Bill Freehan

The very best catcher in baseball for more than a decade from the early 1960s to the early 1970s, Freehan is underrated. He rates among the 5-10 very best defensive catchers in the history of the game. Because he played his prime in an era when offense was oppressed, his hitting stats look worse than they are. His top three and top four seasons rank higher than those of Cochrane and Munson and Dickey and Victor Martinez. He was a really good ballplayer.

Wrote a very entertaining diary of the 1969 season titled Behind the Mask, which gives an inside look at Denny McLain and Norm Cash, two of the wackiest characters of that era. It’s not even close to being as revealing (or as good) as Jim Bouton’s Ball Four (also written about the ’69 season), but it’s still a worthwhile read.