Required Reading: 21 Gnomic Meditations of Questionable Value on the Life of Johnny Bassler

Steven Goldman in The Hardball Times

Johnny Bassler was a major league catcher who spent the bulk of his career playing for the Detroit Tigers from 1921-1927. Ty Cobb was his teammate and manager. Cobb is well-remembered today, both famous and infamous. Bassler, if he is recalled at all, is most often mentioned as a Pacific Coast League great. Cobb was much louder in accomplishments, speech, and violence. Bassler had a subtler mien. …

Bassler was, however, also a major league great, albeit in an attenuated career. A left-handed singles hitter with great patience, Bassler posted a career .304 average with a remarkable .416 on-base percentage. His OBP remains the second-highest of any modern-era catcher to have at least 2,500 plate appearances, trailing only his contemporary Mickey Cochrane’s .419.

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