How we compiled our list: we each made our own lists (which we love doing, in fact, if our wives would let us, we'd do them all day long). Then by order of rankings of all three lists, we assigned points (10 points for first, 9 for second, etc.) and then generate a final ranking of our composite final list by total points. An unusual thing happened when we made our lists; we had the same 10 catchers listed, just in different order. That doesn't happen too often with us. We were in agreement also on the top 1 & 2 (let's face it, if you know baseball history, there's Johnny Bench and then there's the rest). Here's our list and feel free to tell us we're wrong.
1. Johnny Bench
2. Yogi Berra
3. Ivan Rodriguez
4. Mike Piazza
5. Roy Campanella
6. Bill Dickey
7. Mickey Cochrane
8. Gary Carter
9. Carlton Fisk
10. Gabby Hartnett
I (Hersh) had Campanella higher on my list. 3 MVP'S in a decade where he played in the same league as Mays, Aaron, Robinson, Banks, Musial and Snider... he beat those guys out 3 times!! That should tell you something.
OCP had Carter slightly higher based upon the fact his JAWS, WAR and WAR7 scores were all top two... he was a tremendous defensive catcher (arguably the best) who posted above average OPS numbers over the course of nineteen seasons. OCP considered Ernie Lombardi, Ted Simmons and Bill Freehan instead of Hartnett but Hartnett's accolades (HOF, four WS appearances, MVP, four top-10 MVP) swayed his thinking, in the end.
Mc's list was probably the closest to the final result. He had Piazza in the third spot and Cochrane a couple slots higher but his list was solid and he served as the voice of reason for the Lombardi/Freehan discussions.
So that's our list, tell us what you think.