The Best Catchers in New York Mets History
I've recently read former Mets' great Rusty Staub's new book, Few and Chosen Mets: Defining Mets Greatness Across the Eras.
The book list the greatest Mets player in each position and gives a bio about all of them and their stats with the Mets. It was a very enjoyable book and I hope all you Mets fans get to read it soon.
But when I was done reading it I wanted to share my opinion on the best Mets of All-Time.
So after a couple days of research and hard decision making, I have come up with my All-Time Mets list and what better way to start it then at the most important position player in baseball: the catcher.
Catchers not only have to bat and field like every other player but they have to call the game. They are the leader on the field and most of the time off.
When the pitcher gets in trouble the catcher needs to calm him down and help him out of the jam. Catchers take more damage then any other fielders. They are the protectors, they are the last line of defense.
The Mets have been very lucky in this position. They have had some great catchers over the years along with two Hall of Famers.
3. Jerry Grote
G - 1235 (3rd)
AB - 3881 (8th)
R - 314
H - 994 (9th)
2B - 143
3B - 18
HR - 35
RBI - 357
SB - 15
BB - 399
BA - .252
OBP - .316
SLG - .326
1x World Champion
Jerry Grote spent 12 years with the Mets (1966 - '77), appearing in two All-Star Games ('68 and '74) and playing in the '69 and '73 World Series with the team.
Grote was the first successful catcher with the Mets, having good fielding ability and was an adequate batter. In his tenure as a Met he batted .256 with 35 HR and 357 RBI. In '69, Grote had career highs in HR (6), RBI (40) and runs (38).
His most successful season was in '75 when he had a career high .295 BA. Grote is currently third on the All-Time Mets games played list with 1235.
To be honest, there are a few Met catchers who had more successful seasons then Grote but he's on this list for being on the '69 Mets and being one of the best fielding catchers in franchise history
2. Gary Carter
G - 600
AB - 2176
R - 272
H - 542
2B - 73
3B - 7
HR - 89
RBI - 349
SB - 2
BB - 219
BA - .249
OBP - .319
SLG - .412
1x World Champion
2x Silver Slugger
"The Kid" came to New York already one of the best players in the NL and on his way to the Hall of Fame but that didn't stop Carter from putting together a couple great years with the Metropolitans.
Carter's first year with the Mets and best year was '85 when he batted .281 with 100 RBI and a career high 32 HR.
During the historic '86 season, Carter had 24 HR, 105 RBI and a .255 BA. Gary went on to hit 2 HR with 9 RBI and a .276 BA in the World Series that year.
In Carter's five years with the Mets he collected 89 HR, 349 RBI and a .249 BA. He was on the All-Star team four times and was a Silver Slugger twice.
He was not only a leader on the field but off the field as well and was a major part of the '86 World Championship team.
1. Mike Piazza
G - 972 (10th)
AB - 3478 (9th)
R - 532 (8th)
H - 1028 (6th)
2B - 193 (5th)
3B - 2
HR - 220 (2nd)
RBI - 655 (2nd)
SB - 7
BB - 424 (9th)
BA - .296 (4th)
OBP - .373 (5th)
SLG - .542 (1st)
5x Silver Slugger
Did you suspect someone else?
I don't even know how to start. Piazza is one of if not the best hitting catcher of All-Time. He has been part of so many great moments in Mets history. Who doesn't remember that HR on September 21, 2001 or the bat incident with Roger Clemens?
Piazza came to the Mets in May of '98 in a trade with the Marlins, in 109 games he hit 23 HR, 76 RBI and a .348 BA. In '99, Mike helped the Mets reach the Playoffs for the first time since 1988 with 40 HR, 124 RBI and a .303 BA.
In 2000, Piazza lead the Mets to the World Series with another amazing season, 38 HR, 113 RBI and a .324 BA. In the World Series the Mets lost in 5 games but Piazza batted .273 with 2 HR and 4 RBI.
Mike went on to have two more great seasons until injuries limited him to 68 games in '03 and this effected him greatly. In '04 and '05, Piazza had his worst two seasons collecting only 39 HR, 116 RBI and a terrible .259 BA.
Even with his bad ending with the Mets, Mike still made a huge impact and without him I'm 100 percent sure the Mets would have never made it to the World Series in 2000.
Mike did have amazing years with the Dodgers and played with a few other teams but he will always be wearing Mets hat in Cooperstown.
Choo Choo Coleman - 9 HR, 26 RBI, .205 BA, Greatest Name Ever
John Stearns - 46 HR, 312 RBI, .259 BA, 91 SB, 4x All-Star
Mackey Sasser - 15 HR, 133 RBI, .283 BA
Todd Hundley - 124 HR, 397 RBI, .240 BA, 2x All-Star, 41 HR in '96
Paul Lo Duca - 14 HR, 103 RBI, .297 BA, 1x All-Star