Russell Martin reportedly has told Greg Hamilton, director of national teams for Baseball Canada, he’s interested in playing shortstop for his country in March at the World Baseball Classic. The Montreal native said, “If it’s something that would help the team, I am willing to do it.” He then told the New York Times this past weekend, “It’s my most natural position.”
The 29-year-old Martin played short in high school and college and on previous Baseball Canada teams Hamilton coached.
Martin, who is a free agent, is waiting on contract offers from New York in hopes of returning to the Yankees (presumably not as Derek Jeter‘s replacement).
I was curious as to other catchers who have played short or other shortstops who caught.
Here’s your Nine to Know
Listed by career games played not necessarily by games played at short and catcher
- Zip Zimmer played 288 games at short and was behind the plate for 35 games.
- Jamie Quirk caught 525 games and played short 22 times.
- Dave Roberts, not the one who stole second base, caught 152 games and played short for 40.
- Moe Berg caught 529 games, played short for 84 games, and spied numerous times (I would tell you but then I would have to kill you).
- Bobby Bragan played short for 415 games and was behind the plate for 140 games.
- Ron Brand caught 350 games and was a short for 41 others.
- Jimmy Walsh , who played all nine positions at one time or another, was a shortstop in 22 games and a catcher in nine others.
- Marty Martinez was a shortstop in 157 games and a catcher in 30 others.
- Jim Anderson was at short for 320 games and behind the plate for five others.
The most recent to play both positions in the same season was would-be manager Brad Ausmus, who in 2005 for the Astros caught 134 games and played short and second one time each. Mike Mordecai did it in 2004 for the Marlins and in 2001 for the Expos. Scott Sheldon did it in 2001 and 2001 for the Rangers. Shane halter played both positions for the Tigers in 2000.