Oakland A’s: Remembering Terry Steinbach

ANAHEIM, CA-CIRCA 1989: Terry Steinbach of the Oakland A's takes BP at the 1989 All Star Game held at the Big A circa 1989 in Anaheim,California. (Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA-CIRCA 1989: Terry Steinbach of the Oakland A's takes BP at the 1989 All Star Game held at the Big A circa 1989 in Anaheim,California. (Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images) /
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When one thinks of the best catcher in A’s franchise history, one automatically thinks of Mickey Cochrane. The Hall of Fame backstop spent nine years with the Philadelphia A’s, becoming a key part of what would be their second dynasty. However, while Cochrane holds a special place in A’s history, the franchise’s second best catcher, Terry Steinbach, is somewhat forgotten in baseball.

Steinbach actually holds an interesting place in Oakland A’s history. He has the most All Star appearances of any catcher in franchise history, being named to the Mid-Summer Classic three times.

Looking back at Oakland A’s catcher Terry Steinbach

A ninth round selection in the 1983 MLB Draft, Steinbach moved through the A’s system fairly quickly. He spent two seasons in Double-A before making his major league debut as a September callup in 1986, taking over as the A’s primary catcher the following season. Even though he bypassed Triple-A, Steinback still had a strong rookie campaign, posting a .284/.349/.463 batting line in his 438 plate appearances, hitting 16 homers and 16 doubles.

That set the stage for what would be a solid career. Steinbach hit for some power, reaching the double digit mark in homers six times as a member of the A’s. He was also a strong defensive catcher, throwing out 36% of would-be base stealers and saving 27 runs behind the plate.

Steinbach saved his best for last. In his final season with the A’s, he produced a career best .871 OPS with 35 homers and 100 RBI. That would be the only time in his career that Steinbach would hit more than 16 homers and reach triple digits in runs batted in. It would also be the only time that he would earn MVP votes in his career, as he finished 21st in the AL MVP race.

Although he was an important part of the A’s success in the 1980s and 1990s, Steinbach is generally forgotten by baseball fans these days. He is not someone that comes up in the Hall of Fame discussions, having received just one vote in his only year on the ballot. However, that should not discount the type of career he put together.

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Terry Steinbach is a somewhat forgotten man these days. However, the former Oakland A’s catcher had a solid career worth remembering.

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