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White Sox All Time Team - Catcher

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  • White Sox All Time Team - Catcher

    Today I'll post the Sox All Time Catchers as per Scott Merkin at While I agree with his picks, I think I'd rate #2 thru #5 a little differently than he had them.

    No one loves a good debate quite like baseball fans, and with that in mind, we asked each of our beat reporters to rank the top five players by position in the history of their franchise, based on their career while playing for that club. These rankings are for fun

    No doubt Carlton Fisk is at the top of the list. What the Commander did while in a White Sox uniform is amazing, considering he had a lot of miles on him when he came to the Southside in 1981. The Hall of Famer was like the energizer bunny, he just kept going and going and going. The numbers he compiled while playing the most demanding position on the diamond is a true testament to the ultimate professional he was.

    I'd move Sherm Lollar in to the #2 position. He was the backbone of the Go-Go Sox during the 50's and he was a true iron man behind the plate.

    Hall of Famer Ray Schalk would be #3 for me. He played a lot of his career during the deadball era and his offensive stats just don't excite me all that much, but it was his defense that he was truly known for. Those that did see him play made the case he belonged in the HOF, so I'll trust their judgement that Ray Schalk one of the "clean Sox" during the Black Sox scandal, played the game 100% and was a real White Sox legend.

    A.J. would be #4 and I really would like to place him right behind Sherm Lollar in White Sox lore, I loved A.J. when he played for us. He was a real gamer, and ALWAYS had his head in the game. I wish he had played a couple more seasons on the Southside. That might have moved him in to the #3 slot for me.

    Karko is #5. Defensively he was a treat to watch play. I also would like to place Ed Herrmann at #5-A, because it was a toss up on who I'd take in the #5 slot. Herm was a solid Catcher himself, and like a lot of Catchers their offensive skills tended to decline the longer they played. Ed had a solid Rookie season and the future looked bright for him, but he never quite approached those numbers again, but he was a dependable receiver who played through a lot of pain.

    Honorable mentions: Brian Downing, Jim Essian, Duane Josephson, J.C. Martin, Gerry McNertney and for the short time he was here, Charles Johnson.

    PS: Anybody else notice in the Scott Merkin article the pic that they used for Ron Karkovice was actually Mike LaValliere? LOL.

  • #2
    Can't say I disagree. I also think most of the votes in these polls are being done by younger people as Twitter tends to have a younger age group which would explain the voting outcomes in many of these polls. Fisk and AJ definitely deserve to be hear the top of the list. I admit I don't know much about the older player so cannot comment on them.
    Riding Shotgun on the Sox Bandwagon since before there was an Internet...


    • #3
      Carlton Fisk is the obvious No. 1, although many don't identify him with the White Sox (for whom he played the most games). He was, as a great catcher uniquely can be, someone who personified baseball. I had an editor, a lifelong Arizona resident with no family ties to Chicago or Boston, who had an "Iron Fisk" poster in his office. They named a candy bar for Reggie Jackson, but fathers named sons for Carlton Fisk.

      Sherm Lollar and Ray Schalk, of course, have to go on the short list behind Fisk, even though I only know of them what I have read. Ed Herrmann belongs in the top five. He was better defensively than Ron Karkovice. Numbers might not show that, but Herrmann was catching a lot of knuckle-ball innings. Pierzynski probably belongs in the top 5 as well for being the right catcher at the right time


      • #4
        AJ Pierzynski is the only contender I saw (I was a toddler who didn't watch baseball during Fisk and Karkovice) and there are many reasons why he's a player I will be telling stories about for the rest of my life, none of which I need to explain to a White Sox message board. I will add, though, that he took over catching for the Sox at the end of a dark age for the position. 2004 in particular was an embarrassing year for White Sox catching. That just made him more special, I was so glad to no longer be frustrated when the catcher's spot came up.
        "Hope...may be indulged in by those who have abundant resources...but those who stake their all upon the venture see it in its true colors only after they are ruined."
        -- Thucydides


        • #5
          My top 3 are Fisk, Lollar and AJ.
          Schalk is #4, never saw him play but I caddied for him many times, he loved it that I always wore a White Sox Cap. Officer Karkovice is 4th by a slight margin over Ed Herrmann.
          Last edited by LITTLE NELL; 05-13-2020, 07:00 PM.
          Now coming up to bat for the White Sox is the Mighty Mite, Nelson Fox.


          • #6
            I've grown to believe it was Pierzynski who was the biggest difference maker between the 2005 championship Sox and the also-ran 2004 team. He was best friend and mentor to both Rowand and Crede -- the two everyday players who delivered career seasons -- and of course handled the pitching staff too. Fisk would be my #2, Ray Schalk #3 and Sherm Lollar #4.