Yankees Catcher Jorge Posada To Announce Retirement

The New York Yankees today announced that catcher Jorge Posada will hold a press conference on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. to announce his retirement.

Posada, 40, finishes his 17-year Major League career with a .273 batting average (1,664-for-6,092) with 900 runs, 379 doubles, 275 home runs and 1,065 RBI in 1,829 games—all with the Yankees.  Of the 13 former Major League catchers in the Hall of Fame (Johnny Bench, Yogi Berra, Roger Bresnahan, Roy Campanella, Gary Carter, Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Buck Ewing, Rick Ferrell, Carlton Fisk, Gabby Hartnett, Ernie Lombardi and Ray Schalk), only Berra has better numbers in batting average, home runs and RBI (.285, 358 and 1,430, respectively).

As a player on five World Series championship teams (1996, ‘98, ‘99, 2000, ‘09), Posada finished his career among Baseball’s all-time postseason leaders in games played (second, 125), doubles (third, 23), hits (fourth, 103) and RBI (tied for ninth, 42).  His 119 postseason contests at catcher are the most all time, ahead of Berra (second, 63).  In his career, he caught at least one game in six different World Series, tied with Elston Howard and Wally Schang for third-most all time, trailing Berra (12) and Bill Dickey (eight).  In 2011, he batted a team-best .429 (6-for-14) in the Yankees’ five-game ALDS vs. Detroit.

Originally selected by the Yankees in the 24th round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, Posada holds the distinction of being one of just five players all time to record at least 1,500 hits, 350 doubles, 275 home runs and 1,000 RBI while playing at least 50.0% of his games at catcher, joining Ivan Rodriguez and Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Gary Carter and Carlton Fisk.  He ranks eighth all time in home runs among players whose primary position was catcher.

Posada was the first Major Leaguer to catch at least one game with the same team in 17 straight seasons (1995-2011) since Cincinnati’s Johnny Bench did so in 17 consecutive seasons from 1967-83 (credit: Elias Sports Bureau).  In his career, Posada caught 1,574 games with the Yankees, trailing only Bill Dickey (1,708) and Yogi Berra (1,695) for most games ever caught in pinstripes.  A five-time American League All-Star (2000-03, ’07), he twice finished in the top 10 in American League Most Valuable Player balloting, ranking third in 2003 and sixth in 2007.  On May 17, 1998 vs. Minnesota, he caught David Wells’ perfect game, the second of three in Yankees history. 

The Puerto Rico native finishes his career ranked seventh on the Yankees’ all-time list with 379 doubles and 936 walks, eighth with 275 home runs and 11th with 1,065 RBI.  He is one of just eight players to appear in at least one game with the Yankees in each of 17 different seasons, joining Yogi Berra (18), Mickey Mantle (18), Frank Crosetti (17), Bill Dickey (17), Lou Gehrig (17), Derek Jeter (17) and Mariano Rivera (17).  Along with Jeter and Rivera, Posada is part of the first trio of teammates in MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL history to appear in a game together in each of 17 straight seasons (credit: Elias).  Elias also notes his 1,693 regular season games played with Jeter surpassed Lou Gehrig and Tony Lazzeri (1,659 games) for the most games played together by any pair of teammates in franchise history.  A model of durability, Posada began his career by playing 1,450 games (1,369 at catcher) before being placed on the disabled list for the first time on April 28, 2008 with right rotator cuff tendinitis.

A five-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2000-03, ’07), Posada homered in 29 different ballparks during his career, the most by any player in Yankees history.  His 246 home runs as a catcher rank second on the Yankees’ all-time list behind only Yogi Berra.  In his career, Posada recorded 14 pinch-hit, go-ahead RBI in the seventh inning or later, tied with Johnny Blanchard for the most such RBI by a Yankee since 1950 (credit: ESPN Research).