Ranking the top five catchers in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
There are certain positions in Dodger history that carry more significance than others. You think of pitching. You think of the middle of the infield. And you think of behind home plate. The Dodgers have had some great catchers over the years, dating back to their time in Brooklyn, as well as in more recent memory in Los Angeles.
This was a tough list to put together, most in terms of deciding how to rank everyone. I tried to consider longevity, consistency, along with superlative performances. I didn’t want to exclude players who weren’t long-standing catchers with the team, but a player needed to serve enough time to make an impact beyond just a few seasons. I also didn’t want to discount catchers who never rose to the top of their profession, but proved reliable for a multitude of seasons.
Before we get into the list, let’s run through a few honorable mentions.
Steve Yeager: A strong case could be made for the Dodger catcher who squatted behind the plate for most of the seventies and early eighties. The 1981 World Series MVP appeared in four World Series with the Dodgers in 1974, 1977, 1978, and 1981. From 1974-1977, he was at his best, hitting double digit home runs, adding power to make up for a low batting average. While he was a consistent force behind the plate for the Dodgers, his performance doesn’t quite measure up to the players ranked on this list.
Yasmani Grandal: Grandal’s time with the Dodgers was a bit short, only four seasons, but he proved to be the most powerful catcher since Mike Piazza. He smacked 89 home runs for the Dodgers in those four years he was in Los Angeles. Had he served a little more time with the team, he might have cracked the top five.
Paul Lo Duca: Lo Duca is another case of a modern catcher who had some strong seasons with the Dodgers, but just didn’t play long enough, only three full seasons with the team, to prove worthy of top five consideration.
Now that we know who just missed the list, let’s break down the five best catchers in Dodger history.