Some baseball players are just built differently. Legendary catcher Buster Posey, who was a part of three World Series championships with the San Francisco Giants , is regarded as one of the best Major League Baseball backstops of his generation.
Posey has undoubtedly built a Hall of Fame career, but it’s not like he came out of nowhere.
Buster Posey at Florida State University
As crazy as it may be to believe, Posey earned All-American honors in his freshman season with the ‘Noles…as a shortstop. The move behind the dish happened later in his career, and the rest is history.
Posey was great in 2006 and 2007, but he found another form in 2008. He hit 26 home runs, totaled 93 RBIs, had a batting average of .463, and won the Johnny Bench Award, Dick Howser Trophy, and the Golden Spikes Award.
He was the NCAA’s Player of the Year, joining an elite club with only a handful of members. His .566 on-base percentage and whopping .879 slugging percentage led the nation by a mile.
The star catcher had done all he could in Tallahassee, and it was time for the pros. But Posey’s coaches knew he was going to have no trouble adjusting to the fast pace of MLB thanks to a work ethic and character off the field that shined just as bright as his on-field performance.
“As good as he was here and how hard he worked, what stood out to me was how much he meant to other people and the way he treated them,” Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin Jr said of Posey during his time as a Seminole.
“He never seemed to say the wrong thing, and what he had to say was said at the right time. His delivery was far beyond his age.”
The elder Martin recalled a specific memory of Posey during a late-inning mound visit in a tight game.
“Buster made sure he got to the dirt a tad before I got there,” Martin remembered. “I heard him saying to the pitcher, ‘Look, if you are scared let me know and I will finish this thing.’ I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ I got my butt back to the dugout.”
Buster Posey, you’re a legend for that one.
Buster Posey in MLB
After being drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2008, Posey was up and playing in 2009. In that same draft, the Cincinnati Reds selected Yonder Alonso and the Oakland Athletics selected Jemile Weeks. Oh, you don’t remember those names? That’s because Buster Posey was the talk of MLB for the next few years.
He started his career on fire, just like former Giants slugger Willie McCovey. Posey won Rookie of the Year honors in 2010 and an MVP award in 2012. Not even a broken leg suffered against the Miami Marlins in 2011 could slow him down.
The Giants and their even-year magic meant that Posey reached the playoffs quite often early in his career, and he has three World Series rings to show for it.
With six National League All-Star appearances under his belt, he is a virtual lock for Cooperstown. In addition, playing at the same time as another Cooperstown-lock, St. Louis Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina, gave Posey an adversary to battle against. The Cardinals and Giants actually traded off World Series appearances from 2010 to 2014. National League dominance starts with the guy behind the plate, I guess.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are continually great, and the San Diego Padres are the talk of the MLB, but I would never count out the San Francisco Giants, especially when Buster Posey is hitting the way he knows how.
After opting out of the 2020 season, Giants fans were happy to get him back in 2021, which was his final season as a big-league baseball player. They don’t quite make them like Buster Posey anymore and the Giants’ backstop has done more than enough to etch himself into San Francisco’s history as well as the history of the game itself.
See you in Cooperstown, Buster!