The 9 Best Catchers of All Time

There are only 18 Major League Baseball (MLB) catchers in the Hall of Fame but true baseball fans know the list of the best catchers of all time is much longer. Many famous catchers are remembered for their role in leading their teams to victory. Some excel more at the plate than the field, and vice versa, but the top catchers of all time have been great no matter their position. Below is a compilation of who we consider the best catchers in MLB history.

1. Johnny Bench

When a player is elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, you know he is considered one of the greatest catchers of all time. Many consider Johnny Bench the best catcher in MLB history. A 16-year career (1967 – 1983) with the Cincinnati Reds saw Johnny Bench inducted as a Hall of Famer in 1989. The ‘“Little General” of the Big Red Machine led his team to two World Series wins in the mid-70s and in the process collected two NL MVP awards, 14 selections to the All-Star Game, 10 Gold Gloves and a Rookie of the Year award.

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2. Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra played for the New York Yankees in an illustrious career spanning almost two decades, winning 10 World Series titles and earning three AL MVP awards. On top of playing in the World Series 14 times, he was named an All-Star 18 times. After collecting 358 home runs and striking out just 414 times, Berra went on to coach for the Yankees, Mets, and Astros, winning three more World Series in the process.

3. Mike Piazza

Considered the best offensive catcher of all-time, Mike Piazza hit over 400 home runs and finished his career with a batting average of .308. Any list of “10 best hitting catchers of all time” is incomplete without his name being on it. Piazza was the best hitter on the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets during his time on both teams. He was NL Rookie of the Year in 1993 and played in 12 NL All-Star Games.

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4. Ivan Rodriguez

Ivan “Pudge” Rodrigues is one of MLB’s famous baseball catchers due to his unrivaled skill as a defensive catcher. He caught more than 50% of runners attempting to steal in nine different seasons, and during in his long career of 21 seasons caught an average of 46% of base stealers. He holds the record for most games caught at 2,427 games. During his time in the majors, Rodriguez won the World Series in 2003 with the Miami Marlins, won the AL MVP award in 1999, earned 13 Gold Glove awards and was selected to 14 All-Star teams.

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5. Roy Campanella

Considered one of the greatest MLB catchers of all time, Roy Campanella played with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1948-1957. Campanella earned three NL MVP awards and won a World Series title in 1955. He caught more than 57% of runners trying to steal on him, the highest percentage of any catcher in MLB history. He was also voted to 8 All-Star Games and finished with 242 home runs and 856 RBIs, all in just 10 seasons.

6. Gary Carter

Nicknamed the “Kid”, Gary Carter played from 1974-1992 for primarily the Montreal Expos and New York Mets and is one of the best catchers of all time because of his well-rounded skills on both offense and defense. During the height of his career, he led the league in several statistical categories, including total chances, put-outs, double plays and assists. He ended his Hall of Fame career in 1992 with three Gold Gloves, one World Series title and 11 All-Star Game appearances.

7. Carlton Fisk

Carlton Fisk enjoyed a celebrated career while playing a total of 24 MLB seasons, first with the Boston Red Sox and later with the Chicago White Sox. He is remembered most for hitting one of the most famous home runs in MLB history – a walk-off homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. In total for his career, Fisk caught 2,226 games, ranks third all-time in home runs for catchers at 376 and sixth all-time in RBIs with 1,330. He was awarded three Silver Slugger awards and played in 11 All-Star Games.

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8. Bill Dickey

Bill Dickey played for the New York Yankees from 1928-1943 and a final year in 1946. With the Yankees, he won seven World Series titles and was voted to 11 All-Star Games. Dickey is considered one of the best catchers of all time, batting better than .300 11 times over his career and hitting 102 home runs. He went on to manage the Yankees for a season after his retirement.

9. Mickey Cochrane

Gordon Stanley “Mickey” Cochrane was the third catcher enshrined in the Hall of Fame and played for the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers. Cochrane had a .320 lifetime batting average over 13 seasons from 1925-1937. Considered one of the best MLB catchers of all time and known as a great game-caller, he won three World Series titles.

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