Phillies All-Time Team: Catcher – Phillies Nation

Phillies All-Time Team: Catcher

It’s up to you to tell us who should be part of the Phillies All-Time team. Once a week during the winter, we’ll unveil one position for you to vote on. After all the votes are tallied, and all the position filled, we’ll release the results. Make your vote count!

Below are the top choice and their totals as a member of the Phillies. WAR is used from Baseball-Reference.

  • Carlos Ruiz (6+ seasons, 1x All Star): .275 avg, .781 OPS, 52 HR, 299 RBI, 15.2 WAR
  • Bob Boone (10 seasons, 3x All Star): .259 avg, .695 OPS, 65 HR, 456 RBI, 11.5 WAR
  • Mike Lieberthal (13 seasons, 2x All Star) .275 avg, .783 OPS, 150 HR, 609 RBI, 13.6 WAR
  • Darren Daulton (14 seasons, 3x All Star) .245 avg, .783 OPS, 134 HR, 567 RBI, 20.9 WAR
  • Andy Seminick (12 seasons, 1x All Star) .244 avg, .770 OPS, 123 HR, 411 RBI, 15.9 WAR
  • Stan Lopata (11 seasons, 2x All Star) .257 avg., .814 OPS, 116 HR, 397 RBI, 15.6 WAR

Who we’re voting for:

-Ian Riccaboni: My vote for best Phillies catcher is Stan Lopata. Lopata, like so many other Phillies catchers, such as Leiberthal and Ruiz, lacked longevity but had extreme peaks, and in my opinion, the highest peaks of any Phillies catcher. Lopata’s three year stretch from 1954 through 1956 is better than any other Phillies’ catcher’s best three years and helped him earn the starting job from Seminick. Lopata was pretty putrid defensively but much of that was corrected once he became the first catcher to wear corrective, and tinted, eye wear in the 1950s.

-Ryan Dinger: I Vote for Carlos Ruiz. When this question was first posed, my initial inclination before checking the numbers was to say Darren Daulton was the best catcher in Phillies history. But after researching, it’s hard to argue against Chooch. Not only has he been a stellar defensive catcher, guiding the team through what has been their best era of pitching (and in general), but he has also become a solid offensive player. His career .781 OPS with the team is just two points behind Dutch, and he’s produced nearly double the amount of fWAR per season.

-Jay Floyd: I know that Mike Lieberthal is the best catcher in Phillies organization history.  After reviewing those stats, however, it’s easy to see that Liebey topped all others in games caught, HR, RBI, OPS, batting average and nearly all other crucial categories.  Despite the fact that his Phils career spanned the exact years between the ’93 pennant winning team and the franchise’s next playoff appearance in 2007, the Phillies’ 1st round draft pick from 1990 should rank atop the list of best catchers in team history.

-Don M.: My vote for Catcher goes to Bob Boone.  Bob Boone had little power and even less speed, but what he lacked offensively, Boone more than made up for with the gear on.  He managed to produce enough with the bat at the ultimate defense-first position to hold down a starting spot on some of the best teams in the Phillies’ history, including the 1980 World Series Championship team.

-Pat Gallen: My heart says go with Chooch because of everything he’s meant to this team recently. But one of the true leaders over the last 30 years was Darren Daulton. He helped catapult the Phillies to a run in ’93 that will forever stick with me. He was also a pretty good offensive catcher for a few seasons. Perhaps he, and other Phillies, was aided by a little juice, but so what. It was a fun run led by Dutch.

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.


  1. George

    January 18, 2013 at 10:14 am

    It’s hard for me to vote for Ruiz because he hasn’t had a full career yet. 6+ years isn’t that close to the 10 of Boone, and is even further from the 13-14 years of Leiberthal and Daulton. He’s been very, very good, but I just don’t think 6+ years qualifies him yet for “all time catcher.”

    I didn’t see Seminick or Lopata, so I won’t vote there, either. I’m old, but not that old. (My father liked Seminick and hated Lopata, but I never thought much of my old man’s judgement.)

    Of the three remaining catchers, I liked Lieby the most and Daulton the least. But I would never base my judgement merely on “like” or “dislike,” so I’ll just have to abstain here.

    • brooks

      January 21, 2013 at 9:03 am

      I agree with you George.

  2. Paul

    January 18, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Chooch’s career is too short so far. He has been good as catcher. He handles the pitchers well & that’s important. This last year he tainted his career with amphetamine use. (I hate cheaters!) Dutch lost my respect because he was steroid user. Lieberthal was too over rated by the organization. He wasn’t that good & he didn’t handle the pitchers well.
    I never saw Seminick or Lapata play so I can’t judge on them.

    Booney was a solid catcher & handled the pitchers well (I think Chooch is better than Booney, in this category.) Boone wasn’t a hacker! He played honestly, so he got my nod!

    It’s just my opinion.

