Minnesota Twins: The Top 5 Catchers in Franchise History

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MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - OCTOBER 07: Former Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer waves to the fans prior to game three of the American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on October 07, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - OCTOBER 07: Former Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer waves to the fans prior to game three of the American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on October 07, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 1: The Minnesota Twins honor the 1965 American League Championship team with a ceremony before the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Seattle Marinerson August 1, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

No. 2: Earl Battey

Years: 1960-1967 (8 seasons)

One of the holdovers when the team made the move from Washington to Minnesota before the 1961 season, Battey made a huge impact on the Twins’ earliest years. He was a leader of the team and one of the top catchers in the league.

Battey played more games at the catcher position than anyone else in Minnesota Twins’ history, playing 7,924 innings over 990 games. He offered stability during a time when the Twins needed to build a fan base, helping grow the franchise in a new city.

He was an offensive anchor for the team, hitting .277 and knocking in 410 RBI over his career with the team. He ranks in the top 50 of every single offensive category (except ones related to power and slugging), as he played at a high rate for a very long time.

Similar to Muddy Ruel, he was an exceptional defender, with his defense overshadowing his offensive strength. His dWAR of 5.4 ranks 18th among all Twins in career numbers, and he recorded 5,676 putouts during his time with the franchise.

His WAR of 17.5 shows how strong of a player he was. He was known for being an established presence behind the plate as well., winning three Gold Gloves, being named to four All-Star teams, and finishing in the top 10 in MVP voting three times.

He also was one of the key players for the team that won the 1965 pennant, the team that solidified baseball in Minnesota. The 1965 team got Minnesotans interested in Major League Baseball, and Battey was a huge part of that. He was the fourteenth member elected to the Twins Hall of Fame, and deservedly so.

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