Professional baseball players are often criticized for making a lot of money playing a game that is already one of the top 5 most popular sports in the country. But any die hard fan of Major League Baseball knows there are some really good catchers who are worth their weight in gold. These guys are the gold standard of the MLB, and are the ones that are always referred to when referring to the absolute best catchers in the league.

We all know that the easiest way to get a new baseball season started off is to open up your favorite baseball app and see who is playing or who is retiring. But what if you want to see who are the catchers that are the best at what they do? If you answered “no” then you are in luck. I’ve written a list of the top five catchers to ever put on the backstop.

The catcher position is one of the most difficult to evaluate properly because it’s so open-ended. If you asked me to name the top 10 catchers in major league history, I’d be hard-pressed to name five of them. I’m usually one of the first people to tell you that I have a hard time picking between Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, and Jonathan Lucroy. While I might say Lucroy is my favorite, I respect some of the other catchers including Joe Mauer, and Terry Turner. So this is a tough one for me to narrow down.

Catchers are the unsung heroes of baseball. All credit goes to the pitchers (at least defensively), but the catchers are the foundation on which everything rests. They ensure the cohesion of the team. They calm the pitcher down if he seems out of his mind. They are the last line of defense when the game is on the line and the opponent is running home. There have been countless legendary receivers over the years, and this list has certainly been debated for decades, but here are our opinions on the top five receivers of all time (in no particular order):

Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra is interesting in that he was not always portrayed as a star. He was always the other guy and seemed happy to be out of the spotlight. However, he remained an incredible player, hitting 257 home runs in less than a decade while striking out just 250 batters. The man was as reliable as they come, and there’s a reason people still talk about him as one of the greatest receivers of all time. Yogi Berra word-image-16517

Mike Piazza

Mike Piazza was the best receiver of all time, and that entitles him to a spot on this list. During his career, he had a .308 batting average, made the All-Star Team 12 times and was simply a versatile player for any club he played for. Dodger fans loved him, Mets fans loved him, and baseball fans around the world respected his legacy. Not bad for a man in his 62nd year. I got picked in the second round, right?

Johnny Bench

We don’t think anyone is disputing that this man should be on that list. It wasn’t just his hot arm and bestial presence on the field. Johnny Bench had a certain mystique, including catching the ball with one hand. Many have tried to recreate him and failed, which shows how unique he was as a player. In fact, this legend will never be forgotten, and some even consider him the best No. 1 receiver in history. Johnny Bench word-image-16518

Carlton Fisk

Carlton Fisk had a long and illustrious career in the MLB, retiring when he was only 45. He will be remembered for many of his exploits, but one of his most iconic moments came in the 1975 World Series, when his game six home run victory infuriated Red Sox fans. Combine his exceptional longevity with his impressive statistical numbers throughout his career and Fisk is truly one of the greatest baseball catchers of all time.

Ivan Rodriguez

Ivan was known for many things, but his biggest claim to fame was his ability to catch runners flying. Over the course of his nine-season career, the percentage of runners taken from steals has been over 50%. That is an absurd statistic. Pudge Rodriguez intimidated opponents with a nonchalance that earned him 14 All-Star appearances, 1 MVP and 13 Gold Gloves. Like Fisk, Ivan is known for his longevity, and he too was a great player. Ivan Rodriguez word-image-16519There are some things in sports that are just plain impossible to calculate. Like, what position is best? How many runs should a pitcher give up? How many home runs should a pitcher allow? Who is the best MLB catcher of all time? The answer to all four of those questions is the same—the best MLB catcher of all time is the one who has the best batting average, caught more than a hundred games, and has the most home runs.. Read more about greatest outfielders of all time and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the greatest MLB catcher of all time?

The greatest MLB catcher of all time is a difficult question to answer. There are a number of qualities that make a great catcher, but there are only so many ways to differentiate between the best and the rest. There are simply more players than there are pitches. The catcher position is one of the most interesting in all of sports. It is a position where defense is key, yet the pitcher is looking to make the most out of the the ball in his hands. You can’t really say that a catcher is just a catcher. You must have the ability to throw out runners, hit home runs, and make spectacular defensive plays or you cannot be considered one of the greats at that position.

Who is considered the best catcher in baseball?

Today, it is probably the most difficult position to fill in baseball. By extension, it is also the most important. The catcher is considered the first base coach, umpire, and psychologist for the pitcher. He is the last line of defense for the pitcher. The catcher also must routinely face the most skillful hitters in the game, and as a result, he is the unquestioned best defensive catcher in the game. The best catcher in the world is widely considered to be Yadier Molina. His defensive skill, agility and instincts are unmatched in his profession. However, Yadi’s former teammate, Buster Posey, beat him to the title by a year or so, and some, myself included, have even argued that Molina isn’t even the best catcher on his own team.

What catcher has the most pick offs?

In MLB, a catcher is responsible for handling the call to home plate, calling the game, calling the pitches, tagging runners, and receiving all kinds of signals. Without a doubt, the best current and all-time catching positions are catcher and pitcher, with the former arguably having more overall impact on a team. The catcher is usually the last line of defense against a batter’s assault on the base paths. A great catcher can catch the runner in a rundown, rob a runner of a base, or make a simple play that turns a double play into a triple play. How many times have you seen a great catcher rob a runner of a base? It happens all the time, and it’s usually remembered forever in the memory of the catcher’s fans.

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