It has been said that, if you were to start a baseball team from scratch, the first position that should be chosen is catcher.
Far from being the wearer of ‘the tools of ignorance,’ the catcher is the quarterback of the diamond. The field general. All things having to do with the team during play runs through the catcher.
The LA Angels have had their share of standout catchers. When making this list, I took into consideration many outstanding players. Some were defensive wizards. Some were expert offensive players.
But, I’ve tried to find the best that were purely the greatest at running the ballgame from behind the plate. The ones that the Angels manager could most depend on.
Here are the best LA Angels catchers up until now:
No. 3 greatest LA Angels catcher of all-time: Buck Rodgers
Not many remember Bob ‘Buck’ Rodgers. Buck was the LA Angels catcher from 1961 until 1969. He was LA Angels manager Bill Rigney’s lieutenant.
Rodgers played on the LA Angels teams that included Jim Fregosi and Bobby Knopp. He was there at the beginning.
Rodgers was a switch-hitter, but I use the term hitter loosely. Buck didn’t hit much.
He had 704 hits in 3,033 at-bats. 541 were singles. That’s Jeff Mathis territory.
But Rodgers could play great defense and call a game well. He displayed leadership values that led to managerial jobs, including the Angels from 1991 to 1994.
He caught Bo Belinsky’s no-hitter and was there when Dean Chance won the Cy Young Award. Rodgers helped develop some decent young LA Angels pitchers like Andy Messersmith and Clyde Wright.
He caught 895 games for the LA Angels which is second-most all-time.