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  • the greatest catcher ever

    once and for all , lets decide who the greatest catcher of all time is. its been disputed here before but noone ever really has an answer.
    142
    johnny bench
    35.21%
    50
    yogi berra
    17.61%
    25
    josh gibson
    21.13%
    30
    mike piazza
    5.63%
    8
    ivan rodriguez
    6.34%
    9
    bill dickey
    2.82%
    4
    roy campenella
    2.11%
    3
    mickey cochrane
    5.63%
    8
    james "biz" mackey
    1.41%
    2
    other, please say who it is in post
    2.11%
    3
    my all-century team:
    OF-Ty Cobb
    SS-Honus Wagner
    OF-Willie Mays
    OF-Babe Ruth
    1B-Lou Gehrig
    2B-Rogers Hornsby
    C-Johnny Bench
    3B-Mike Schmidt
    P-walter johnson
    RP-who needs relief when you have Walter Johnson?

  • #2
    Mike Matheny

    Comment


    • #3
      --I voted for Bench. For me, he and Berra are the only real contenders and the more I look at the two of them the more convinced I've become that Bench was better.
      --Gabby Hartnett ought to be in the poll though. He is clearly better than at least 2 of the choices and you could make a reasonable arguement for ranking him as high as 3rd.

      Comment


      • #4
        I voted for Gibson.

        Berra and Bench are head and shoulders above the rest of the major league competition. I give a slight advantage to Berra over Bench... largely because of Bench's batting average. I just can't get my brain around imagining that a guy with a sub .270 career BA is the best ever at his position... same reason I refuse to believe Mike Schmidt is the greatest 3B ever. Catcher is the position for which defense is most important, and Bench was supposed to be the best ever, defensively... though I have to take popular opinion's word for it, because, statistically speaking, Berra seems to be a much better defender than Bench (not saying he is, nobody claims that Berra's in Bench's league defensively, and I of course would admit that Bench is far superior to Berra on defense... but just looking at raw defensive stats, Berra appears clearly better).

        However, Gibson's... Gibson. It's gotta be him.
        "Simply put, the passion, interest and tradition surrounding baseball in New York is unmatched."

        Sean McAdam, ESPN.com

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree.

          Which begs the age old question about integration, domination, and the greatest players of all time.

          When you consider the number of alltime players that came out of the Negro Leagues in just a 10 year span, and you consider that many of the greatest players in the world weren't allowed to play, you have to consider that maybe Charleston or Gibson was (or would have been) the greatest ever. It's certainly possible. The problem, of course, seems to be two fold: "How much weight can we put into the statistics available for the Negro Leagues" (I say very little, it was much like one continuous barnstorming tour) and, if nay to the first question, then: "How much do we go on reputation?" I go back and forth about how (and if I should even) rate Negro Leaguers against Major Leaguers.

          Josh Gibson might have been a talent commensurate with a Berra or Bench, or vastly better. My guess, from all that I've read, is that he was almost certainly far better, so I voted for him. Not a solid epistemological foundation to go on, I know, but I see that others who know a ton about baseball here agree with me.

          Comment


          • #6
            I voted for Josh Gibson.

            I wish I could have seen him play.

            Comment


            • #7
              The defensive numbers are close between Berra and Bench, but Berra, I think did a better job handling his pitchers. The case for Bench is one of, is really the best or does every just think he is. It really isn't that close for me personally. Berra caught more 20 game winners, was the better hitter and Bench never did match Berra's 148 games and 950 chances without a error. Berra's TPR is far superior at 36.2 to Bench's 24.3, and Berra out performed Bench on the HOF Monitor 220.5 to 214.0. bench was great and still lives off his reputation, thats fine, but he wasn't, isn't, and never has been better than Berra!!
              "Baseball is like church. Many attend. Few understand." - Leo Durocher -

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, while this is a close one, put me down on Bench's side.

