Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jorge Posada: Forever A Yankee

The pine tar on his helmet. The lack of batting gloves. The intensity he showed every time he took the field. These will be the lasting images of Jorge Posada. A catcher for 17 years, Posada announced his retirement from Major League Baseball on January 24. Although his talent faded towards the end of his career, his passion could never be questioned. For Jorge Posada, there was nothing he has ever loved more than putting on the pinstripes day in and day out.

For 17 years, Posada was a winner. A five-time champion, Posada embodied what it meant to be a Yankee. Hard work, dedication, and a refusal to settle for anything less than a championship drove Posada throughout his career to become a better player.

I remember joking around throughout his career about his particular proclivity for grounding into double plays, dubbing him "Secret Agent 6-4-3", but I always knew Posada could be relied on when a big hit was needed. Some of the best memories I have of Posada are his double off of Pedro Martinez in the eighth inning of game seven of the 2003 ALCS and his two-run single against the Rays in 2011 to help clinch the American League East.

Jorge, for 17 years, you have been a constant in the Yankee lineup. Although 2011 was a difficult year and you didn't play every day, having you on the roster still felt right. When the 2012 season begins and your name is not on the roster, the reality of your career as a catcher being over will set in. Although your career as a catcher has ended, your career as a Yankee has not. Jorge, you will be a Yankee forever.

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