On Oct. 3, the ultimate day of the 2021 common season, Buster Posey picked up two singles as a part of an 11-4 Giants win over the Padres, clinching the division title and giving the veteran catcher a good 1,500 hits for his profession. After the sport, Posey remarked on the milestone, describing it as a “good mark, a pleasant spherical quantity,” earlier than rapidly drawing consideration to the hits’ impression on the crew’s win.
“I feel having the ability to drive in some runs there with these final two hits in all probability [means] greater than even getting there,” Posey stated, per John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The eye-deflecting nature of that remark was pure Posey, and whether or not or not the 34-year-old catcher knew on the time that these could be the ultimate regular-season hits of his profession is unclear. What’s abundantly clear, although, is the impression Posey has had on the Giants franchise and Main League Baseball over the previous 13 years.
After 1,429 video games and almost 10,000 innings squatting behind the plate (common season and playoffs), Posey is able to name it a profession. The seven-time All-Star and 2012 Nationwide League MVP is anticipated to make an announcement Thursday, according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic. In typical Posey vogue, the choice was saved below wraps all season lengthy, at the same time as he put up the most effective performances of his profession.
Posey’s profession just isn’t an out-of-nowhere success story. As a highschool senior, he was the Georgia Gatorade Participant of the Yr earlier than enrolling at Florida State, the place he excelled for 3 seasons and received the Golden Spikes Award because the nation’s greatest novice participant as a junior. The Giants took him with the No. 5 total choose within the 2008 draft, and he made his main league debut 15 months later.
His seven-game cup of espresso in 2009 apart, Posey arrived on the scene big-league prepared. Measured by OPS+, he put up the fourth-best offensive season by a rookie catcher age 23 or youthful in a century, incomes him the 2010 NL Rookie of the Yr Award. That October, he helped lead the Giants to their first World Series title since 1954, earlier than the crew relocated to San Francisco. Posey caught each inning of the crew’s postseason run, batting .288 within the course of.
Posey’s follow-up act was minimize brief in 2011 by a devastating leg injury that ended his season after simply 45 video games, a blow so extreme to the sport that MLB altered the foundations about baserunners making contact with the catcher at dwelling plate. In what would turn out to be a theme of his profession, Posey overcame this vital impediment to show in his most interesting efficiency.
The 2012 season noticed Posey put collectively the most effective particular person seasons from a catcher within the recreation’s historical past, batting .336/.408/.549 with 24 dwelling runs in 148 video games to win the batting title and the NL MVP Award. He was the primary catcher to win the award within the NL since Johnny Bench in 1972, and is the newest to take action in both league. That playoff run to the franchise’s second World Collection title in three years featured what was maybe Posey’s signature October second—a grand slam in Recreation 5 of the NLDS towards the Reds.
That 2012 marketing campaign kicked off a run of offensive mastery we would by no means see from a catcher once more. From 2012-17, Posey performed in 879 video games—simply over 146 per season, with roughly 80% of them coming at catcher. Throughout that span, he put up a .311/.380/.476 slash line with 106 dwelling runs, good for a 136 wRC+. Bench by no means had a six-year stretch that profitable on the plate, and neither did fellow Corridor of Famers Gary Carter, Carlton Fisk or Ivan Rodriguez. Along with the MVP award and his second World Collection title, this stretch noticed Posey make 5 All-Star groups, win 4 Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove and end within the prime 15 of MVP voting three different instances.
Posey’s stature in Giants lore was already nicely established earlier than the 2021 season, when he turned back the clock after showing to be nicely on his solution to a late-career decline. His efficiency in 2019 was by far the worst of his profession, and he opted out of the 2020 season to spend time along with his spouse and newly adopted twin daughters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we didn’t understand it on the time, Posey’s 2021 season performed out like a near-perfect swan track.
Posey appeared in 106 video games behind the plate and put up his greatest offensive numbers since 2014, serving to lead the Giants to their greatest common season in franchise historical past. The magic of San Francisco’s 107-win season led to a brutal loss to the Dodgers in the NLDS, although Posey did his half, going 6-for-20 on the plate and main the crew with three extra-base hits.
Alongside the way in which, the oft-reserved Posey was reticent to debate his future plans, however provided some reflection following the Recreation 5 loss at how appreciative he was to lastly get to play towards the rival Dodgers within the postseason.
“It’s very particular. I used to be hopeful sooner or later in my profession I’d get the possibility to play the Dodgers within the playoffs. It got here all the way down to the ultimate recreation, a 2-1 recreation. You hope to come back out on the opposite aspect of it,” Posey stated, per Baggarly. “Nevertheless it was a well-played collection and I don’t suppose anybody on our aspect may have any regrets.”
Tasked with being the face of a franchise for over a decade, remorse is the very last thing Posey ought to really feel about his singularly very good profession. Now that it’s reached its finish, the soft-spoken backstop will possible have extra to say about his time within the large leagues. For now, although, appreciation is to ensure that the conclusion of a once-in-a-generation participant reaching the tip of the street.
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