  3. Don M

    January 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I took defense into account . . . Boone was the highest rated by fangraphs – and had the highest Caught Stealing % …………since none was a true standout offensively, that defense, and longevity made me pick Boone …..though none is clear-cut winner …and I understand a vote for any of them

    • schmenkman

      January 18, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      Daulton was pretty good offensively in 1992-93:

      92: .270/.385/.524 (155 wRC+), led NL with 109 RBIs
      93: .257/.392/.482 (131 wRC+), 105 RBIs

      By fangraphs, even with Boone’s defensive advantage, Daulton had 25.4 WAR, Lieby 22.2, Lopata 21.9, Seminick 21.7, Ruiz 18.6, Boone 18.4

      (and the only left-handed catcher to ever play the position regularly, Jack Clements of the 1880s and 1890s, 23.2)

      • Don M

        January 18, 2013 at 3:39 pm

        For their entire Phillies-career … would you say that any of these catchers (Daulton especially) a clear-cut offensive standout over the rest? Daulton had some very good years, and is one of my favorite players, but I chose to think of this as what would I want from my catcher for an All-time team . . . I chose who I thought was the best defensively, since that is most important at that position, and to this “team” …

        I’ll contradict myself somewhat when it gets to CF and the Maddox vs. Ashburn (vs Victorino?) debate

      • schmenkman

        January 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm

        I accept FG’s weighting of offense/defense, but understood.

        This may be at least partly due to PEDs (not that I care to open that can of worms again), but offensively the 2nd half of Daulton’s career (age 30-35) was much better than the first half:

        1983-91: .222/.326/.360 (92 wRC+) – slightly above average among catchers

        1992-97: .265/.381/.481 (131 wRC+) – 2nd only to Piazza among catchers over those years

  4. Bruce

    January 18, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    As part of the older generation, I do remember very well Stan “Stash” Lopata but was too young to watch Andy Seminick catch with the team. I was captivated with Lopata’s unique batting stance and as writer Ian Riccaboni stated, he had the best offensive stats powerwise during a streak of 3 or 4 years than any Phillies catcher before and after. If i remember correctly, Lopata’s defensive skills were adequate at best.

    Lopata would be my sentimental choice but I’m allowing mind over heart in evaluating the “best catcher” choice. There is no clear cut choice as far as I can see, My pick is Bob Boone simply because I watched him play and without referring to any sabermatrician’s beloved stats (they don’t reveal everything), appreciated his defensive skills, working with pitchers and leadership, And I do remember some big time clutch hits from him during the Championship season. He would be a winner with any club; he just make a club that much better.

    • Ryne Duren

      January 19, 2013 at 10:05 am

      george i think his nickname was “stosh” not stash.

      • George

        January 19, 2013 at 11:33 am

        Who are you talking about? I never mentioned the word stosh, nor the word stash.

  5. bacardipr

    January 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Thats a tough one with Liberthal been such a long fixture here. I always enjoyed watching Dutch. I actually met him once in a gas station. It was real early and not in the best neighborhood . I couldnt belive it was him, saw several jerseys, baseball bats and gloves in his back seat. Like a 10 year old kid (I was about 19 back then) i cautiously approached. I said Darren Daulton is that really you. He smirked said yes got some gas and left.

    • Ryne Duren

      January 19, 2013 at 10:09 am

      i always loved liberthals defense, and he had some real good offense also. but i was always turned off by how he called a game. chooch and dutch probably along with boone called very good games i’ll give the nod to chooch though. but in my overall outlook i picked daulton, for his O. D and game calling and his highest war rating.

      • George

        January 20, 2013 at 3:12 pm

        I sometimes wonder if a catcher’s game calling abilty is questioned undeservedly. Sometimes I’d guess that the pitching staff doesn’t have the “stuff” for a catcher to call much of anything. If, for instance, the pitcher that day has a bad curveball, what can the catcher call if that same pitcher only has an 87MPH fastball and no other effective offspeed pitches? What if his command is never very good? Is it the catchers fault if he call for a pitch over the corner and the guy on the mound puts it down the middle?

  6. E.J.

    January 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Excluding 2007 to current, I gotta go with Lieberthal. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Dutch, Chooch, and Booney, but Lieberthal performed during an era when the Phils were frankly quite crappy. The way I look at it, if Lieberthal had played on a team like the ’08, ’09 teams or on the ’93 team, his numbers would be far better than what you see there. Hitting can be infectious and so can winning and attitude. And although it’s not a “what he WOULD have done” vote, I think Lieberthal to perform under what he was surrounded with justifies him as the best.

  7. Joefa

    January 18, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    How come I can’t vote for Lenny Webster?????

  8. Joefa

    January 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    How come I can’t vote for Lenny Webster?????

    The poll is rigged!

    • Ryne Duren

      January 19, 2013 at 10:11 am

      because you can’t joe! nanananananan lol!

  9. brooks

    January 19, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    One of the best managers ever, Earl Weaver passed today at the age of 82.

    • Lefty

      January 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      RIP Earl. He was also one of the best baseball broadcasters for a short while too. As you can imagine, he didn’t mince words when he felt he needed to be critical, and didn’t rain praise on otherwise ordinary ball players. It was refreshing to hear someone that didn’t proclaim every player or play as “great”.

      • Chuck A.

        January 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        I grew following Earl’s Orioles and well as the Phillies. What a show it was to watch him in action. Guys like him are in a class by themselves. That’s why I like Charlie and Leyland so much I guess.

