Seattle Mariners 40th Anniversary All Time Roster: The Catcher
We continue to move ahead on our all-time roster by heading behind the plate to the catcher’s spot. To be a catcher in Seattle Mariners history is very unique having produced just one All-Star in 40 years.
The 1980’s brought Dave Valle.
Drafted by the Mariners in the second round of the 1978 draft, Valle served as the starting catcher from 1987-1993.
Valle proved to be at least adequate at the plate but made his career stationed behind it. His .992 fielding % is second best in team history and he threw out 36% of would-be base-stealers.
Arguably the best offensive catcher in team history, the 2000’s brought us Kenji Johjima. He has the highest Slugging % among qualified catchers in team history. His wRC+ was second best and he has the 3rd highest WAR amongst catchers.
However, this is all just a table setting. We all know who the Mariners all-time catcher is. He is the franchise leader in games played, home runs, RBI’s, runs scored, stolen bases and hits amongst catchers. You know him as Dan “The Man” Wilson.
Wilson is one of only three players franchise history to play on all four playoffs teams. He retired with the highest fielding percentage amongst catchers in MLB history.
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Wilson had only 42 passed balls in a career that including catching for franchise greats Randy Johnson, Jamie Moyer, and Freddy Garcia.
While Wilson was best known for his pitch-blocking and work with Johnson and Moyer, he was also no slouch at the plate.
From 1995-1997, he averaged 14 HRs with a .278/.330/.428 with 69 RBI in 134 games. He was named an American League All-Star in 1996.
As great as Wilson was on the field, he was even better in the community, particularly with the children of Seattle. He has 4 kids, 2 adopted and was the team’s Roberto Clemente Award nominee. He still hosts an annual softball game for United Way.
Dan Wilson left an incredible legacy not only on the Seattle Mariners but on the entire Pacific Northwest.
Next, we’ll tackle first base. Who will it be? John Olerud? Alvin Davis? Tino Martinez? Stay tuned to find out.