Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jorge Posada officially retires

Jorge Posada held an official press conference on Tuesday morning at Yankee Stadium. The press conference was at 11:00AM and was carried live by the  YES Network. Jorge Posada was a Yankee for his whole career and will always be a Yankee. He will be remembered for a lot of great things but his best attribute was his fiery nature and his leadership skills. He was a member of the core four which is sadly down to two members who will soon be following Posada out the door. It was a very emotional day but the Yankees did a great job with it.  There was a packed house.  Joe Girardi, Hall and Jennifer Steinbrenner.  Brian Cashman, Lonn Trost, Randy Levine were all in attendance.  His teammates Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia were there.  Willie Randolph was in the house, Diana Munson, Gene "Stick" Michael and many others.  Diana Munson being there and speaking was a very nice touch.  She stated that Jorge is the one that brought her back to baseball and to love it again.  She said she turned away after her husbands death but then began looking forward to the box score to see how Jorge did.  She said she only ever checked the box scores for Thurman and Jorge.  She stated she was lucky to have loved two Yankee catchers.  It was a sad day but at the same time it was great that he retired a career Yankee and will always be a Yankee. 

Jorge himself said he has nothing planned right now.  He wants to spend time with his family this summer since he has never been able to do that.  He stated he would like to be involved in some way with the game of baseball but isn't sure of how just yet.  I am sure there will be a Jorge Posada day one day and his number will be in monument park. 

Posada who is 40 years old finishes his 17-year Major League career with a .273 batting average with 900 runs, 379 doubles, 275 home runs and 1,065 RBI in 1,829 games-all with the Yankees. Of the 13 former Major League catchers in the Hall of Fame (Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Roger Bresnahan, Roy Campanella, Gary Carter, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Buck Ewing, Rick Ferrell, Carlton Fisk, Gabby Hartnett, Ernie Lombardi and Ray Schalk), only Berra has better numbers in batting average, home runs and RBI (.285, 358 and 1,430, respectively).

As a player on five World Series championship teams (1996, ’98, ’99, 2000, ’09), Posada finished his career among Baseball’s all-time postseason leaders in games played (second, 125), doubles (third, 23), hits (fourth, 103) and RBI (tied for ninth, 42). His 119 postseason contests at catcher are the most all time, ahead of Berra (second, 63). In his career, he caught at least one game in six different World Series, tied with Elston Howard and Wally Schang for third-most all time, trailing Berra (12) and Bill Dickey (eight). In 2011, he batted a team-best .429 (6-for-14) in the Yankees’ five-game ALDS vs. Detroit. I do of course realize that in his era they played extra rounds so it is a little misleading but it still is the facts.

Originally selected by the Yankees in the 24th round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, Posada holds the distinction of being one of just five players all time to record at least 1,500 hits, 350 doubles, 275 home runs and 1,000 RBI while playing at least 50.0% of his games at catcher, joining Ivan Rodriguez and Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Gary Carter and Carlton Fisk. He ranks eighth all time in home runs among players whose primary position was catcher. I think these are pretty good numbers and warrants a look at the Hall Of Fame. Only time will tell but I think he has a good case and probably even better one then his former teammates Bernie Williams and Andy Pettitte. It will be interesting to see how he is viewed outside of New York though and as time passes. Posada for now though will be known as a great Yankee and the emotional leader of those championship teams. He will always be welcome in New York and as a Yankee and will never be forgotten. It will be a day to look back and not only be emotional but be happy about all that this man has accomplished and all with one team, the New York Yankees

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