The most physically demanding position in baseball is catcher. It is the only position that’s engages in every pitch, carries the most weight of any other position because he fields with the heaviest glove, a mask, a breastplate, and knee pads. And to make it even more difficult, it’s the only one who squats.
One example of this position’s difficulty is that only 33 players have 3,000 hits: none of them catcher, the closest, Ivan Rodriguez with 2,844. The next among the receivers is Ted Simmons, with 2,472, and he played 264 games in other positions. In Ivan’s case, he played 66 games in other positions.
Let’s see how Ivan Rodriguez compares with those who connected at least 3000 hits in different offensive categories using statehead.com.
- In singles, Iván Rodríguez excel Alex Rodríguez and Rafael Palmeiro.
- More doubles than Eddie Murray, Alex Rodríguez, Derek Jeter, Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield, Willie Mays, Rickey Henderson, Al Kaline, Lou Brock, Rod Carew, Roberto Clemente, Eddie Collins and Ichiro Suzuki.
- He surpasses Cal Ripken Jr., Adrián Beltré, Rafael Palmeiro, Eddie Murray, Alex Rodríguez, Miguel Cabrera, and Albert Pujols in triples.
- More homers than Rickey Henderson, Craig Biggio, Derek Jeter, Robin Yount, Roberto Clemente, Paul Molitor, Pete Rose, Lou Brock, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Ichiro Suzuki, Paul Waner, Honus Wagner, Cap Anson, Rod Carew, Nap Lajoie, and Eddie Collins.
- More rbi than Pete Rose, Derek Jeter, Paul Waner, Paul Molitor, Roberto Clemente, Eddie Collins, Craig Biggio, Tony Gwynn, Rickey Henderson, Rod Carew, Wade Boggs, Lou Brock, and Ichiro Suzuki.
- Stole more bases than Adrian Beltré, Albert Pujols, Eddie Murray, Paul Waner, Rafael Palmeiro, Roberto Clemente, Stan Musial, Miguel Cabrera, Cal Ripken Jr., and Wade Boggs.
- Better batting average than Alex Rodríguez, Lou Brock, Rafael Palmeiro, Eddie Murray, Adrian Beltré, Robin Yount, Carl Yastrzemski, Dave Winfield, Craig Biggio, Rickey Henderson, and Cal Ripken Jr.
- Better «slugging» than Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Cap Anson, Cal Ripken Jr., Wade Boggs, Derek Jeter, Craig Biggio, Robin Yount, Eddie Collins, Rod Carew, Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock, Pete Rose e Ichiro Suzuki.
- Iván outdoes Craig Biggio, Cal Ripken Jr., Pete Rose, Robin Yount, Ichiro Suzuki, and Lou Brock in on-base percentage plus slugging.
- Superior to Eddie Collins, Tony Gwynn, Lou Brock, Wade Boggs, Rod Carew, and Ichiro Suzuki in total bases.
- Ivan also has better defensive numbers than 32 of them, second only to Cal Ripken Jr.
Another significant fact: since 1910, only seven players have registered 550 + 2B, 300 + HR, and 125 + stolen bases: Hank Aaron, Carl Yastrzemski, George Brett, Barry Bonds, Carlos Beltrán, Luis González and Iván Rodríguez. Notice he is the only catcher in the group and clearly shows that he was a complete ballplayer.
Leaving out Ivan Rodriguez when discussing the greatest players of all time would be an incomplete conversation.