Mets All Time Best Catchers

June 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm (Baseball, New York Mets)

In their relatively short history my beloved Mets have been blessed with three terrific catchers.

Jerry Grote who played during the Johnny Bench [arguably the best catcher ever] era, was the better of the two defesively. He had a gun for an arm. Couldn’t hit much, but showed spurts of punch.

jerry_grote_autograph1

 

Mike Piazza was the best hitting catcher of all time. Not that  great glove man, however.

mike-piazza1

 

 

The best all around catcher in Metropoltain history was clearly Gary Carter.

gary-carter1

 

I was amused by Gary’s former teammate Keith Hernandez’s [no small egomaniac, himself] remarks regarding Carter’s huge ego. “Gary Camera” was [is] a trip. He may someday, alas, be the Mets manager.

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2 Comments

  1. Bill said,

    The Tools of Ignorance

    Mets catchers began In ’62 with Chris Cannizzaro (not of the Joe New York Life variety). Later replaced by Choo Choo Coleman. Followed by Jesse Gonder, then along came Grote in ’66. In ’72 Duffy Dyer showed up, but when Grote returned from injury the Mets won the NL. Finally in ’77 the Mets had their Grote replacement, a 25 yr. old named John Stearns. In 1980 Alex Trevino was forced into service, but Stearns got his job back for another couple years. Ron Hodges was the next in line, quickly to be replaced by a 23 yr. old Mike Fitzgerald. Mets history was altered when Gary Carter was acquired for the 1985 season, catching would not be an issue for the next 5 years.

    On December 10, 1984: Gary Carter was traded by the Montreal Expos to the New York Mets for Hubie Brooks, Mike Fitzgerald, Herm Winningham, and Floyd Youmans. In the 5 seasons Carter was with the Mets he appeared in 4 All Star games, and he won the World Series in ’86.

    By the end of ’89 Carter had been replaced by Barry Lyons. A year later Mackey Sasser owned the job, only to be replace by Rick Cerone the following season. Finally in ’92 it appeared the Mets had found their man in 23 yr. old Todd Hundley. They were right, Todd lasted 6 years behind the plate.

    Just 8 days after being traded to the Florida Marlins Mike Piazza was traded to the Mets on May 22, 1998, for Preston Wilson, Ed Yarnall, and Geoff Goetz. Another good trade by the Mets. A World Series, several All Star appearances, many home runs, & four and a half years later Piazza was replaced by Vance Wilson &Jason Phillips. Piazza returned in ’05 but by then he was about done at catcher.

    In 2006 the Mets went out and found another hard hitting former Dodger catcher in Paul La Duca. He lasted all of 2 seasons in NY before being dispatched, which brings us to the current state of affairs.

    So who was the best?

    Carter was the most well rounded pro, plus he won a ring. Piazza may have been the best hitter but defense does matter when you put on the tolls of ignorance. Who was the best defensively? Hundley & Grote were very solid.

    If I had to choose I would pick (despite my bias for Piazza) the ring bearer, the Hall of Famer, Gary Carter.

  2. Ralph Zig Tyko said,

    Great research Billy Boy!!
    Met history is replete with interesting catchers. Harry Chiti was the “player named later,” in a trade which had him traded for himself. Their very first pick in the expansion draft, Hobie Landrith, was traded for Marv Throneberry. When asked about the future of 20 year old Greg Goosen, Casey Stengal said that “in 10 years he has a chance to be 30.” Casey knew talent when he didn’t see it. That could be a Yogism. Speaking of Yogi, he and Warren Spahn formed the oldest battery in MLB history when in 1965 they both played for [you guessed it] the Mets.

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