Once in a generation there comes along a player who is destined to be a legend.
For the past 12 years that player was named Buster Posey.
It was the end of an era for Posey and the #28 he wore this past Thursday when in front of a packed area inside the club section of Oracle Park, he announced he was walking away from the game he loved in a city he grew to love along with his family.
I don’t need to list all his accolades that he accomplished throughout his career as I’m sure you know them or have seen them recently on social media. The ones that San Francisco Giants fans care about the most are the three world championships he helped bring to the Bay Area this past decade.
As I sat there listening to all the people Posey thanked from the time, he was drafted by the Giants all the way to up the point where he sat up on the podium giving his farewell speech, I could truly sit back and reflect what his career had meant to Giants fans.
Posey the ever stoic, quiet guy with the dry sense of humor, did what is now a rare feat in sports today, he played the entirety of his career with one team. Today, the majority of star athletes in the twilight of their careers end up playing for other teams at the end because they want to squeeze every ounce of their professional careers before calling it quits.
For Posey, he wanted to prove he could still play at a high level at the age of 34. He mentioned he’s been hampered by the pain in his body by all the fouls balls that have dinged him over the years of playing baseball’s hardest position, catcher. How the game hadn’t been fun for him because of that.
The native of Leesburg, Georgia decided to take the 2020 season off as the Covid-19 pandemic was escalating throughout the county, him and his wife had just adopted twin baby girls and to give his body a chance to heal.
When he came back this season, he finished batting .304 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI. That was enough for him to go out on his own terms. In his press conference, he mentioned how he left it all out there as if we would have expected anything less from him.
When asked how he wanted to his legacy to be remembered he responded, “Faith, family and how I treated people. Everything else falls into place.”
On the field his legacy with be remembered for being the general that brought three Word Series titles to the city of San Francisco. He led all three teams, despite the ’10, ’12 and ’14 teams having a different cast of characters that played their role in helping win those titles.
As things were wrapping up after the press conference, I was able to share a moment with Posey. And this will sound like the talk of a fan, which I was for their first three years of his career before I began covering baseball back in 2013.
I walked over to him and the first thing I said was congratulating him on a great career with the Giants. The next thing I said to him was thanking him for bringing greatness to the Giants organization. That is something the team hadn’t had since moving to the west coast in 1958.
Despite all the great players, the many Hall of Famers that played for the Giants, the Mays’, the McCovey’s, the Clarks’, for 52 years the Giants still had not been able to win a Commissioner’s Trophy.
All of that changed on November 1st, 2010, as Posey caught the last out on a strikeout from Brian Wilson. All those years of frustration from coming so close in 1962, the sweep in 1989, the blown lead of 2002 and every playoff failure in between, were gone!
It was a cathartic feeling for me and for every Giants fan that night, something we never thought we’d ever feel in our lifetimes. It made me look up into the heavens and point up to my late grandfather and uncle, who were the biggest Giants fan I knew, that they could finally rest in peace.
When I expressed those words to Posey, he was taken aback, probably not expecting to hear that from a member of the media, appreciating what I told him as he shook my hand one last time.
It’s a moment not many get to have, and I will cherish it. And after taking to Giants CEO Larry Baer, he said the team will plan a celebration to honor Posey at some point in the future as Baer mentioned that the fans haven’t had a chance to say their own goodbyes yet.
Buster Posey may or may not be a Hall of Famer depending on you who talk to (he is in my humble opinion). One thing for sure is he is a Giants legend that brought not only every fan together in unity but the greatness we can all be proud to have witnessed for past 12 years.
Thank you, Buster.
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Reliever Dominic Leone after the Giants 9-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLDS on October 9, 2021.
Third Baseman Kris Bryant sat down with the media before Sunday's game to discuss what it feels like to be traded to San Francisco.
Manager Bruce Bochy after the Giants 9-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 29, 2019. This was his final game as Giants manager.