5th Inning: Post-Season Compared to Other HOF Catchers

Where Munson stands the tallest, and where his contribution to the game of baseball is most unique, is his postseason productivity in his  six postseason series.  In 30 post-season games,  Thurman Munson unambiguously holds the best postseason record of any Catcher in the history of the game.

Note that only one Hall of Fame Catcher has a postseason batting average above .300 (Roger Bresnahan in the 1905 World Series). Only three Hall of Fame Catchers have a higher postseason average than their regular season average (Ray Schalk, Gary Carter, and, again Bresnahan). 

The average Hall of Fame Catcher postseason average is .263.  Thurman Munson’s own .357 postseason average is 94 points above that of the average Hall of Fame Catcher. As a final point, not one Hall of Fame Catcher has a postseason average within 40 points of Munson and only three are within 75 points!

Thurman Munson’s POSTSEASON Batting Average and Hits Per Game

Compared with Hall of Fame Catchers

Analytical Point 1: Hall of Fame Catchers Josh Gibson, Biz Mackey, and Louis Santop played in the Negro Leagues.

Analytical Point 2: HOF Catcher Rick Ferrell did not play in the postseason, but his Regular Season AVG of .281 is included in the Hall of Famer AVG.

But importantly, it is not just his postseason batting average where he stands tall compared with the all-time greats at his position. Munson collected  more hits per postseason game (1.53) and his RBIs per postseason game (0.73) is higher than every Hall of Fame Catcher. Munson’s  postseason OPS (.874) is higher than all but one!
Perhaps the most  impressive aspect of his offensive postseason performance is the fact that he hit safely in 27 of the 30 postseason games he played in: something which no other player of ANY position has done!

Munson Stands Even Taller – Beyond Just Catchers in the Postseason

To put his achievements in perspective,  of  500 players of any position with 65 or more post-season plate appearances, there are only  seven players with a higher postseason batting average than Thurman Munson (Hank Aaron, Carl Yastrzemski, Paul Molitor, Lou Gehrig, Lou Brock, John Montgomery Ward, and Frank Baker)- all of whom are in  Hall of Famer and none of them were Catchers. In other words, of the 500 players with the most postseason At Bats, 492 of them have a lower batting average than Thurman Munson, and the 7 who are higher are all in the Hall of Fame.

And further still… if you limit the list of 500 players to only the 162 with at least as many postseason At Bats as Thurman (129), none of these Hall of Famers has a higher batting average! 

Highest Postseason Batting Average Among the 500 Players in Baseball History with the Most Postseason At Bats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ONLY player on this list that is not in the Hall of Fame is–Thurman Munson. Moreover, Munson is the only Catcher on the list.

The only player with a higher hits per post-season metric is Paul Molitor who delivered 1.48 hits per postseason game with 43 hits in 29 games and 117 At Bats.

Think about it this way, of the top 300 players in baseball history with the most postseason At Bats, NONE have a higher hits per postseason game than Thurman Munson. Lou Brock, at #305 on the At Bats list, is the first player with a higher hits per postseason game average. Thurman certainly kept the bases moving!

For Thurman Munson, as a Catcher, to be this high on the list of postseason batting average and hits per game is, at least, VERY historically unique and unduplicated!