Martin on Catcher's Hit List Again

While Mike Piazza holds the title of best hitting catcher in Dodger history and holds the top five L.A. marks as well as five of the seven all-time averages, Russell Martin has posted his name on the charts for the third season in succession, taking seventh on L.A. standings for his 2008 efforts and is also 11th and 12th.

Martin's .280 average in 2008 trails his .282 average from 2006 and his ,293 in 2007. He still led the team with a .385 on base percentage and 90 walks while striking out 80 times.

Martin sizzled the first two months of the season, hitting .326. including .356 in April, but he started to flame out at that high point and over the final four months he posted a .256 average. He led all National League catchers in runs scored (80) and stolen bases (18).

Over the history of the Brooklyn/Los Angeles franchise, the Dodgers have had only five catchers who surpassed the .300 mark. Mike Piazza holds five slots on the list for Los Angeles while Babe Phelps and Roy Campanella each hit .300 three times and Zach Taylor and Al Lopez are on the chart twice for Brooklyn.

Piazza made a great run at Babe Phelps franchise record .373 in 1997. He used a .431 average in June and a closing kick of .406 in September, including a sizzling 11-for-18 (.611) in the season-ending, four game series in Colorado, to finish with a .362 average.

Although he fell a bit short, he did post an all-time Los Angeles batting average, topping Tommy Davis' .353 in 1962. Piazza also had seasons of .319, .318, .336 and .346 before being traded in a deal so unbelievable that it sent the franchise spinning.

Campanella, who didn't arrived in the Major Leagues until he was 26 due to the unwritten rules banning blacks, hit extremely well in odd years, losing continuity due primarily to injuries. He hit .325 in 1951, .312 in 1953 and .325 in 1955, winning the MVP award each season.

Piazza and Mike Scioscia (14th) are the only Los Angeles catchers on the all-time list.

Phelps hit a sizzling .367 in 1936 but only had 319 times at bat. However, the rule of the day decreed that to win the batting title you must play in 100 games, a qualification he met by playing in 115. Phelps also hit .313 in 1937, good for for ninth all-time.

Zach Taylor? batted .310 in 1925 and Phelps .305 in 1940 to complete the short list of catchers over .300.

  Dodger catchers:

  Los Angeles		          All-Time
.365 - Mike Piazza, 1997	.367 - Babe Phelps, 1936
.346 - Mike Piazza, 1995	.365 - Mike Piazza, 1997
.336 - Mike Piazza, 1996	.346 - Mike Piazza, 1995
.319 - Mike Piazza, 1994	.336 - Mike Piazza, 1996
.318 - Mike Piazza, 1993	.325 - Roy Campanella, 1951	

.296 - Mike Scioscia, 1985	.319 - Mike Piazza, 1994
.293 - Russell Martin, 2007	.318 - Mike Piazza, 1993
.287 - John Roseboro, 1964	.317 - Roy Campanella, 1955
.286 - Tom Haller, 1970	        .313 - Babe Phelps, 1937
.285 - Tom Haller, 1968	        .310 - Zack Taylor, 1925

.282 - Russell Martin, 2006	.312 - Roy Campanella, 1953
.280 - Russell Martin, 2008	.309 - Al Lopez, 1929
.276 - John Roseboro, 1966	.301 - Al Lopez, 1933
.276 - Mike Scioscia, 1981	.296 - Mike Scioscia, 1985
.273 - Mike Scioscia, 1984	.295 - Bruce Edwards, 1947
.273 - Paul Lo Duca, 2003	.295 - Bruce Edwards, 1947
	

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