Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Johnny - Mad Pudge

We haven't had a good Johnny Bench card lately so here it is:

2001 Topps
Topps Combos
TC5 Ivan Rodriguez / Johnny Bench

Every generation has two great catchers fans immediately think of. That is why this card makes sense showing Bench and I Rod together. The 1970's / 80's had Johnny Bench and Carlton Fisk. Thurmon might have had it if not for the plane crash. Both guys are icons of the game for the catcher's position. Bench for being the greatest defensive catcher ever and a master field general with strong bat. Fisk for his historic home run , a gritty, long career and a decent bat. The debate between Yogi and Johnny will always play on but Johnny Bench will always be the best in my books.
Now for Ivan. From the early 1990's until about 2005 it was clearly between he and Mike Piazza for the generations best catcher. Ivan has the edge in game calling with Piazza the edge in batting. Too even for me to call.

So tie breaker goes to Johnny Bench.
Gretest catcher of the last fourty years. Period.


dayf said...

Johnny Bench is by far the greatest catcher of the past 40 years. Squish Piazza and I-Rod together and you might beat Bench by a small margin. Before that however, he's got Yogi, Mickey and Gibson to contend with. And don't get me started about King Kelly...

Bay Rat North West said...

That;s why I put the disclaimer of past 40 years on there. Hard to argue about those guys. But I will. Try me. I would love to take on King Smelly fans.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that all people think about is that the past is better than the present. Ivan Rodriguez is the best catcher ever. Don't get me wrong, I think Bench was great but, could he be placed in any position in the line up as Rodriguez? Could Bench steal bases? Could you imagine how many more runs and hits I-rod would have if he would have play in a line up as the great red machine? Who could stop the running game as I-rod when no more than 50 runners dare to challenge him in a full season? Come on guys quit thinking that old times are better. Smell the I-rods.