No position on the baseball diamond is more important to the success of a big league team than that of the catcher. Every pitch, every play in every game, the catcher must be aware, from backing up first base on a grounder to second base, to a double into the gap that might score a runner from first, the baseball backstop is the most integral part of baseball teams winning, or losing a game, winning, or losing a pennant, or winning, or losing the World Series.
This week on The Bleacher report(www.thebleacherreport.com), there was an article on the Top 10 catchers in baseball history...here their list...
10.Buck Ewing(19thCentutyCatcher)... 9.Bill Dickey(NY Yankees)...8.Carlton "Pudge" Fisk(Boston/ChiSox)...7.Gary Carter(Montreal/NY Mets)...6.Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez(Texas/Detroit)...5.Mickey Cochrane(Phil.A's/Detroit)...4.Roy Campanella(Brooklyn)...3.Yogi Berra(NY Yankees/Mets)...2.Mike Piazza(LA Dodgers/NY Mets)...and #1...Johhny Bench(Cincinnati).
I really thought the article was well done, but everyone has their own judgment when it comes to baseball lists, so, with all due respect to the list above, here's my personal list of the Top 10 Big League catchers of All-Time...
#5... Pudge Rodriguez(1991-present)
A few thoughts on catchers...first, no list is perfect, all baseball fans will have their own thoughts, criteria, etc. For me, I think a lot of catchers lists start and end with offense, and that, to me, is wrong. The number one thing a catcher is responsible for is defense, and not just his play, but the defensive play of the entire team.
Yes, offensive numbers are an important part of baseball, and catchers have certainly been a large part of baseball's past with the lumber...
All-Time HR's by Catchers
So, for myself, Johnny Bench is the beast catcher in baseball history, when you factor in the offensive, and defensive stats, with Campanella, Pudge Rodriguez, Berra, and Dickey all right there with the Bench.
Bench and Rodriguez have the best throwing arms I've ever seen, there were none better.
What's your Top 10, who's your favorite catcher...let's here from you, the fans.