clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Giants' backup catchers of the last 20 years


The bloom is off Quiroz.

Quiroz is Quiroz by any other name.

War of Quirozes.

That's all I got. Guillermo Quiroz was here, and then he was gone, and all we have left are rose puns.

Except there's this:

Oh, man, the innocence. I thought the Giants were a good team back then. Dodgers fans thought their team was bad. Let's all go back and live in that time. Oh, what a sweet time that was. They didn't even have "Blurred Lines" stuck in their head back then. Errybody get up. It was probably the zenith of Western civilization, that home run. So Quiroz wasn't just "one of those guys." He had his moment.

He was probably just one of those guys, to be honest. But think of a Yamid Haad-related moment. You can't. He didn't have a walk-off homer against a hated rival.

Which brings us to the point of this article: Where does Quiroz rank on the backup-catcher list of the last 20 years, just on the strength of that home run? Who are the best backup catchers from the last 20 years?

Methodology: Look for the catchers with fewer than 300 plate appearances, and eliminate the ones who were clearly catcher-in-waiting. Buster Posey doesn't count as a backup catcher, for example. Here are the qualifying catchers:=

Lots of names. My top five:

1. Eli Whiteside
Dude won World Serieses and caught no-hitters. He was a calm, steady backup to Buster Posey on the first World Series-winning team in San Francisco history, and he wanted to bite Shane Victorino's face off. There was a clear #1 in this race. Everyone else is fighting for #2.

2. Yorvit Torrealba
He was kind of the perfect backup, you know. And if the GIants trusted him a little more, he would have been the starter in 2004. And instead of Dustin Hermanson and Matt Herges stumbling around the ninth like a couple of clumsy French waiters, the Giants would have had fringe Hall of Fame candidate Joe Nathan.

They would have won the World Series in 2004.

Oh, man, why didn't you trust Torrealba in 2004, Giants?

3. Damon Berryhill
He had one of these on his rookie card:


And he hit a walk-off single in one of my absolute favorite games of all-time. Mark McGwire hit his 50th home run, Stan Javier tied the game with a homer in the ninth, and Berryhill won it in the 10th.

4. Guillermo Quiroz
A walk-off homer against the Dodgers means a lot. A lot.

5. Tom Lampkin
His walk-up music was Alice In Chains' "Rooster." This meant a lot to 18-year-old Grant. Plus, I remember sitting behind two old ladies who recounted in great detail exactly what they'd do to Lampkin and his sideburns if they ever got the chance. It was ... formative.


Your turn. Give me your irrational attachments, your unquantifiable crushes, your favorite backup catchers. Marcus Jensen was tall, and he was turned into Brian Johnson. Eliezer Alfonzo drank snake juice. They all have their charms.

But pick your favorite backup catcher.


Alright, your second-favorite backup catcher. Note that the real lesson is that backup catchers don't mean a heckuva lot. Unless they're Eli Whiteside, who is a badass.