Athletes should learn from Posada


New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada retired last week after 17 seasons with the Yankees. Photo by: Jay / Flickr

BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

Athletes like major league catcher Jorge Posada are truly a thing of the past.

The 40-year-old backstop hung up his cleats last week, officially retiring from baseball and the New York Yankees, a team he spent all 17 years of his professional career with. Like many of the Yankee greats before him, Posada stuck out every single minute of his major league tenure in one uniform. It doesn’t happen often, but ball players who wear the Yankee pinstripes seem to know a thing or two about being faithful.

In the completely unusual instance that the Yanks actually bring up a minor leaguer from their own farm system, it seems that player will stay in the Big Apple until they’re ready to call it quits. It must be the nostalgia of the pinstripes or just the history behind the team. Whatever it is, players who come up through New York’s system are some of the most faithful athletes to one team than literally any other sport I can think of. It’s somewhat hard to believe considering the Yanks are regarded by most fans as the Sith Lords of baseball with their high-dollar spending. But the proof is out there for anyone to validate my claim.

Just look at New York’s roster and think about what it was like 10 years ago. Derek Jeter is still the captain and shortstop; Robinson Cano‘s performance will most certainly keep him in pinstripes; and closer Mariano Rivera has never hinted once about bailing on the Bronx. That may only be three players, but Posada would have made the fourth and easily could have returned after hitting 14 home runs and 44 RBI in a limited 115 games. Posada’s retirement must have also been a tough pill to swallow for Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman after the veteran hit a miraculous .429 in the playoffs.

I couldn’t have thought of a better way for yet another Yankee legend to hang it up. Posada didn’t end his career with one more championship ring, but the five he already has are probably weighing down the man’s hands enough. That success will make him a serious contender for the Hall of Fame and it undoubtedly puts him in the same conversation with Yankees’ historic catcher, Yogi Berra.

And like Berra, Posada will forever be remembered as a Yankee and only have to pay homage to the people of New York. Not a lot of athletes can say that or even think about it. Jorge Posada climbed to the top in just pinstripes and showed us all that there truly are some athletes that are in it for more than just the money.

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