MLB's 10 Greatest Catchers of All-Time
10. Jorge Posada
Posada has been one of the most underrated Yankees ever. He has been the starting catcher for the Yanks for the past 10 seasons. In 1,483 career games played, he has a .277 career average with 221 home runs, 883 RBI and 762 runs. He also has a .380 career on-base percentage, 317 doubles, and 1,379 base hits.
He has also been selected to five All-Star teams, starting in two of them. He has also won the Silver Slugger Award five times. His best season was 2003, when he batted .281 with 30 homers and 101 RBI, which resulted in him being third in the MVP voting. Finally, he also helped lead the Yankees to the World Series five times, winning three of them.
9. Joe Torre
Torre is known for being one of the greatest managers ever, but he was also a fantastic player. In 2,209 career games played, he had a .297 average with 252 home runs and 1185 RBI. He also had 2,342 base hits, 996 runs scored, 344 doubles, and a .365 on-base percentage. Torre was also selected to nine All-Star teams, starting at catcher for four of them.
Torre played catcher for the majority of his career, but he also played third base for a decent part of his career. He was a solid defensive player, as he won a gold glove in the 1965 season. Finally, he won the 1971 MVP award, batting .363 while hitting 24 home runs and driving in 137 runs.
8. Gary Carter
Carter was one of the best catchers throughout the '70s and '80s. In 2,296 career games played, he had a .262 average with 324 home runs and 1225 RBI. He also had 2,092 base hits, 371 doubles, 1025 runs scored, and a .335 career on-base percentage. In 19 seasons, he made the All-Star team 11 times, starting at catcher in seven of them.
Carter was also one of the best defensive catchers, as he won three consecutive gold gloves from 1980 until 1982. He also won five Silver Slugger Awards in the early '80s. He placed in the top six in the MVP voting in four different seasons, finishing second in the 1980 season.
7. Carlton Fisk
Fisk was one of the most long-lasting catchers, as he played in four decades ('60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s). In 2,499 career games played, he had a .269 average, 376 home runs and 1,330 RBI. He also had 2,356 base hits, 1,276 runs scored, 421 doubles, and 128 stolen bases. He won the 1972 Rookie of the Year Award.
Fisk was selected to the All-Star team 11 times, starting at catcher seven times. He also won the Silver Slugger Award three times in the '80s and was a good defensive player, winning a gold glove in 1972. Finally, Fisk only changed his socks once in his career, as he was traded from the Red Sox to the White Sox in 1980.
6. Bill Dickey
Dickey was the first great Yankees catcher, playing from the '20s through the mid-'40s. In 1,789 career games played, he had a .313 average, 202 home runs and 1,209 RBI. He also had 930 runs scored, 343 doubles and a .382 on-base percentage. He was selected to 11 All-Star teams, starting at catcher in six of them.
Dickey had his best season in 1938 with a .313 average, 27 home runs, 115 RBI, and 84 runs in just 134 games, finishing second in the MVP voting. Finally, Dickey was a part of several great Yankee teams, as he helped New York to the World Series eight times in his 17-year career, winning seven of them.
5. Roy Campanella
Campanella is one of the most underrated players of all time. In just 10 seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he had a .276 average, 242 home runs, 856 RBI and 627 runs scored. He also had 1,161 base hits, a .360 on-base percentage and a .500 slugging percentage. He was also selected to the All-Star team eight times, starting at catcher in five of them.
He helped lead the Dodgers to the World Series five times, winning one in the 1955 season. He is tied for the most MVP awards by a catcher, as he won three in the 1951, 1953, and 1955 seasons. His best season was in the '53 season, as he had a .312 average, 41 home runs, 142 RBI and 103 runs scored in 144 games.
Campanella was an African American and one of MLB's first first black players. He also was the first African American to manage white players in an organized professional baseball team, as he took over for ejected manager Walter Alston in a game in the 1946 season. However, his career and life took a big hit when he was paralyzed from a car accident in 1958 at the age of 35.
4. Mike Piazza
Piazza is without a doubt the greatest hitting catcher of all-time. He leads all catchers in career home runs with 427. He also had a .308 career batting average, 1,335 RBI, 2,127 base hits, 344 doubles and 1048 runs scored. He also had a .377 on-base percentage and a .545 slugging percentage. Piazza was selected to the All-Star team 12 times, starting at catcher in 10 of them.
He also won the Silver Slugger Awards 10 times throughout the '90s and the 2000s. He won the 1993 Rookie of the Year Award and the All-Star Game MVP in 1996. His best season was in 1997, when he had .362 average, 40 home runs, 124 RBI, 104 runs, and 201 base hits with the Dodgers, finishing second in the MVP voting.
3. Yogi Berra
Berra was another one of the great Yankees catchers, but he was the best one. In 19 seasons, he had a .285 average, 358 home runs, 1430 RBI, 1175 runs scored, and 2,150 base hits. He was also selected to the All-Star team an amazing 18 times, starting at catcher in 11 of them.
Berra is tied for the most MVP awards won by a catcher, claiming the honor in three seasons—1951, 1954, and 1955. His best season was in 1954, posting a .307 average, 22 home runs, and 125 RBI. Berra also was one of the biggest winners of all time, as he led the Yankees to an amazing 14 World Series appearances, winning 10 of them.
2. Johnny Bench
Bench was the catcher of the Big Red Machine (the great Cincinnati Reds teams of the '70s). In 17 seasons, he had a .267 average, 389 home runs, 1,376 RBI, 1,091 runs scored, and 2,048 base hits. He was selected to the All-Star team 14 times, starting at catcher in 10 of them. He also won the 1968 Rookie of the Year Award.
Bench was one of the greatest defensive catcher of all-time, winning an amazing 10 consecutive gold gloves from the 1968 season through the 1977 season to prove it. He also helped lead the Reds to the World Series four times, two of them resulting in a title. Finally, Bench won two MVP awards, in the 1970 and 1972 seasons.
1. Ivan Rodriguez
Rodriguez is the greatest catcher of all-time. He was superb offensively, as he hit for a .302 career average with 295 home runs, 1,217 RBI, 1,253 runs scored, 2,605 base hits, and 124 stolen bases in 18 seasons. He has been selected to the All-Star team 14 times, starting at catcher in 12 of them.
He is, in my opinion, the greatest defensive catcher of all-time, he leading all catchers with an amazing 13 Gold Gloves. He also won the Silver Slugger Award six consecutive times, from 1994 to 1999. He also helped lead his teams to two World Series appearances, winning one in the 2003 season with the Florida Marlins.
He has been one of the best catchers in terms of handling pitching staffs, as his teams have regularly had great team ERAs. Finally, he won the 1999 AL MVP award as he had a .332 average, 35 home runs, 113 RBI, 116 runs scored, and 25 stolen bases as a member of the Texas Rangers.
In the next few days, I will give you the top 10 greatest first basemen of all time.
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