  5. Carter
                  6. Cochrane
                  7. Dickey (underrated around here, I think)
                  8. Campanella
                  9. Ewing
                  10. Rodriguez
                  11. Hartnett
                  12. Torre
                  13. Simmons
                  14. Freehan
                  15. Bresnahan
                  16. Howard
                  17. Munson
                  18. Bennett
                  19. Porter
                  20. Parrish

                  Gibson = candidate for best ever, definitely top 5.
                  Santop = probably top 20.
                  Nomura = don't know enough. Maybe top 20.
                  Mackey = maybe top 20.

                  HOFers out of my top 20: Ferrell, Schalk, Lombardi.
                  Last edited by AstrosFan; 02-23-2008, 10:40 PM.
                  "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

                  - Alvin Dark


                  • #10
                    1 Johnny Bench-cream of the crop
                    2* Josh Gibson-I do believe MOST of the hype
                    3 MIKE PIAZZA-bat really is good enough to threaten Bench
                    4 Carlton Fisk-higher than most....longetivity plays a bigger role for me
                    5 Yogi Berra-lower than most, just a step behind Bench really
                    6 Roy Campanella-with credit for several good NeL seasons as well
                    7 Mickey Cochrane-short career or would be #4
                    8 IVAN RODRIGUEZ-if only he'd take a walk once in awhile
                    9 Buck Ewing-the times were so different its hard to relate his greatness
                    10 Gary Carter-Bench-lite...really lite
                    11 Gabby Hartnett-Bench in the 30s...probably too low
                    12 Bill Dickey-low OBP in a high OBP era, but then went all Norm Cash in '36
                    13* Katsuya Nomura-greatest Japanese catcher
                    14* Louis Santop-close to IRod?
                    15 Ted Simmons-Rodney Dangerfield with a mask
                    16 Charlie Bennett-very good for a long time in that era
                    17 Bill Freehan-Cooperstown should have made this call too
                    18 Ernie Lombardi-great hitter....not much else
                    19 Lance Parrish-Carter lite
                    20* Biz Mackey-great glove....likely worst hitter here besides Schalk
                    21 Wally Schang-early Craig Biggio type, but returned to the plate
                    22 Elston Howard-oh what could have been.....
                    23 Ray Schalk-all glove
                    24 Thurman Munson-like Parrish or Carter, but shorter career

                    HOFers outside my top 20-Al Lopez, Roger Bresnahan and Rick Ferrell

                    The 4 * should be skipped for this format....they aren't MLB catchers. Also, if you want to go strictly with MLB careers, Campy would drop several slots.


                    • #11
                      Notice: I do not rank Josh Gibson because I don't think I'm up to giving him a fairly accurate evaluation. For the purposes of this, though, I will need to, so I'm going to give a looksee at the opinions of those I value and put him about where I think he should go.

                      This will extend for all players who never played in MLB, and to some extent those who played before 1901.

                      So, I guess, please give reasoning for Josh Gibson's ranking.
                      Hey, this is my public apology for suddenly disappearing and missing out on any projects I may have neglected.


                      • #12
                        Here's something. Chris Cobb's work for Baseball Think Factory has Major League Equivalencies of a 175 career OPS+ for Gibson. Yes, he was dead at 35, but still. 175! From a catcher!
                        "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."

                        - Alvin Dark


                        • #13
                          When I posted my rankings, I had forgotten about the request for only ML catchers. So, I went back and only slotted them where I felt they should have been, but will not be ranked. So, when the results are tabulated, the person counting the totals can simply skip the Negro Leaguers.


                          • #14
                            My own rudimentary attempts at a MLEq for Gibson came in at 328/404/627!, but for a career starting at the beginning of the 1930 offensive surge. 557 HRs in a 16+ year career!

                            My MLEs are very subjective...I tried to overlay the NeL stats with MLB, and use that with the offense levels of MLB to predict outcomes. I assumed neutral parks, because who knows what teams these guys might have played for?

                            I can provide some links if anyone wants them....I only finished 8 or 10 players, but I think the system was worth showing at least.


                            • #15
                              Updated further in thread.
                              Last edited by philkid3; 02-26-2008, 03:37 AM.
                              Hey, this is my public apology for suddenly disappearing and missing out on any projects I may have neglected.


                              Ad Widget