They say all good things must come to an end. That’s what Larry Baer and the San Francisco Giants have learned since wrapping up a historic season. The Giants won a franchise-best 107 games and a title in the National League West division in 2021, but as the 2022 Major League Baseball season draws near, they’ll take the field without the cornerstone of their three World Series championships.
Buster Posey called it quits this offseason, announcing his retirement on his own terms. The 34-year-old catcher joined the franchise in 2009. He played his entire career with the Giants, taking over the starting role in 2010, helping San Fran clinch its first playoff appearance in seven years. The team won it all that season, and again in 2012 and 2014.
Posey decorated his award room with one Gold Glove Award, five Silver Slugger Awards, seven All-Star appearances, the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year Award, and 2012 MVP honors. He admitted at his November retirement press conference he went into last season feeling like it could be his last.
“I just gave myself some space in my mind to be OK with deciding otherwise if I wanted to keep playing. I just never wavered. I think it really allowed me to, not that you don’t give it your all, but I really emptied the tank this year like I never have before,” said Posey.
The veteran out of Florida State University batted .304 in his last season with 18 homers, 56 RBIs, and an .889 OPS. He was still performing at a high level, so his decision to leave the game he loves caught Larry Baer off guard, but Baer, appreciating what Posey’s meant to the organization, could only respect it.
“You have too much respect for him as a person. This is a decision he thought a lot about; he talked earlier about tinkering with the decision throughout the year, and so all you have to do is throw your arms around him and give him a Buster hug,” says the Giants CEO and president.
Larry Baer was traveling when Posey called and gave him the news. For Posey, it was a decision that gave him total peace.
“The reason I’m retiring is I want to be able to do more stuff from February to November with my family. Physically, it’s much harder now. It’s hard to enjoy it as much when there’s physical pain you’re dealing with on a daily basis,” says Posey.
Posey often talked about wanting to leave the game healthy and be a caring father for his children in his life post-baseball. He suffered multiple concussions and a serious leg injury throughout his playing days. He opted out of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season to be with his family. He and his wife, Kristen, have four children, including twin daughters whom they adopted in 2020.
As Posey turns his attention toward being a husband and father, the Giants are left to pick up the pieces. But the team’s front office isn’t running from the challenge, they’re engaged and excited about what’s to come.
“Every offseason you make some choices,” explains Baer. “Every year is a new season, and you go back a little to square one but we’re super excited about what this means for 2022 for the Giants.”
The Giants don’t normally retire a player’s number until he reaches the Hall of Fame. They’ve only bent that unwritten rule once: for the legendary Barry Bonds. Posey is great as well, but he’ll have to wait to hear his name called in Cooperstown. However, that doesn’t mean the Giants won’t honor him this upcoming season. Because he retired in November, fans didn’t get a chance to say thank-you to one of the greatest players in franchise history, so Larry Baer will make sure the Giants faithful get a chance to send Posey off in style.
“The first news of the offseason was very bittersweet, in that Buster Posey, our All-Star catcher — and we believe future Hall of Famer — retired, but as such, the fans should stay tuned for what we’re going to do in 2022 to honor him. It will be big,” says Larry Baer.
As for filling Posey’s position and everything he’s meant to the Giants, the team understands that’s easier said than done.
“There were performances last year that were really positive from our young players and players coming from the minor leagues. For example, Logan Webb and Camilo Doval were wonderful stories. We look forward to our young players taking yet another step forward in 2022,” adds Larry Baer.
Expect the young prospect Joey Bart to factor in behind the plate while Posey and his family relocate back home to Georgia. And look forward to the Giants showing appreciation for one of their all-time greats at some point during the upcoming season.
Read more recent news on Larry Baer and the SF Giants: https://www.traveldailynews.com/post/sf-giants-ceo-larry-baer-shares-details-on-new-partnership-with-the-san-francisco-giants-and-alaska-airlines