I was sad to hear the news that Jorge Posada plans to retire from baseball, but thrilled beyond belief that he chose to call it quits after playing his entire career for the New York Yankees.
In a day and age where baseball players go from team to team, it is heartwarming to know that Jorge Posada has apparently decided that playing his whole career for the Yankees was way more important than trying to latch on to another team in a part-time role for a year. This way, he will go down as one of the most critical members of the last Yankee dynasty, with a plaque in Monument Park acknowledging his truly immeasurable contributions.
For the proud Posada, it had to be an extremely tough decision. In truth, after hearing reports of interest from contending teams such as the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies, I thought Posada would decide that he wanted to go out on his own terms rather than let the Yankees determine that he was done. Posada proved he had some baseball still left in him, trying to singlehandedly carry the Yankees past the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the 2011 playoffs. The worst part of the Yankees early exit was watching Posada trying to fight off tears, knowing that this was the end for him in Yankee pinstripes.
The 2011 version of Posada left us with some great moments and one really bad one, which truly reflects the real Jorge Posada. His pride and fiercely competitive nature led him to make some bad decisions over the course of his Yankee career, namely opting out of a game against the archrival Boston Red Sox. But it also helped him bash his way to a borderline Hall of Fame career. On his way out the door, Posada thrilled his supportive fans with several memorable moments this year: stealing his pal Derek Jeter’s thunder with six ribbies and a Grand Slam on the day the Yankees honored Jeter’s successful pursuit of 3,000 hits, the clutch pinch hit to help the Yankees secure the American League East title, his exciting and unexpected appearance as an emergency catcher after being told he would never catch another game for the Yankees. He leaves us with a lot of beautiful memories like those and World Series championships that we can treasure forever.
Posada absolutely made the right call, one that will ensure he will soon take his place alongside all the other great Yankees. I just hope it’s one he can live with.