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  • Top 25 Catchers

    --This is a chornological list off the top of my head, which came up to 31 No doubt I've missed someone who others would consider a top 25 candidate. Please feel free to add them, discuss my nominees and go ahead a come up with a top 25 in order if you are ready and interested.

    Deacon White
    Cal McVey
    Charlie Bennett
    Buck Ewing
    Roger Bresnahan
    Johnny Kling
    Luis Santop
    Wally Schang
    Biz Mackey
    Gabby Hartnett
    Mickey Cochrane
    Josh Gibson
    Bill Dickey
    Ernie Lombardi
    Walker Cooper
    Roy Campanella
    Yogi Berra
    Elston Howard
    Joe Torre
    Bill Freehan
    Johnny Bench
    Thurman Munson
    Ted Simmons
    Carlton Fisk
    Gary Carter
    Lance Parrish
    Bob Boone
    Ivan Rodriguez
    Mike Piazza
    Jorge Posada
    Joe Mauer

    --Checking Bill James New Historical Abstract; he listed Darrell Porter (18), Gene Tenace (23), Tim McCarver (24) and Darren Daulton (25) who didn't make my rough draft. Of those, its possible Porter would make my list, although he would be a 5th whose career was centered in the 1970s which seems alot for a top 25 covering 140 years of baseball history.

  • #2
    Glad to see you added Kling. I heard stories that he was spectacular with the pitching staff.
    “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

    "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

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    • #3
      Well, there's this one guy ...

      "Of the catchers that I have seen, __________ stands pre-eminent." Ty Cobb

      "_________ got more out of his pitchers than any other catcher in history." Babe Ruth

      "The Win Shares system sees him as deserving the AL Gold Glove at catcher [a total of 9 times]." Bill James

      "___________ may have been the greatest defensive catcher in baseball history." Wm. F. McNeil (author of Backstop: A History of the Catcher and a Sabermetric Ranking of 50 All-Time Greats.)
      Last edited by westsidegrounds; 11-08-2012, 06:32 PM. Reason: tip o' the WSG hat to Honus Wagner Rules

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      • #4
        I know he didn't play a majority of his games as Catcher, and he played more RF, but I always find it hard not to mention Mike King Kelly in these Catcher discussions.

        I also have Jason Kendall in the discussion.

        Would not be surprised to see Brian Downing, Javy Lopez, Gene Tenace, or Darrell Porter somehow worked into others' lists.

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        • #5
          This book would be a good read for this thread.

          Backstop cover.JPG

          Here are some excerpts from the book.

          http://books.google.com/books?id=xUt...page&q&f=false


          And here is the author's summary.

          Backstop-Summary.JPG
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

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          • #6
            In over 2200 games played, Joe Torre was a C for 903 of them
            1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
            2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
            3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

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            • #7
              I cant say I agree with Gabby Hartnett being the best all aound catcher and Johnny Bench being the 7th best.
              "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

              "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                This book would be a good read for this thread.
                Cool, thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                  This book would be a good read for this thread.
                  This looks like a good resource, except I can only roll my eyes at any "history" that only accounts for 2/3 of history.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by westsidegrounds View Post
                    "Of the catchers that I have seen, __________ stands pre-eminent." Ty Cobb

                    "_________ got more out of his pitchers than any other catcher in history." Babe Ruth

                    "The Win Shares system sees him as deserving the AL Gold Glove at catcher [a total of 9 times]." Bill James

                    "___________ may have been the greatest defensive catcher in baseball history." Wm. F. McNeil (author of Backstop: A History of the Catcher and a Sabermetric Ranking of 50 All-Time Greats.)
                    Is that the notoriously underrated and forgotten about Ray Schalk?

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                    • #11
                      Too early to include Brian McCann in the discussion? I presume it won't be by the time he's done if it is now.

                      Also, where do you (and James) rate Tom Haller?
                      Found in a fortune cookie On Thursday, August 18th, 2005: "Hard words break no bones, Kind words butter no parsnips."

                      1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988 2017?

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                      • #12
                        --I don't really have a long enough list to include Haller, but I'd be surprised if I could be convinced he is top 25. James had him 26th in the BJNHBA. As for Schalk I think he was more or less an earlier version of Bob Boone. Boone made my offhand list of 31 above, but probably won't make my top 25 at the conclusion of this thread.

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                        • #13
                          As I said elsewhere, Schalk to me has almost identical value to Mike Scioscia, the differences being more speed and less power. I suppose the era Schalk played in makes his defense more important, but other than that they're similar.

                          Just curious about Haller, I suspect I'd agree with where you put him. I think of him as a slightly worse contemporary of Bill Freehan, I just have more personal recongnition of him since he was both a Giant and a Dodger.
                          Found in a fortune cookie On Thursday, August 18th, 2005: "Hard words break no bones, Kind words butter no parsnips."

                          1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988 2017?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dgarza View Post
                            This looks like a good resource, except I can only roll my eyes at any "history" that only accounts for 2/3 of history.
                            Especially since the first third was when catching was the most challenging. But I can see the rationale that catching before the early 1900s was so different that it deserves its own book. (And that a sabremetric approach would be risibly incomplete, given the data availability.)
                            Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by toomanyhatz View Post
                              As I said elsewhere, Schalk to me has almost identical value to Mike Scioscia, the differences being more speed and less power. I suppose the era Schalk played in makes his defense more important, but other than that they're similar.

                              Just curious about Haller, I suspect I'd agree with where you put him. I think of him as a slightly worse contemporary of Bill Freehan, I just have more personal recongnition of him since he was both a Giant and a Dodger.
                              Interesting take on Schalk.

                              Their period is already well-represented, but I think that Lollar and Crandall deserve a look. Roseboro too, though that may be my partiality.
                              Indeed the first step toward finding out is to acknowledge you do not satisfactorily know already; so that no blight can so surely arrest all intellectual growth as the blight of cocksureness.--CS Peirce

                              Comment

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