Chicago Cubs: Top five catchers in club history

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Gabby Hartnett, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Gabby Hartnett, 1922-1940

There cannot be an all-time catchers list for the Cubs without the addition of Gabby Hartnett. It would be unfathomable. Hartnett played with Chicago for 18 years of his 19-year career, amassing six straight All-Star appearances from 1933-1938.

In 1935, Hartnett earned the National League MVP after slashing .344/.404/.545 with a .949 OPS, 13 home runs, and 91 RBI. He beat out Dizzy Dean, Arky Vaughn, and teammate Billy Vaughn receiving 75 voting points.

From 1933-1938 throughout the six straight all-star experiences, Hartnett slashed .308/.373/.485 with a 131 OPS+ over 705 games. Two seasons after winning the MVP, Hartnett finished second in the voting, in 1937, hitting .354 with 43 walks and only 19 strikeouts.

At the age of 24, Hartnett set the record with 24 home runs. It was the second-most home runs behind Rogers Hornsby. He was also considered one of the best defensive catchers. In 1926, 1928, and 1932 Hartnett led the league in caught stealing percentage and caught 56 percent of attempted base stealers over his 20-year career. Hartnett will remain one of the best catchers in Cubs history.