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eBay Item of the Day: Behold -- the Hand of Schang!

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Behold: the price of catching competency. This is the gnarled hand of Wally Schang, one of the greatest catchers of all time. (See below) One thing that is especially troubling about this vintage photograph is that the seller gives the approximate date of its origin as 1914. If this is so, Schang was only 24 at the time. What unholy mutation did his hand look like 17 years later when he was still catching in the big leagues? (His playing didn't even stop there - he was still taking a few turns as late as World War II when he was well into his fifties.)


What follows are the all-time rankings of catchers by career WAR according to Baseball-Reference along with their overall rankings. These were predominantly catchers, although a few, such as Joe Torre and Gene Tenace, spent fairly significant time at other positions. Bold indicates Hall of Famer.

WAR Catcher (All-time rank)

72.3 Johnny Bench (45th)

66.4 Gary Carter (66th)

63.7 Carlton Fisk (77th tie)

63.7 Ivan Rodriguez (77th tie)

56.1 Yogi Berra (117th tie)

56.1 Mike Piazza (117th tie)

54.2 Joe Torre (129th tie)

52.4 Bill Dickey (138th tie)

50.7 Gabby Hartnett (150th tie)

48.9 Mickey Cochrane (166th)

46.7 Ted Simmons (184th)

45.7 Buck Ewing (196th)

44.3 Gene Tenace (204th)

43.6 Ernie Lombardi (213th)

43.3 Thurman Munson (217th)

41.4 Wally Schang (244th)

41.3 Bill Freehan (245th tie)

39.1 Roger Bresnahan (282nd tie)

39.0 Jorge Posada (284th tie)

38.3 Jason Kendall (296th tie)

37.8 Darrell Porter (303rd tie)

37.3 Jim Sundberg (311th tie)

37.0 Joe Mauer (317th)

31.6 Roy Campanella (405th)

31.2 Smoky Burgess (415th tie)

27.5 Tom Haller (499th)

27.2 Walker Cooper (508th tie)

27.2 Javy Lopez (508th tie)

26.6 Mickey Tettleton (517th tie)

26.3 Rick Ferrell (523rd tie)

26.2 Tim McCarver (525th tie)

25.4 Del Crandall (550th tie)

25.4 Terry Steinbach (550th tie)

25.3 Manny Sanguillen (555th tie)

25.1 Ed Bailey (561st tie)

25.0 Ray Schalk (566th tie)

24.5 Elston Howard (583rd tie)

24.5 Benito Santiago (583rd tie)

24.4 Bob Boone (589th tie)

24.0 Mike Scioscia (601st)

23.9 Butch Wynegar (602nd tie)

23.1 Rick Dempsey (627th tie)

23.1 Chief Meyers (627th tie)