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BCB After Dark: Catching is hard

The nightspot for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks who was the greatest Cubs catcher of the last 60 years.

Jody Davis
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the after-after party for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Glad you could stop by again tonight. We’ll take your coat and hat. Have a seat. Bring your own beverage.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

Last night I asked you who you thought was the greatest Cubs shortstop of the expansion era. I didn’t think the vote would be close and it wasn’t. With 71% of the vote, you chose El Mago himself, Javier Báez. The stats would tend to back that decision up. In second place was Don Kessinger with 13% and Shawon Dunston and the Shawon-O-Meter was third with 11%.

The Cubs took two out of three from the Padres in San Diego with a 3-1 win earlier this afternoon. The Brewers lost to the Reds, 7-3, which puts the Cubs in sole possession of first place in the NL Central as of this moment. If you wish to continue to talk about the Cubs surge into first, feel free to do so here.

Here’s the part where I discuss jazz and movies. Those of you who want to skip to the baseball poll question at the end are free to do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Today this interruption will be short.

As I said, I’m running way behind tonight because of things I needed to take care of earlier in the day and the marathon minor league games played earlier this evening. But I always promise to give you a jazz track, so here’s one you are undoubtedly familiar with. Here’s Quincy Jones and his orchestra performing “Soul Bossa Nova” [VIDEO] on The Late Show with David Letterman a little over a decade ago.

Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to go into movies tonight. I hope you understand. But I wrote about Double Indemnity on Monday Night/Tuesday Morning and if you want to share some of your favorite film noir, this would be a good place to do it. It can be classic ones from the 1940s and 1950s like Double Indemnity or Sunset Boulevard, to name two Billy Wilder examples. Or you can talk about more modern neo-noir like Chinatown or LA Confidential.

Another thing that is open for discussion is what exactly is the definition of noir. It’s kind of like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s definition of pornography: “I know it when I see it.”

Welcome back to those who skip the middle sections. We’re finishing up our nightly poll of the greatest Cubs players at each position since 1962. We have catcher and closer left. Since closer should go last, today we’ll look at the best Cubs catcher of the expansion era.

The candidates are:

Randy Hundley (1966-1973, 1976-1977) How in the world did Leo Durocher trot Hundley out to catch 160 games in 1968? Hundley was the iron man of catching and I don’t think anyone will ever catch 160 regular season games again. In an era where the stolen base was king, Hundley was terrific at throwing out baserunners.

Jody Davis (1981-1988) Probably the Cubs greatest Rule 5 draft pick, at least in the modern incarnation of the rule. Davis started as a bat-first catcher who worked really hard to become a good defensive catcher and he did, winning a Gold Glove in 1986 and deserving it.

Rick Wilkins (1991-1995) I always thought of Wilkins as a one-year wonder, but his career bWAR as a Cub indicates that he belongs in with these other nominees. Admittedly he was just “good” outside of his incredible 1993 season.

Geovany Soto (2005-2012) Soto was Rookie of the Year in 2008 and an important part of the NL Central Champs that year. He also made a big impact as a September call-up in 2007. He had another terrific season in 2010.

Willson Contreras (2016-present) Contreras had a similar introduction to Soto, a midseason call-up who made a big impact on a division title team. Of course Soto’s 2007 Cubs were swept by the Diamondbacks whereas Contreras started Game 7 of the World Series (although he was one of three catchers that manager Joe Maddon used in that game). I don’t think I need to explain Contreras to you

So who is it? Who’s the best Cubs catcher of the expansion era?


Who is the best Cubs catcher since 1962?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Randy Hundley
    (85 votes)
  • 14%
    Jody Davis
    (29 votes)
  • 0%
    Rick Wilkins
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    Geovany Soto
    (4 votes)
  • 42%
    Willson Contreras
    (87 votes)
205 votes total Vote Now

Once again, thanks for stopping by. We’ll see you again next week.