I don’t give a rats ass about the numbers and Hall of Fame credentials Pepsodent smile and all that, my favorite Mets catcher of all time is was and may forever be Jerry Grote. Not even close. Go ahead flame my ass about this I don’t give a fuck you hear me all you Piazza and Carter fans.  My guy Grote was the original Captain Red Ass.  Nobody fired a ball back to a pitcher (including The Franchise) with purpose like Grote did.  Add in the fact that he wore a wool baseballall cap with the bill turned up (no protective helmet for him) that my young whipper snappers readers was a man’s catcher.

So why the “Get off my lawn” diatribe you wonder? Well the good folks at The Hardball Time have an outstanding post on the comparison between Mike Piazza, Pudge Rodriguez and <head bowed> Johnny Bench that fired my middle aged ass up this morning

For all my love of Grote I also have a deep respect and admiration for JB. In fact last time I was up in Cooperstown I bought a Reds t-shirt with BENCH 5 on the back. Check out the posting as it breaks down all three’s offensive and defensive numbers   

Still, the guy I want behinf the plate for my team is Jerry Grote.  Now GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  1. Best defensive catcher EVER!! Nobody better at getting out from behind the plate on a bunt. Lou Brock himself called him the toughest catcher to steal on. Schooled all the Met greats — Seaver, Koosman, you name him. Always the first one on the top step when a teammate scored a run. And, as you noted, he was a real son of a bitch.

  2. Krane, I posted a few months ago that Grote was my mothers’ favorite player…and how that got a huge chuckle from Eddie “The Krane” at an old timers game one year…You are also dead on about the fact that this team needs some “red asses”. That is one of the things I like about Murphy. Unfortunately he is a rookie.

  3. Plus Sharon Grote served Gulden’s Brown Mustard to her family.

  4. kranepool says:


    Gregg, how great was than commercial? the Grote family sitting around the picnic table slathering Gulden’s Spicey mustard on their hot dogs and Grote looking like Ward Cleaver when he was really a “bad-ass”

  5. Albanate says:

    Thanks for sticking up for Jerry Grote. The Mets won the series with him behind the plate…I don’t recall that happening in the Piazza years. And then a few years later, Grote and the Mets took mighty Oakland to seven games…

    Of course, I love all the Met catchers–Carter, Piazza, Stearns, Hundley, and so on–even Duffy Dyer and Ron Hodges. But in my mind, when I think of the Mets catcher, I always think of Grote.


  6. Jerry Grote in my oppinion is the greatest
    defensive catcher of all time. He broght
    the best out of any pitcher on the mound
    and had a rocket for an arm. He was truely
    a team leader behind the plate. I believe
    that Bench even said that if Grote and he
    we on the same team Bench would be playing
    first base.

  7. Grote was by far and large the general who
    ran the Mets with an Iron fist. Woe to the
    pitcher who crossed him up or consistently
    proved he wasn’t up to the task on play day.
    My Dad who was a die hard Yankees fan from
    childhood so admired Jerry that he came to all
    the Mets games with us. I think we need him
    to manage the Mets for eternity. Great man.

  8. Mitch Farley says:

    Loved Grote. His problem was the press, who did not like him. He may have been the only Met with his own fan club (probably not, but it’s the one fans talked about). Like Carter and am fine with Piazza, but Grote is the gold standard of defensive catchers.

  9. richard says:

    @kranepool – Jerry Grote, its about time he was recognized. He will forever be one of the Mets all time favorites. When you think of Seaver, Harrelson, Garrett, Kranepool and Koosman, Jerry Grote is right there. Yea, saw him a few times on Kiners Korner…

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