                Johnny was one of those players that changed the way the game was played. He invented a style of catching that everyone uses now, and he had an unrivaled arm. While Yogi did have some good backstop skills, Bench changed the way teams played their game when they played the Reds. And sure, Johnny didn't have all the 20 game winner's that Yogi did, that's more of a product of having to call games for the likes of Billingham, Nolan, Gullett and Grimsley rather than Raschi, Reynolds, Ford and Lopat! And also a function of the difference in the two managers, Sparky and Casey.

                And while they were completely different kind's of hitters, you couldn't really go wrong either way. Bench's low average, High HR and RBI totals, or Berra high ave, decent HR and good RBI #'s.

                But if you call their offense even, to me, Bench is clearly the better defensive player.

                KH14
                “Well, I like to say I’m completely focused, right? I mean, the game’s on the line. It’s not like I’m thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer — it tastes friggin’ awesome!"--Brian Wilson

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by prof93
                  The defensive numbers are close between Berra and Bench, but Berra, I think did a better job handling his pitchers. The case for Bench is one of, is really the best or does every just think he is. It really isn't that close for me personally. Berra caught more 20 game winners, was the better hitter and Bench never did match Berra's 148 games and 950 chances without a error. Berra's TPR is far superior at 36.2 to Bench's 24.3, and Berra out performed Bench on the HOF Monitor 220.5 to 214.0. bench was great and still lives off his reputation, thats fine, but he wasn't, isn't, and never has been better than Berra!!

                  Just wanted to ask if it were AT ALL possible that the reason Berra caught more 20 game winners than Bench is because Berra played on a much much MUCH better team in his career?

                  I voted for Gibson, based on everthing everyone else has already said. Gibson was the greatest catcher to ever play the game of baseball, and, in my mind, would have most definitely been the greatest Major League catcher in history.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    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-suppress running game; good bat, good runner, hit leadoff, good, popular manager.

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

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

                    4. Mickey Cochrane - 1925-37 - Did it all. Defense, hit, ran, arm, manager, fire.

                    5. Josh Gibson - (1929-46) Negro L., defense good, Bombs Away.

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

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

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

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

                    10. Roy Campanella - (1937-45, 47-57) Negro L. - ML), good D., but not up to the others.

                    11. Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez - 1991-present - Superb defense. 10 all star teams.

                    12. 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.

                    13. 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.

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

                    15. 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.

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

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

                    18. 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.

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

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

                    21. 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.

                    Honorable Mentions:

                    22. 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.
                    23. Ray Schalk (1912-29)
                    24. Frank Duncan (1920-48) - Negro Leagues defensive star.
                    25. Larry Brown (1919-49) - Negro Leagues defensive star.
                    Other Honorable Mentions: Roger Bresnahan, Bill Freehan, Benito Santiago, Charles Johnson, Bob Boone.
                    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    The final tally For Top 10 Catchers all-time; By Leecemark on Fever.

                    --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
                    Honorable Mention: Gary Carter 22, Buck Ewing 18 (1), Biz Mackey 17, Nine other catchers received votes but didn't crack double figures in points.
                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                    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.

                    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.)
                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Pre-1910: Jack Clements, Deacon Jim McGuire, Red Charlie Dooin, Buck Ewing, Mike Kelly, Charlie Bennett, Billy Sullivan, Charles Pop Snyder, Marty Bergen, Bill Bergen, Johnny Kling, Roger Bresnahan, Chief Zimmer, Duke Farrell, John Warner.

