Atlanta Braves Franchise best catchers: Hank Gowdy
Our parade of Atlanta Braves franchise greats continues with a look at the players who handled great Braves pitching and played the most physically demanding position on the field, catchers.
Like all franchises, the number of catchers with 1000 games under their belt for the Atlanta Braves Franchise is small; four — and three of those did it in the expansion era. The Phillies have the most 1000 game catchers – seven – followed by the White sox with five, then the Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, and Yankees with four.
Since the birth of the National League, 1,123 players appeared as a catcher 75% of the time and played at least 25 games. Only 140 caught more than 1000 games, and only 106 of the 1000 game catchers have 4000 PA as a catcher.
"I didn’t want to be a catcher. It was thrust upon me, as they say in the classics. – Mickey Cochrane"
All of that seemingly useless trivia says that catchers have a short shelf-life. If your team has a guy who stayed healthy and productive for 1000 games, they try to hang onto them as long as possible. The four Atlanta Braves Franchise catchers with 1000 games obviously made the list.
Selecting the fifth catcher proved more difficult than I imagined. Eventually, I settled on a tall slim blonde first baseman who became a key part of the Braves.