…and thanks for the memories.
Well that’s 50% of the Core Four gone as Jorge Posada officially joins Andy Pettitte in retirement.
Of the four the catcher probably ranked fourth in everyone’s affections. Probably didn’t help himself with his mid-season strop last year, after being demoted to ninth in the batting order. Might of had a case if his numbers at the time hadn’t been so bad that he was lucky to be ninth. I also seem to remember readings somewhere that the week chin might not have helped.
So while he ranks below Mariano, Derek and Andy in both fan love and maybe thoughts of that much overused word in sport greatness – scoring against a second division (in old money) side does not equal greatness – there’s some interesting facts included in the Yankees e-mail announcing Posada’s retirement.
Posada, 40, finishes his 17-year Major League career with a .273 batting average (1,664-for-6,092) 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.
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.
He’s also the only Major League catcher to ever have hit .330 or better with 40 doubles, 20 home runs, and 90 RBIs in a single season.
Interesting stuff. Hall of Fame stuff? But in the end when the Yankees were winning in the last two decades Posada was right there in the middle of it all.