New York Yankees: All-time best catchers in franchise history
New York Yankees all-time best catchers – No. 1: Yogi Berra
(1946-1963) (2,116 G) (59.6 WAR)
With three MVP awards, 10 World Series Championships and 18 All-Star selections, Yogi Berra was almost a no-brainer for the top spot on this list, if it weren’t for another Yankee backstop who also got the same number eight retired after him.
Born Lawrence Peter Berra, Yogi was signed by the Yankees in 1943 as an amateur free agent. After a stint in the Navy during World War II in which he earned a Purple Heart, Berra was called up to the Yankees in 1946 at the age of 21. In seven games, he went 8-for-22 with two HR; an impressive showing for what would turn into a legendary career.
Across 18 years with the Yankees, Berra totaled 358 HR, 1430 RBI and 2,150 H, all of which are first amongst catchers in team history. He also amassed a .285 BA, .348 OBP and .482 SLG. In his MVP seasons in 1951, 1954 and 1955, Berra averaged 25 HR, 107 RBI and a .291 BA.
Berra had 10 straight seasons with 20+ HR and 82+ RBI. Between 1953 and 1956, Berra had at least 22 HR and 105 RBI for four straight years. Among catchers in MLB history, Berra ranks fourth in HR, first in RBI, sixth in hits and third in runs scored.
It doesn’t stop there. Berra was a part of 10 World Series Championship teams. In 75 World Series games, Berra had 12 HR, 10 doubles, and 39 RBI. In World Series history, those figures rank third, first and second, respectively.