  10. Brooks

    January 20, 2013 at 6:09 am

    What a weekend – Stan Musial died on Saturday – I never saw the man play being from an AL city (Baltimore) but I heard stories from my dad. What a career, what a legacy.

  11. Brooks

    January 20, 2013 at 6:59 am

    On my tombstone just write, ‘The sorest loser that ever lived.’
    Earl Weaver..

  12. Lefty

    January 20, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I never saw Musial play either, but when I was about 10 years old or so, the Cardinals were in for an exhibition game just after coming north in April at either D.C. Stadium or Memorial stadium in Baltimore, I can’t remember which. My uncle was a long time Cardinals fan so he took my father and me to the game. Prior to the game when we were seated, my uncle and father recognized the now retired Musial in the seats right behind us!

    I was just a kid so I wasn’t really awe struck, but my dad and uncle sure were. He was a really nice guy, and as I look back on the experience, my dad and Stan the Man conversed throughout the game as if they were just ANY two fans at a game! He signed my program, though I have no idea what happened to that. Do yourselves a favor and check Musial’s stats on BB Reference, his numbers were just mind boggling.

    • brooks

      January 20, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      His last atbat was an RBI – he knocked in a young Peter Rose.

      • Dave P

        January 21, 2013 at 1:51 pm

        Brooks, what are you talking about? Musial played his entire career for the cardinals and Pete Rose played for the reds while he was young (and he never played for the cardinals).

      • Lefty

        January 21, 2013 at 8:00 pm

        Dave P. – I believe what he meant to say was that his last hit (an RBI single on Sept 29, 1963) went past rookie 2nd baseman Pete Rose who ironically would go on to surpass Musial’s NL hit record. ( and of course Cobb’s ML record)

  13. Ken Bland

    January 20, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Couple points on Earl as people get carried away giving him superlatives. Not that he doesn’t deserve them, mind you, but Earl in death is a carbon of life. I never saw anything like it. Earl gets to heaven this afternoon at 2:30 pm eastern, and is gonna get in a hellacious arguement with the Director of Gatekeeper Ops as to whether he should go in before The Man. Same in life. Earl was a bad loser, for sure. He was colorful, for sure. But again, he couldn’t get ahead of the field because while deserving of greatness, his act was enhanced by his matchups with Billy, who don’t need no introduction by last name. One thing for sure, you cannot come with light years of comparing Earl’s footprint on Orioles baseball with anyoone that ever managed the Phils. Sorry, Dallas. Sorry, Charlie.

    • Lefty

      January 20, 2013 at 11:56 am

      There was also a side of Weaver that most didn’t know. I read something on another board this morning about a guy who, when young, used to hand write letters to players in hopes of getting pictures, letters and autographs back. I’ll quote the rest of his post-

      “One was from Earl Weaver. He wrote that his team is “very good because they stayed in school and stayed away from drugs” and” if I wanted to play ball I had to stay in school and stay away from drugs”.”

      He not only took the time to write the kid back, he sent an important message. I liked reading that.

  14. Chuck A.

    January 20, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Earl probably figues “screw it, that’ll just give ’em more to talk about during induction weekend since it’s a light year.

  15. brooks

    January 20, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    When outfielder Pat Kelly told Weaver he intended to become a minister so he could “walk with the Lord,” Weaver said he’d rather Kelly “walk with the bases loaded.”

  16. The Original Chuck P

    January 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    We switched from Dutch to Chooch on our 2012 review of our Phillies All-Time Team. It’s really close… in terms of tenure, Lieby has them all (his cumulative numbers are better than the rest) but he wasn’t as sharp defensively as Boone or Chooch and wasn’t a stalwart at the dish. Dutch was probably the best offensive catcher but he had a pretty short prime and Chooch is right up there (especially after last season). He is the most well-rounded catcher and although Lieby has more tenure, we felt that Chooch has set himself apart as the best in franchise history at this point. Our re-post was done before his adderall test was announced but I’m not sure I’d change it based on that alone.

  17. Ken Bland

    January 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    In his lengthy career, Stan Musial won 3 World Series. Location. location, location is a lot in this life. Before there was Ozzie Smith, there was Dal Maxvill, a teammate of The Man’s his last 2 years with the Cards. Maxvill walked away with 5 rings. Was Maxvill a better player than Stan. Dal, who really was a terrific defensive player totalled out of the game with these numbers in 14 years.

    BA .217
    OPS .552
    Dingers 6
    OBP .293

    Isolate those numbers versus what today’s average shortstop runs, and you’d think Dal was lucky to last 14 years. And he picked up FIVE rings along the way. And not a 1 of them was undeserved. Man could play shortstop, and I bet Stan appreciated him as much as I’m sure the flipsode worked.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phillies Nation has been bringing Phillies fans together since 2004 with non-stop news, analysis, trade rumors, trips, t-shirts, and other fun stuff!

Browse the Archives

Browse by Category

Copyright Phillies Nation, LLC 2004-2016
Not Affiliated with Major League Baseball or the Philadelphia Phillies

To Top