First off Doc, thank you for the sight you give.
I have mentioned before that my Dad was a Minor League catcher. If he would have had my stick or I would have had his glove,,,,,,,,,unknown.
Hundreds and beyond hours of picking his brain, trying to learn the game from his side. Tiny things that make or break a player. That is why after 15 years of getting a check of some sort he spent the next 15 coaching youth baseball. His retirement from that was based only on not wanting to seem biased one way or the other on me.(or he was afraid of what home life would be if he did the right thing and I was the backup!)
Somewhere in the 80's (I was done) he told me I had come over to watch a game. I went and watched with him. No idea, but Carlton Fisk was catching for the White Sox. About the 7th inning he looked at me and said "now you know why he is the best catcher ever" Dad was a huge fan of the big red machine in the 70's. ???? What about Bench I asked. His reply was Bench had a stick and the arm with a flair but give me Fisk every day.
Joe Mauer is the only guy I have ever seen who Dad might have liked better. From all those hours of gleaning info and all the other things I have learned to look for IMHO Joe was the best catcher I have ever seen. I was born in 69 so I have seen a few good ones and a few HOF's
Side note, I asked Dad who was the best he ever played against. Took him about 1/10th of a second to say Frank Howard. I asked him who was the best player ever and it took him about the same amount of time to say Stan Musial.
Good luck Joe, you did us proud!!!