                    1910-60: Ray Schalk, Wally Schang, Johnny Bassler, Walker Cooper, Billy Sullivan, Sherman Lollar, Jim Hegan, Jimmy Archer, Muddy Ruel, Steve O'Neil, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Gabby Hartnett, Al Lopez, Rick Ferrell, Ernie Lombardi, Walker Cooper, 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
                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    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.
                    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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

                    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:

                    9x
                    Gary Carter, Ray Schalk

                    7x
                    Gabby Hartnett

                    6x
                    Ivan Rodriguez

                    5x
                    Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Bill Freehan, Bill Killefer, Jim Sundberg

                    4x
                    Charlie Bennett, Buck Ewing, Jim Hegan, Lance Parrish, Ossee Schreckengost, Pop Snyder

                    3x
                    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

                    2x
                    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

                    1x
                    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.
                    http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.p...7&postcount=37
                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    And Coop this one.
                    http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.p...5&postcount=32

                    http://baseball-fever.com/showpost.p...1&postcount=45
                    ----------------------------------------------------
                    Code:
                    :
                                       Games  Total
                    Player              as C  Games  % as C    Debut
                    ===================================================
                    Deacon McGuire      1611   1781   90.5   1884-06-21
                    Wilbert Robinson    1316   1371   96.0   1886-04-19
                    Chief Zimmer        1239   1280   96.8   1884-07-18
                    Jack Clements       1073   1157   92.7   1884-04-22
                    Duke Farrell        1003   1563   64.2   1888-04-21
                    Charlie Bennett      954   1062   89.8   1878-05-01
                    Jack O'Connor        860   1451   59.3   1887-04-20
                    Pop Schriver         654    800   81.8   1886-04-29
                    Buck Ewing           636   1315   48.4   1880-09-09
                    Doggie Miller        636   1317   48.3   1884-05-01
                    Connie Mack          609    723   84.2   1886-09-11
                    Jocko Milligan       585    772   75.8   1884-05-01
                    King Kelly           583   1455   40.1   1878-05-01
                    Charlie Ganzel       578    786   73.5   1884-09-27
                    John Grim            578    706   81.9   1888-09-29
                    Farmer Vaughn        553    915   60.4   1886-10-07
                    Con Daily            550    630   87.3   1884-06-09
                    Jack Boyle           544   1086   50.1   1886-10-08
                    Bill Holbert         538    623   86.4   1876-09-05
                    Jack Ryan            527    616   85.6   1889-09-02
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-08-2006, 04:24 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I really want to vote for Gibson, but I just can't. I have very little doubt of how great he was and that he would have thrived like few others had he been given a chance in the Majors, but given that he never made it to the Majors, I have no solid way to judge his abilities. It's all hypothetical at this point - there is good reason to assume Gibson would do well in the Majors, but what if for some reason he couldn't? What if he couldn't deal with the pressure and attention of being a Major Leaguer; what if he couldn't adjust properly to the way Major Leaguers throw certain pitches (like Japanese players coming over and having to deal with the 2-seam and sinking fastball in abundance for the first time)?

                      Likewise, I refuse to annoit a Major Leaguer from before integration as the best since their statistics and accomplishments were compiled against filtered competition that obviously did not include as much of the best talent as possible (though when a player so clearly dominates the competition of the pre-integration period, such as Ruth or Cobb, I do consider them in my estimation of the best of all-time).

                      When it comes to figuring at the best catcher of all-time, after eliminating Gibson, it doesn't really matter to factor in the pre-intergration players since I believe Bench and Berra to be so clearly above the rest (though I'm not yet considering the unfinished careers of Rodriguez and Piazza). Though both players excelled in every facet a good catcher should excel in, I feel that Bench excelled more than Berra and thus he got my vote.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DoubleX
                        I really want to vote for Gibson, but I just can't. I have very little doubt of how great he was and that he would have thrived like few others had he been given a chance in the Majors, but given that he never made it to the Majors, I have no solid way to judge his abilities. It's all hypothetical at this point - there is good reason to assume Gibson would do well in the Majors, but what if for some reason he couldn't? What if he couldn't deal with the pressure and attention of being a Major Leaguer; what if he couldn't adjust properly to the way Major Leaguers throw certain pitches (like Japanese players coming over and having to deal with the 2-seam and sinking fastball in abundance for the first time)?

                        Likewise, I refuse to annoit a Major Leaguer from before integration as the best since their statistics and accomplishments were compiled against filtered competition that obviously did not include as much of the best talent as possible (though when a player so clearly dominates the competition of the pre-integration period, such as Ruth or Cobb, I do consider them in my estimation of the best of all-time).

