Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Most Career Stolen Bases by a Catcher

There's a Joe Garagiola (or Yogi Berra, depending on the source) quote that applies to topics like this: "The wind always seems to blow against catchers when they are running." Catchers are generally assumed to have, well, glacial speed. That's why it's surprising when a catcher can actually run. Last season, Russell Martin had three times as many stolen bases (21) as the runner-up among catchers, Joe Mauer (7), and drew raves for his speed.

With that in mind, I've put together a list of the catcher career stolen bases leaders. To show up, a player needs to have played at least 60% of his career behind the dish. That's an arbitrary number, to be sure, but I think having half your games elsewhere lessens your claim to being a full-time catcher. In any event, it highlights that this list is dependent on what you consider a full-time catcher; if you want 75% of career games, the list shrinks even further. As for me, like I said, I'm going with 60% for this list.

Most Career Stolen Bases by a Catcher, 1901-2007
  1. Roger Bresnahan, 212
  2. Ray Schalk, 177
  3. Jason Kendall, 162
  4. Red Dooin, 133
  5. Carlton Fisk, 128
  6. Johnny Kling, 123
  7. Wally Schang, 121
  8. Ivan Rodriguez, 114
  9. John Wathan, 105
  10. Brad Ausmus, 101
  11. Billy Sullivan, 92
  12. Benito Santiago, 91
  13. John Stearns, 91
  14. Ivey Wingo, 87
  15. Jimmy Wilson, 86
  16. Eddie Ainsmith, 86
  17. Tony Pena, 80
  18. Johnny Bench, 68
  19. Johnny Roseboro, 67
  20. Luke Sewell, 65
I've italicized the active players on the list. I somehow doubt Jason Kendall will change his position. :)

For more information on catchers, and even a similar list, go visit the Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers. There's more information on backstops there than you could probably ever want to know.

1 comment:

jsackmann said...

John Wathan!

I forget what trivia question he was the answer to (something like, most SB for a catcher for the Royals), but I won a 1958 Topps Mickey Mantle in the early 1990s at a card show in a trivia contest, and that was the final question.

Thank you, John Wathan!