Where have you gone Buster Posey? The nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Commentary

Or at least San Francisco’s lonely eyes!

Note: My guess is that this story will be of limited interest to most Around the Block readers. But since I don’t get paid based on the number of readers I have, I’m posting it anyway. Oh, yeah…I don’t get paid in any event.

Also, apologies once again to Paul Simon for hijacking one his songs, in this case perhaps his most famous one. But at least we’re both writing about heroes of the City by the Bay.

Buster Posey, the San Francisco Giants catcher for 13 years, announced his retirement from baseball today.

Posey was coming off one of his best years, after taking the shortened, Covid-ravaged 2020 MLB season off to care for his family. He and his wife, Kristen, adopted twin baby girls, Ada and Livvi, born prematurely during the pandemic. The other set of twins, Lee and Addison, are now 10.

San Francisco Chronicle sports columnist, Ann Killion, in her tribute to Posey, wrote today,

Posey is the most important Giant since Willie Mays. Which means he’s in a class of two: Mays and Posey. The standard-bearers of Giants excellence.

One (Mays) delivered the franchise’s first World Series of the modern era, after integration. Became the best player in history. The anchor of what it meant to be a Giant.

The other (Posey) arrived as a rookie and delivered three World Series in short order. Was the anchor of an amazing pitching staff. Set the steady tone and tenor for the 21st century Giants.

At the age of 34, Posey will walk away from an option of $22 million — and much more that the Giants would have wanted to give him. At least a generation, whose experience of the Giants was defined by Buster Hugs and Posey behind the plate, will never have to see him in a different uniform, the way an older generation saw Mays in Mets colors.

Posey’s trophy room probably doesn’t have any more space for future accolades. He was a rookie of the year, a seven-time All-Star, a league MVP, a two-time comeback player of the year. He won three World Series. He was the calm and focused center of a terrific pitching staff. He was the adult in the room from the moment he arrived.

Singular. Extraordinary.

Returning in 2021, Posey enjoyed one of his finest seasons. Posey hit .304, two points above his career average of .302. But more importantly as the leader of what was supposed to be a mediocre team with an untested pitching staff, he led the Giants to the best record in baseball with 107 regular-season wins, a franchise record.

The only blemish on what we now know was Posey’s final season was being defeated in the playoffs by the evil Dodgers, the team with MLB’s second best record and the defending World Series champions. The only solace for Buster and the rest of us was that Dodger-Giant Division series was so exhausting, the Dodgers lost to the Braves in the NL Championship Series. Boo-hoo!

I’ll leave the last words to Ann Killion, “The Giants without Buster Posey. It’s hard to even imagine.”

Published by Ted Block

Ted Block is a veteran “Mad Man,” having spent 45+ years in the advertising industry. During his career, he was media director of several advertising agencies, including Benton & Bowles in New York and Foote, Cone and Belding in San Francisco; account management director on clients as varied as Clorox, Levi’s and the California Raisin Advisory Board (yes, Ted was responsible for the California Dancing Raisins campaign); and regional director for Asia based in Tokyo for Foote, Cone where he was also the founding president of FCB’s Japanese operations. Ted holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Queens College and, before starting in advertising, served on active duty as an officer on USS McCloy (DE-1038) in the U.S. Navy.

6 thoughts on “Where have you gone Buster Posey? The nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

  1. There is a black ring around my orange sporting section!!! Even a tear or two on the page. There was something about this man/child (when he arrived he looked like a “baby”) and what fun watching his career. His older twins go to the school where Jan (Rich’s wife) teaches 3rd grade but neither of the twins were assigned to her class – which is too bad as I would have gone to Parent/Teachers night! I will read every page of the Sporting Green and also the 2 articles on the front page – and then will be sad not only because of the retirement but because there will not be much written re Posey in the future :(.

    Next thing I know, Steph Curry will retire and I will have to go through another sad state!!!

    Love to Sharon –

    And hugs, Sue

    >

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  2. Heroes are hard to find, and Buster ranks as high as it gets. Plus, just look around other venues, business, medicine, philantrhopy, etc. and you can still feel deeply about this “kid”, an embodiment of all the elements one looks for in an icon.

    Like

  3. Great Post Ted!
    I watched and enjoyed his retirement speech today.
    It’s still amazing to think he caught an entire 18 inning playoff game once that lasted for over 6 hours.
    Take care and say hello to Sharon.

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    1. The good news is — he went out at the top of his game. Now if he could only have gone out with a 4th WS ring. Ah well, as we used to say in Brooklyn, “Wait ’til next year.” (Actually, THEY used to say that…I was the only kid in Brooklyn in the ’50’s who was a Yankee fan. But that’s a story I’ll tell you when we meet next time…down here, I hope.

      Like

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