San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on Thursday after playing for 12 years, winning three World Series Championships and seven All-Star games.
“In my mind, I’ll always be a part of the Giants,” Posey, 34, said at a press conference at Oracle Park. “I couldn’t tell you in what capacity that is right now, but Kirsten and I and our kids are so grateful that this is the organization that drafted us.”
Posey said that he went into this season thinking it was his last, highlighting the physical pain he’s experienced and mentioned that he wanted to spend more time with his family — both the reasons he said he is retiring.
A press release from Giants media relations noted that Posey ended his career as one of baseball’s greatest catchers, having a 44.9 Wins Above Replacement, which puts him in eighth place out of 10 since 1950.
Double majoring in dance and liberal arts, SF State student Hannah Collins has been a Giants fan for her whole life and expressed shock and sadness when she heard the announcement that Posey was retiring.
Collins recalled watching Posey play in the minor leagues and reflected on the time she has spent watching Posey as he advanced through his career to where he is now.
“I’ve literally watched him since he began,” Collins said. “So it’s a very privileged feeling, but I feel like I’ve grown up with him.”
Bay Area News Group photojournalist Jose Carlos Fajardo has been photographing Giants games since 1999 when the Giants were still at Candlestick Park.
Fajardo elaborated on a quiet moment he shared with Posey during Game 5 of the 2010 World Series in Texas, where Posey looked on as his teammates celebrated on the field after they won.
“I want people to see the humanity of the athlete,” Fajardo said. “I post those things because I think that people put athletes high up on a pedestal and they forget how human they are and how you know, and to me, I wanted people to know that Buster Posey is just a regular guy that he’s really nice,” Fajardo said.
SF State head baseball coach Tony Schifano recalled meeting Posey at his one-day Procamp at SF State around 2016, where Posey taught young children about baseball fundamentals and played games with them.
Schifano said that Posey took the time to talk with him about how the baseball program and former assistant coach Tyler LaTorre, who played with Posey in the minor leagues, were doing at the time.
“He was very cordial,” Schifano said. “I was just astonished with how nice he was and how humble and down to earth he was.”
Schifano said he thinks the Giants will keep the momentum that they’ve had this past season and do good in Posey’s absence, but acknowledges the hole he will leave behind.
“I truly believe Buster Posey was a huge part of all the success this past season,” Schifano said. “It’s gonna be a whole lot put on the shoulders of whoever’s the next catcher.”