Recycled Batteries

At the seventh annual Saberseminar this past weekend at Boston University, attendees were entertained and informed by the event’s emcee, Chicago White Sox play-by-play announcer Jason Benetti. Periodcally, Benetti would make note of a “Recycled Battery” receptacle in the lecture hall. He asked if anyone had extra batteries to dispose of, and then started asking attendees who their favorite recycled battery was, explaining that he was looking for pitcher and catcher pairings that played together on more than one team.

(I chimed in with R.A. Dickey and Josh Thole, for example).

With that as my inspiration, I churned through the Retrosheet game logs to find all such duos through 2016.  It turns out there have been more than *900* such “batteries” in history. I’m not going to list all 900+ here, but I WILL provide the list of those pitcher/catcher pairings that have been together on a record three different teams. (These are starting pitcher and starting catcher pairings in at least one game).

SP CAT team.1 team.2 team.3
Tom Zachary Pinky Hargrave BSN SLA WS1
Allen Russell Muddy Ruel BOS NYA WS1
Milt Gaston Muddy Ruel BOS CHA WS1
Sad Sam Jones Muddy Ruel BOS CHA WS1
Claudio Vargas Brian Schneider MON NYN WAS
Livan Hernandez Brian Schneider MON NYN WAS
Edwin Jackson Dioner Navarro CHN LAN TBA
Sam Jones Hobie Landrith CHN SFN SLN
Carmen Hill Earl Smith NY1 PIT SLN
Howie Pollet Joe Garagiola CHN PIT SLN
Bill Hallahan Spud Davis CIN PHI SLN
Larry Jackson Jimmie Schaffer CHN PHI SLN
Sad Sam Jones Steve O’Neill CLE NYA SLA
Sad Sam Jones Wally Schang BOS NYA SLA
Bobo Newsom Billy Sullivan BRO DET SLA
Ruben Gomez Valmy Thomas NY1 PHI SFN
John Denny Bo Diaz CIN CLE PHI
Bullet Joe Bush Wally Schang BOS NYA PHA
Herb Pennock Wally Schang BOS NYA PHA
George Lauzerique Phil Roof KC1 MIL OAK
Lew Krausse Phil Roof KC1 MIL OAK
Jeff Samardzija Geovany Soto CHA CHN OAK
Pete Harnisch Kelly Stinnett CIN MIL NYN
Roger Craig Joe Pignatano BRO LAN NYN
Waite Hoyt Wally Schang BOS DET NYA
Bill Wight Aaron Robinson BOS CHA NYA
Randy Gumpert Gus Niarhos BOS CHA NYA
Burleigh Grimes Zack Taylor BRO CHN NY1
Dennis Springer Jorge Fabregas ANA CAL FLO
Art Houtteman Joe Ginsberg BAL CLE DET
Jason Marquis Henry Blanco ARI ATL CHN

The record for a starting pitcher matching up with the most different catchers on more than one team is five, held by Mark Langston and Lou Kretlow.  Here is the list of those pitchers with at least four different catchers on more than one team:

Mark Langston Greg Myers Jim Leyritz Jorge Fabregas Mike Fitzgerald Todd Greene
Lou Kretlow Clint Courtney Hal Smith Joe Ginsberg Les Moss Sherm Lollar
Burleigh Grimes Charlie Hargreaves Mickey O’Neil Rollie Hemsley Zack Taylor
Kevin Correia Eliezer Alfonzo Eric Fryer Ryan Doumit Yorvit Torrealba
Sad Sam Jones Bennie Tate Muddy Ruel Steve O’Neill Wally Schang
Johnny Antonelli Del Crandall Ebba St. Claire Valmy Thomas Walker Cooper
George Brunet Buck Rodgers Hal Smith Merritt Ranew Tom Satriano
Jamey Wright Henry Blanco Mike Difelice Mike Matheny Todd Greene
Gaylord Perry Bill Fahey Dave Roberts John Ellis Rick Sweet
Bobo Newsom Billy Sullivan Frankie Hayes Gene Desautels Rick Ferrell
Virgil Trucks Clint Courtney Les Moss Matt Batts Red Wilson
Whit Wyatt Billy Sullivan Gus Mancuso Muddy Ruel Ray Hayworth
Greg Maddux Damon Berryhill Henry Blanco Michael Barrett Paul Bako
Dan Haren Jeff Mathis John Hester Kurt Suzuki Miguel Montero
Jeff Suppan Damian Miller Gregg Zaun Jason Kendall Jorge Fabregas
Tommy John Jerry Narron Joe Ferguson John Romano Johnny Oates
Arnie Portocarrero Billy Shantz Jim Robertson Joe Astroth Joe Ginsberg

The record for a catcher getting paired with the most pitchers on more than one team is Muddy Ruel, with 15 different pitchers, as follows:

SP CAT team.1 team.2 team.3
Alex Ferguson Muddy Ruel BOS WS1
Allen Russell Muddy Ruel BOS NYA WS1
Bill Piercy Muddy Ruel BOS NYA
Bullet Joe Bush Muddy Ruel BOS WS1
Bump Hadley Muddy Ruel SLA WS1
Dick Coffman Muddy Ruel SLA WS1
George Mogridge Muddy Ruel NYA WS1
Hank Thormahlen Muddy Ruel BOS NYA
Hod Lisenbee Muddy Ruel BOS WS1
Jack Quinn Muddy Ruel BOS NYA
Lloyd Brown Muddy Ruel SLA WS1
Milt Gaston Muddy Ruel BOS CHA WS1
Rip Collins Muddy Ruel BOS NYA
Sad Sam Jones Muddy Ruel BOS CHA WS1
Whit Wyatt Muddy Ruel CHA DET

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