All-Time Banner Island Catcher: Josh Donaldson
As the vote for the All-Time Banner Island team
moves onward, it should come as no surprise that Josh Donaldson aka “Bringer of Rain” has been dubbed the winning catcher. Even when paired up against two major leaguers in Kurt Suzuki and Anthony Recker, Donaldson received a significant majority vote.
Donaldson arrived in Stockton in 2008 at the age of 23. The Auburn alumnus was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs as the 48th overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Donaldson’s arrival in Stockton was one for the ages, as the Ports’ 2008 squad captured the California League Championship that season, which marked their first since the creation of Banner Island Ballpark.
As a young player coming up in the A’s organization, Donaldson once showed doubt before blossoming into one of the games brightest prospects.
“One of the first days I arrived in Stockton, I wasn’t playing and was sitting the bench. I remember seeing Chris Carter hit probably a 500 foot home run and still, to this day, I remember saying to myself, ‘I’ll probably never be able to play at the next level.’”
Any lack of confidence that Donaldson had upon his arrival quickly vanished. The catcher caught fire and seized every opportunity given to him. Donaldson posted a .330 batting average, along with 9 home runs and 39 RBI in just a 47 game span while helping the Ports capture the title.
By 2012, Donaldson got the call he was waiting for and was promoted to the Oakland Athletics. As an Athletic, Donaldson now called third base his new position and was no longer behind the plate.
In 2013 Donaldson capped off his MLB coming out party with a .301 average to go with 24 home runs and 93 RBI, a feat that propelled him to a 4th place finish in AL MVP votes.
In 2014, Donaldson had yet another impressive season and posted a .255 average along with 29 home runs and 98 RBI.
Even with Donaldson’s recent trade to the Blue Jays this off season, Ports fans and A’s fans alike will remember the third baseman’s legacy in regards to his journey from Banner Island to the Coliseum.