Monday, January 02, 2006

New York & The Chain of Catching Greats

Think about this- there are very few things that the Yankees and Mets have in common, other than people outside NY tend to hate both teams. However, the teams do have one thing in common- a great catching lineage.

Now granted, Dickey, Berra, Howard, Munson, Posada contains 2 Hall of Famers (Dickey & Berra), 2 who should be in the Hall (Howard & Munson), and one who still might be if he has a few more good years (Posada). However, the Mets catching annals include Jerry Grote, one of the better defensive catchers of all time, followed by John Stearns, who was an excellent 2-way player in his day, and both of these guys are better than just about anyone playing today. They are followed by The Kid, Gary Carter, already in the Hall, and Mike Piazza, who will be on the first ballot 5 years after he retires (don't get me started, if you've already read the previous post). Not bad for a 45 year old franchise, who once had the likes of Choo Choo Coleman behind the plate. Remember, it was the late, great Casey Stengal who said if you don't have a catcher, you'll have a lot of passed balls (to paraphrase). Nice to know that the ole professor has blessed us with some real good ones in a short time. Let's hope whoever straps on the tools after Paul Lo Duca will continue the line (nothing against PLD, we just won't have him for very long).

We simply need to go about developing the next Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe D, The Mick and Reggie, and we'll fill that talent gap in no time. And lest anyone forget, we didn't draft Reggie because we took heed of Casey's advise and drafted Steve Chilcott, a catcher, instead. Thanks, Casey!!!

Trivia Quiz- 3 players taken in the 1st round of the 1967 draft, other than Chilcott, ended up playing for the Mets at one time or another. Can you name all 3? Furthermore, they all played for the Mets within a 2 yr period. I'll post the answer tomorrow.

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