Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Look at the Catcher Position for the San Francisco Giants

From 1960 to the current roster there have been several catchers- underachievers- calling pitches for the men, in orange and black, toeing the slab.  The pitcher and catcher considered as a single unit is known as a battery.  A term coined by baseball historian, Henry Chadwick, drawing from the military sense of the term "artillery battery."  But it also suggests a play on words, as its activities center in on the batter.

 These two players are of great importance to the outcome of each and every game.  They must form a bond, a trust in their abilities because the person throwing the ball has to trust that the person catching the ball can call the kind of game that brings out his batterymate's best. 

During the progression from inning to end of game or from starter to reliever or vice versa both the pitcher and catcher have to be on the same page.  Their position player teammates also need to know what is being thrown and why, depending on the situation, so they can be in the proper position to catch the ball.  It's a process that gives the players who are best equipped to perform this function the best chance of winning.  Sometimes reaching a different level of play (known as the postseason) is the end result of good chemistry between a battery and their teammates.

(from Andrew Peters' "I'm a Pitcher")
             I remember hating my catcher
             I remember having whole-hearted faith in my catcher
             I remember the beauty of a catcher's framing
             I remember the calm of knowing my teammates were fielding for me.
 From 1960 to 2012, those who played catcher for the San Francisco Giants were:
1960:  Bob Schmidt
1961:  Hobie Landrith, Tom Haller
1962:  Ed Bailey, Tom Haller
1963:  Ed Bailey, Tom Haller
1964:  Tom Haller, Del Crandall
1965:  Tom Haller, Jack Hiatt
1966:  Tom Haller, Ozzie Virgil, Bob Barton
1967:  Tom Haller, Dick Dietz, Bob Barton
1968:  Dick Dietz, Bob Barton
1969:  Dick Dietz
1970:  Dick Dietz, Russ Gibson
1971:   Dick Dietz, Russ Gibson
1972:   Dave Rader, Fran Healy, Russ Gibson
1973:   Dave Rader, Mike Sadek
1974:   Dave Rader, Ken Rudolph
1975:   Dave Rader, Marc Hill
1976:   Dave Rader, Mike Sadek, Gary Alexander
1977:   Marc Hill, Gary Alexander, Ken Rudolph
1978:   Marc Hill, Mike Sadek
1979:   Dennis Littlejohn, Marc Hill, Mike Sadek
1980:  Milt May, Mike Sadek
1981:  Milt May, Mike Sadek
1982:  Milt May, Bob Brenly
1983:  Bob Brenly, Milt May, Steve Nicosia, Johnny Rabb
1984:  Bob Brenly, Steve Nicosia, Randy Gomez
1985:  Bob Brenly, Alex Trevino, Matt Nokes
1986:  Bob Brenly, Bob Melvin
1987:  Bob Brenly, Bob Melvin, Kirt Manwaring
1988:  Bob Melvin, Kirt Manwaring
1989:  Terry Kennedy, Kirt Manwaring
1990:  Terry Kennedy, Gary Carter, Steve Decker
1991:  Steve Decker, Kirt Manwaring, Terry Kennedy
1992:  Kirt Manwaring, Craig Colbert, Steve Decker
1993:  Kirt Manwaring, Jeff Reed
1994:  Kirt Manwaring, Jeff Reed
1995:  Kirt Manwaring, Jeff Reed, Tom Lampkin
1996:  Tom Lampkin, Rick Wilkins, Kirt Manwaring, Steve Decker
1997:   Rick Wilkins, Brian Johnson, Damon Berryhill
1998:   Brian Johnson, Brent Mayne, Doug Mirabelli
1999:   Brent Mayne, Scott Servais, Doug Mirabelli
2000:  Bobby Estalella, Doug Mirabelli, Scott Servais
2001:  Benito Santiago, Edwards Guzman, Bobby Estalella
2002:  Benito Santiago, Yorvit Torrealba
2003:  Benito Santiago, Yorvit Torrealba
2004:  A.J. Pierzynski, Yorvit Torrealba
2005:  Mike Matheny, Yorvit Torrealba, Yamid Haad
2006:  Eliezer Alfonzo, Mike Matheny, Todd Greene
2007:  Bengie Molina, Guillermo Rodriguez, Eliezer Alfonzo
2008:  Bengie Molina, Steve Holm
2009:  Bengie Molina, Eli Whiteside, Buster Posey
2010:  Bengie Molina, Buster Posey, Eli Whiteside
2011:  Buster Posey, Eli Whiteside, Chris Stewart
2012:  Buster Posey, Hector Sanchez

In the 2010 season, Buster Posey took the team to a different level and it ended up being the San Francisco Giants' first winning season ever!

In the entire history of the New York/San Francisco Gothams/Giants no pitcher has ever pitched a perfect game.  From Christy Mathewson to Carl Hubbell to Juan Marichal and all of the quality pitchers in-between and after, up until 2012, (June 13th to be exact) it was Matt Cain and his catcher Buster Posey, who were the battery for the first ever perfect game in Giants' history.

Some may say Buster is overrated but he has brought the team a World Series championship and the franchise's only perfect game.  Now that's saying something.

(thanks to for the information, and Wikipedia)

Kevin J. Marquez