Catchers have a special place within the realm of Major League Baseball, whether it is the famous quips of Yogi Berra or the sweet swing of Johnny Bench. They not only have to navigate their team’s pitching on a nightly basis but also figure out a way to get on base themselves, and all of the intricacies involved with the position make it one of the most important, if not the most important, roles on a team. Throughout the decades there have been many great catchers to have played the game, and this article will delve into a handful of them.
Mike Piazza will easily go down as the best power hitting catcher of the modern era, and was arguably one of the greatest power hitting catchers of all time as well. Piazza hit 427 home runs over the course of his career along with driving in 1,335 runs to go with a dazzling .308 average as well. Mike was selected to the All Star game 12 times over his 16 year career along with winning the Silver Slugger award on 10 different occasions as well. Piazza’s memorabilia value should continue to climb as the years progress and is already highly popular among many fans of the game today.
Berra is not only one of the most well-known New York Yankees players of all time but also one of the best catchers of all time as well. More than that, he may well be known for his famous quips, such as “I really didn’t say everything I said.” In nearly 20 years in Major League Baseball Berra put up many impressive numbers, including over 350 home runs, 1,400 RBIs, and a .285 average as well. Yogi was selected to the All Star game 18 times, and won the AL MVP award in 1951, 1954, and 1955.
Bench was the quintessential catcher who could practically do it all, whether it was hitting or playing defense. In 17 seasons Bench hit .267 with nearly 400 home runs and over 1,300 RBIs as well. He was selected to 14 All Star games and earned 10 Gold Gloves along with winning the NL MVP award in 1970 and 1972. His memorabilia continues to be among the mostly highly valued among catchers with Yogi Berra.
If Piazza was one of the best power hitting catchers of the modern era, Ivan Rodriguez will more than likely go down as one of the greatest all-around catchers during this time period. Similar to Johnny Bench Rodriguez could do it all, hitting nearly .300 with 2,844 hits, over 300 home runs, and 1,332 RBIs as well. He was selected to 14 All Star games over his career and won 13 Gold Gloves along with seven Silver Slugger awards and a lone MVP award in 1999. Ivan should easily make it into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, and will likely continue to rise in popularity among both memorabilia collectors and fans alike as the years progress.