6 Best Catchers in the MLB Worth Remembering

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The best catchers in the MLB have quick response time which allows them to keep up with different situations in a game. They should also be able to make accurate throws and demonstrate leadership. 

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This position is crucial for the team’s operations as they are involved throughout different stages of play. Over the years, the MLB has produced top-notch black catchers; we’ll list them in this article.

Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson’s career. Video Credit: MLBBrodotcom

Charles Johnson began his MLB career at the Florida Marlins. Had he accepted his draft in 1989, the Montreal Expos would have been his first MLB team. Instead, Johnson decided to go to the University of Miami and then later, became a Florida Marlins player. 

He quickly established himself as a solid catcher and became the fourth rookie in history to win the Gold Glove, the first of four he won between 1995 and 1998. He won one World Series and was an All-Star twice. Johnson hit 940 and made 167 home runs.

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Elston Howard

Spotcovery-6 Best Catchers in the MLB Worth Remembering
Elston Howard holding a baseball bat. Source: Wikimedia licensed by Public domain

Before Howard joined Major League Baseball (MLB), he played in the Negro Leagues for the Kansas City Monarchs. However, during his time here, he was an outfielder. Howard was converted to a catcher when he played for the New York Yankees and was in the same team as the legendary Yogi Berra. 

He established himself and eventually became the teams go-to-catcher. Howard became a 12 All-Star and won six World Series Championships. His batting average was 274, made 168 home runs and 1,490 hits.

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Earl Battey

Spotcovery-6 Best Catchers in the MLB Worth Remembering
Professional baseball player Earl Battey. Source: Wikimedia licensed by Public domain

Early Battey’s career at the Chicago White Sox wasn’t easy. After joining the team in 1955, the catcher joined the Toronto Maple Leaf in minor League baseball. The White Sox recalled him the following year, but he didn’t get as much game time. 

After the 1959 season, Battery switched teams and signed with the Washington Senators. After years of not getting a starting place, Battery was a starter at the Senators and showed what he was made of. 

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He won the Gold Glove at the end of the season. His next move took him to the Minnesota Twins where he won two more Gold Gloves.

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John Roseboro

John features in our list of the best catchers in the MLB after his impressive career at the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was Roy Campanella’s teammate and replaced him after an accident. 

For his 10 years at the club, Roseboro won the World Series thrice, and the Gold Glove Award twice. After leaving the Dodgers in 1967, the catcher spent a season each at the Washington Senators and the Minnesota Twins. 

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Moses Fleetwood Walker

Spotcovery-6 Best Catchers in the MLB Worth Remembering
Moses Fleetwood Walker. Source: Wikimedia licensed by Public domain

Fleetwood Walker is believed to be one of the first black catchers of the game, having joined the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884. He played 42 games, scored a batting average of .263, reached 40 hits and scored 23 runs. 

That said, he faced a lot of difficulty because of his race and was the last black man to play in the league until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947.

Roy Campanella

Roy Campanella’s life after a car accident. Video Credit: All Sports History

Roy Campanella is a significant figure in the MLB, as he was the first black player in the league’s modern era. Like many black baseball players, he began his career in the Negro leagues before getting an opportunity in the MLB. 

He spent his entire career at the Brooklyn Dodgers where he produced consistent results throughout his nine-year stay. Campanella won one World Series and was thrice the National League Most Valuable Player (MVP).

During their heydays, these players were the best catchers in the MLB. They started their careers in the Negro League and were later absorbed by MLB teams. All in all, they demonstrated their prowess and won multiple accolades along the way, leaving their mark on the sport.

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