2nd Inning: 180 Hits While Catching 120 games

Only 21 catchers have had 180 hits while catching at least 120 games. Thurman Munson accomplished this feat  4 consecutive seasons. The only other catcher to do this was Hall of Famer catcher Ivan Rodriquez .
Only 12 catchers  have achieved  180 hits and caught 120 games while being above their league average in defensive Caught Stealing (CS)percentage for the season. To put this in further perspective,  1,780  players at any position have collected  at least 180 hits in a season. 

To endure the additional challenges of the Catcher position for 120 games and hit for a high enough average to deliver at least 180 hits, while at the same time be able to excel on the defensive side of the ball is one of the most difficult trifectas in the game! To balance durability with endurance and hit with consistent excellence is a rare talent.

Munson also have  7 consecutive seasons of 130+ hits for a catcher.  At the time of his death in 1979, he had 110 hits. With  60 games left, he would have almost certainly had an 8 consecutive season of 130 hits.

 

Seasons in Which A Catcher Has Caught 120 Games and Delivered 180 Hits

While Being Above League Average in Caught Stealing %

Year

Hits

League Rank in Hits

Games

Caught

Caught

Stealing %

VS. League

CS %

Yogi Berra

1950

192

4th

148

58

9

Ted Simmons

1973

192

4th

153

44

8

Thurman Munson

1975

190

3rd

130

50

12

Thurman Munson

1976

186

4th

121

35

1

Thurman Munson

1977

183

11th

136

40

1

Thurman Munson

1978

183

4th

125

45

7

Ivan Rodriguez

1996

192

7th

146

51

21

Ivan Rodriguez

1997

187

5th

143

57

24

Ivan Rodriguez

1998

186

9th

139

56

25

Ivan Rodriguez

1999

199

5th

141

55

22

Jason Kendall

2004

183

10th

146

36

8

Joe Mauer

2006

181

11th

120

38

8

Analytical Note 1: Yogi Berra won a World Series Title in 1950 and Thurman Munson won in 1977 and 1978.

Analytical Note 2: Thurman Munson won the MVP Award in 1976 and Ivan Rodriguez won in 1999.

Analytical Note 3: Munson’s 190 hits and 3rd place finish in 1975 is the closest a Catcher has come to leading his league in hits: 5 behind the leader (Brett / 195).

Thurman Munson and Ivan Rodriguez share 8 of the 12 seasons in the history of baseball in which a Catcher has caught at least 120 games and delivered 180 hits while being above their league average in the defensive CS metric.

Thurman Munson had a 788 total hits  between 1975 and 1978- the most by any catcher.

Batting practice before his first major league game on August 8, 1969 during which he caught a complete game 9 inning shutout victory by Al Downing and collected his first hit off Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter – his future friend and teammate.