The World Series is the biggest stage in Baseball and a career highlight for those who play in it.
The top performer of each World Series is named Most Valuable Player (MVP), and seven different catchers have won the award as of the date of this post.
Keep reading to learn more about each of the seven catchers to win World Series MVP...
The Seven (7) Catchers Who Have Won World Series MVP
The World Series has been played every year since 1903 (except during the 1994 strike), and an MVP award for the best player of each Series has been awarded since 1955.
In the 65 World Series played since the MVP award was first given out, just seven catchers (less than 11% of the total) have won it.
These seven men were clutch down the stretch, stepping up and leading their teams to victory when it mattered the most.
This post highlights each of these seven catchers, focusing on their achievements and key statistics during their MVP winning Series.
The following list is in chronological order, beginning with the first catcher to win the World Series MVP award back in the '72 Series.
Gene Tenace, Oakland Athletics, 1972 World Series MVP
The first catcher to win World Series MVP was Gene Tenace in 1972. Tenace had a stellar Series in which the Oakland Athletics beat the Cincinnati Reds by a close four games to three.
In the '72 Series Tenace hit .348, smashed four home runs and collected nine RBIs.
Most notably, Tenace hit a home run in each of his first two at bats of the Series - the first player to achieve this feat.
He hit both home runs off Reds pitcher Gary Nolan, one in the second inning and the other in the fifth inning. He was responsible for all A's runs that game.
Defensively, Tenace caught in six of the seven games (he played one game at first base), and had a .980 Fielding percentage with 45 putouts, four assists, two runners caught stealing and one error behind the dish.
Series Slash Line: .348/.400/.913
Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds, 1976 World Series MVP
The Cincinnati Reds crushed the New York Yankees in the 1976 World Series thanks in large part to Reds catcher Johnny Bench.
In just four games, Bench hit .533 with six RBIs, four runs, and two home runs. And those two home runs came in the decisive game four, a 7 - 2 victory at Yankee Stadium.
Behind the plate, Johnny Bench had a perfect fielding percentage with 18 putouts, one runner caught stealing and two assists across the four game Series.
Series Slash Line: .533/.533/1.133
Steve Yeager, Los Angeles Dodgers, 1981 World Series co-MVP
Lost Angeles Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager shared 1981 World Series MVP honors with teammates Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero. It was the first time in World Series history where there were co-MVPs.
Yeager batted .286 in the '81 Series and hit two home runs with four RBIs. Along with Cey and Guerrero, the three were responsible for 17 of the Dodgers 27 runs scored across the six game series against the New York Yankees.
From a defensive perspective, Yeager was behind the plate for Los Angeles in all six games and had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
Series Slash Line: .286/.267/.786
Darrell Porter, St Louis Cardinals, 1982 World Series MVP
The St Louis Cardinals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers four games to three in the 1982 World Series. St Louis catcher Darrell Porter was a big reason for the Cardinals victory.
Porter - who was also the MVP of the '82 NLCS - got a hit in six out of seven games in the Series, smashed two doubles and one home run, and collected a total of five RBIs.
He also played solid defense, starting behind the plate in all seven games for the Cardinals with no errors, two runners caught stealing, 33 putouts and two assists.
Series Slash Line: .286/.310/.464
Rick Dempsey, Baltimore Orioles, 1983 World Series MVP
Another catcher won World Series MVP in 1983, the third consecutive year that someone playing behind the plate received the award.
Orioles catcher Rick Dempsey won MVP honors after hitting .385 in Baltimore's four games to one victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Dempsey hit a home run, scored three runs and had two RBIs in the Series.
Behind the plate, Dempsey kept a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 27 putouts, two runners who were caught stealing, and four assists.
Series Slash Line: .385/.467/.923
Pat Borders, Toronto Blue Jays, 1992 World Series MVP
Toronto Blue Jays catcher Pat borders was on fire during the 1992 World Series.
He led the Blue Jays to a four games to two victory over the Atlanta Braves by hitting .450 with one home run and three RBIs. Borders got a hit in each of the six games, and he was notably clutch in the series clenching game six.
While on defense, Borders had a .981 fielding percentage during the '92 series with 48 putouts, three runners caught stealing, and five assists.
Series Slash Line: .450/.500/.750
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals, 2015 World Series MVP
Salvador Perez led the Kansas City Royals in hits during the 2015 World Series. Despite his team's low .239 batting average, Perez hit .364 and was the offensive catalyst the Royals needed to capture their first World Series in 30 years.
In the decisive game five against the New York Mets, Perez led off the 12th inning with a single. His pinch runner (Jarrod Dyson) would go on to score the winning run of the game (and the series).
Perez was also flawless behind the plate for the Royals, with no errors, 40 putouts, two runners caught stealing and five assists during the five game series.
Salvador Perez was the last catcher to win World Series MVP, as of the date of publication. We're hopeful there will be many more in the future!
Series Slash Line: .364/.391/.455
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