20. Biz Mackey
Before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball and the sport became an integrated league, Mackey was generally regarded as one of the all-time greats. Playing for the Hilldale Giants, Mackey was a career .328 hitter.
Excelling throughout a career that lasted nearly 30 years, Mackey was named to five East-West All-Star teams. Fellow legends, including Roy Campanella, were quick to praise Mackey — “In my opinion, Biz Mackey was the master of defense of all catchers.” While Mackey never reached the major leagues, he is often given credit for impacting many Negro leaguers who eventually made the jump.
Image Source: Aral/Getty Images
19. Buck Ewing
Considered the greatest catcher of all-time by Connie Mack, Ewing finished his career with a .303 average and 354 stolen bases. Ewing was a step ahead of most catchers during his time (1880-1897), adapting to the pace of the game and coming up with a strategy to keep himself ahead of the pack.
Ewing was one of the first catchers to crouch behind the plate, and to set up closer to the hitter — cutting down the time it would take to throw runners out at second, and catch the ball closer to home garnering more strike calls. Ewing played the early part of his career without a chest protector or a solid mask, giving Ewing an easy claim to being one of the toughest (and craziest) catchers of all-time.
Image Source: Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images