                        When it comes to figuring at the best catcher of all-time, after eliminating Gibson, it doesn't really matter to factor in the pre-intergration players since I believe Bench and Berra to be so clearly above the rest (though I'm not yet considering the unfinished careers of Rodriguez and Piazza). Though both players excelled in every facet a good catcher should excel in, I feel that Bench excelled more than Berra and thus he got my vote.
                        The consideration that Gibson might not have dominated is a very legitimate one- the Negro Leagues drew on (roughly, judging by the black population of America relative to the overall population from 1900-50) 1/10th the number of people that the major leagues did. Knowing this, it makes judgements even more difficult- but I still don't simply elminate him.

                        Why doesn't anyone EVER mention Mickey Cochrane? He should at least be mentioned, even though he played in the premier offensive era and only 1400 games (but this only because he got hit in the head with a fastball, ruining his playing career, and, eventually, precipitating his demise as a human being, also).

                        http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/cochrmi01.shtml

                        857 walks and 217 strikeouts career is ridiculous. Can't put a number on just how valuable a guy is who walks 4 times as much as he K's.
                        Last edited by csh19792001; 07-28-2004, 11:33 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by csh19792001
                          The consideration that Gibson might not have dominated is a very legitimate one- the Negro Leagues drew on (roughly, judging by the black population of America relative to the overall population from 1900-50) 1/10th the number of people that the major leagues did. Knowing this, it makes judgements even more difficult- but I still don't simply elminate him.

                          Why doesn't anyone EVER mention Mickey Cochrane? He should at least be mentioned, even though he played in the premier offensive era and only 1400 games (but this only because he got hit in the head with a fastball, ruining his playing career, and, eventually, precipitating his demise as a human being, also).

                          http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/cochrmi01.shtml

                          857 walks and 217 strikeouts career is ridiculous. Can't put a number on just how valuable a guy is who walks 4 times as much as he K's.
                          You make a great case for Cochrane. That walk to k ratio is astounding, he'd definitely fit into the Billy Beane Money Ball mantra of current baseball. I'd probably rank Cochrane the best Major League catcher of the first half of the 20th century (again, not factoring Gibson into this).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            James Raleigh "Biz" Mackey for Hall of Fame

                            Fascinating thread, and excellent posts, so far. I'm impressed with the number of people who have voiced their vote for Josh the Great. My vote, though, goes to Biz Mackey. Without him, we might not have ever heard of the exploits of Josh, Campy, Bench or Berra. He had as much to do with modernizing the position, (no slight to Ewing, who was the best of his era at any position), as anyone. In John Holloways book, Black Ball Stars he wrote: Mackey would strike down runners trying to take second like a cobra protecting his den. Offensively, Mackey was always a threat. He was a lifetime better than.300 hitter who could hit from both sides of the plate. Mackey was voted to the East-West All-Star game four times. In 1944, Cumberland Posey, who had managed HOF catcher Josh Gibson, selected Mackey as his number one catcher of all time. He was the first player to hit a ball out of Tokyo's new Meiji Shrine Stadium. On Roy Campanella Day in 1959 at the Los Angeles Coloseum, before a throng of 90,000, Campanella introduced Mackey to the crowd as his "greatest teacher."

                            For more, go to
                            http://www.nlbpa.com
                            and scroll down to the M's, lots of stuff on other stars, too!
                            Last edited by trosmok; 08-09-2006, 06:33 AM.
                            Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words ~Ernie Harwell

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by csh19792001
                              The consideration that Gibson might not have dominated is a very legitimate one- the Negro Leagues drew on (roughly, judging by the black population of America relative to the overall population from 1900-50) 1/10th the number of people that the major leagues did. Knowing this, it makes judgements even more difficult- but I still don't simply elminate him.
                              I agree. While it is safe to say Gibson was great, there's not enough evidence to say he was the GREATEST.
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