Jorge Posada will be remembered as one of the greatest Yankees, and that’s about the highest honor a player can have

Roger Clemens spoke of Jorge Posada with something akin to reverence in his voice. That is, he trusted him in a way he didn’t always trust his catchers.

Clemens was tough on catchers because he was so combustible. He went to the mound angry, a bundle of nerves and emotions and raging competitive fires. Early in his career, a scout said, “I don’t see him lasting very long, not when he treats every start as a Texas-OU football game.”

Posada had a knack for saying just the right thing, for keeping Clemens somewhat in check, for helping get the most out of him. Five years from now when we’re considering Posada’s candidacy for the Hall of Fame, there’ll be volumes of statistics detailing his greatness as a player, as a teammate and as a winner.

He’ll be forever linked to Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. Together, they had one of the great runs in history. Posada was there for six of their seven pennants and four of their five World Series.

He played in 125 postseason games, including 29 in the World Series. Now there’s just Rivera and Jeter after the news that Posada has decided to retire rather than play for another team. He had offers from other teams, most likely as a DH, but he decided not to wear another uniform.

He leaves on the Yankees’ Top 10 list in games, home runs, doubles and extra base hits and with Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra and Thurman Munson among the greatest Yankee catchers of all-time.

Among all catchers, he’s in the top 10 in virtually every offensive category, right there behind Pudge Rodriguez and Mike Piazza among players he played with and against.

Still, to the teammates who played with him and the players and managers who competed against him, he’ll be remembered for things that can be measured just by numbers.

He contributed to winning, not just in the things that can be measured, but also in his role as a good teammate and a relentless worker. When you think of his Yankees, you think first of Jeter, Rivera, Posada and Pettitte. What do they all have in common?

They carried themselves a certain way. They believed winning was the only bottom line that mattered. They weren’t always great quotes, but they were great players in all the ways we define that vague term.

Posada began his professional career as a second baseman and had to work hard to get comfortable behind the plate. In the end, his presence and leadership were more defining characteristics than glove work.

In 17 seasons, he made the American League All-Star Team five times. He hit 275 home runs and played in 1,829 games. In the end, though, he’ll be remembered for being part of those four championship teams, for contributing to baseball’s most successful franchise.

It would have looked odd seeing him DH for the Rays or Orioles this season, and Posada apparently couldn’t see it as well. So now he’ll move on to the next chapter of his life. He departs with the respect of almost everyone who know him, and isn’t that how we’d all like to be remembered?

24 Comments

Your’e an idiot Justice

Grow up

He was not one of the’ Greatest’. these are YANKEES” Unless we have unlimited on ”Greatest” Sorry I didn’t mean to call you an idiot..

youre an idiot

Sado fits right in with “The Watered Down” Hall.

He is not one of the greatest Yankees of all time, though, he’s probably one of the greatest 100 Yankees of all time. And, that does NOT put him in the Hall of Fame.

But, that being said, he probably gets in because all you have to be is a very good player to get in now, and not GREAT.

There’s more to baseball than what can be quantified. Posada’s offensive and defensive numbers rank him statistically as a high achiever among his peers. But in Posada’s case, he’s more than the sum of his (quantifiable) parts. His baseball “sense”, leadership, and team play made all of his Yankee teams better than they might otherwise have been. It was a pleasure to watch him play.

That is the real answer, and well said.

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You know there are a lot of comments here on this story by Richard Justice, most of them are very negative towards Jorge Posada. Quite a few should not have been posted at all. Is Jorge one of the “greatest Yankee’s” of all time, probably not. Is he one of the greatest of his era? I think he is. Will he get in the HOF where guys like Munson and Mattingly didn’t? Well my answer to many of these questions is yes and both Donnie Baseball and Thrum should be there also. I don’t say this just because I am a Yankee fan through and through, but as a fan of baseball itself. I won’t make any rude comments to those who made comments against Posada, but I will say if it was a favorite player on your team thank gave everything he could for 17 years to one organization, wouldn’t you be voicing your opinion for one of them? Jorge Posada played year in and year out while his own son could have used his dad along side him while he battled sometimes for his own life. Jorge was that type of man and player. So it is with that, that I say Jorge good luck in the future whatever that holds for you and your family and God Bless you for all of the great memories!!!

Hip Hip,Jorge!!

In the tradition of Yogi Berra, Jorge always came through in the clutch, even this last season when he was underused and under appreciated. Undoubtedly a great Yankee and one of my favourites over the past fifty years.

I believe Jorge was a big part of the Yankee persona: greatness. Like any player, he had his ups and downs, but in the end he had proven his worth by thinking of his team before himself. He helped the younger players throughout his career even though he knew that they would eventually replace him. I can see Jorge someday become a great coach/manager in the Yankee organization.

I echo: HIP HIP, JORGE!!!!

For as much as I like Jorge, he is only the fifth best catcher in Yankees History.
1. Yogi Berra (HOF ’72)
2. Bill Dickey (HOF ’54)
3. Elston Howard
4. Thurman Munson
and then Jorge.

I almost agree with you. 1. Yogi 2. Dickey 3. Thurman 4. Elston 5. Jorge. But saying that, there isn’t another team that has had 5 catchers of their ability. All 5 were great catchers. Nothing more need be said.

Bernie, Derek, Jorge, Andy and Mariano, the backbone of 4 Yankee World Series wins and 6 American League Pennants, should all walk in to the Hall of Fame together. Aside from having the numbers comparable or better than many hall of famers, (compare Bernie’s offensive and defensive numbers to Barry Larkin’s), their playoff accomplishments and their leadership on and off the field are a true indication to their Hall of Fame worthiness.

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Truly a great team player, a leader with a never give up attitude. Jorge will make a great coach, and the Yankees should take advantage of what he can bring to young rookies in the system.

The postseason achievements of Posada and all the Yankees from 1994 get them halfway to the HOF, and that isn’t something you see in regular season numbers. Lack of postseason stats is what kept Mattingly out, and if that is important enough to keep Mattingly out, how can it not be important enough to get Posada, Williams, Pettitte in?

Jorge had heart. It was tough to see him struggle in 2011. Glad to see him finish his career in pinstripes.

WE will miss you Jip, Jip, Jorge

This has come out in the comments…..Posada’s stats are borderline HOF, but his value to his team, his leadership, and his handling of pitchers are easy HOF

I always liked to see Posada at the plate when the chips were down.

Jorge, man, you will be missed. As many times as you came up to bat when the
other yanks were slumping, you were always the one to get things rolling. You are
great and nothing can take that away from you. I still think you can play…don’t
retire!

-Tom & Jen in Jersey!

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