Is the Yankees' Jorge Posada Cooperstown-Bound at the End of His Career?
A catcher has won the 2009 American League Most Valuable Player Award. It was not Yankees catcher, Jorge Posada, but Minnesota's Joe Mauer. Jorge Posada possibly was not even in consideration for the award. But the Yankees veteran has just won his fifth World Series title. Does Jorge Posada have the numbers to be enshrined in Baseball's Hall of Fame.
Jorge Posada could go down as a Yankees legend...or at least a great fan favorite. But in the last few months, the phrase "Future Hall of Famer" has started to attach itself to Jorge Posada's name. It is very questionable whether or not the Yankees catcher is deserving of that title.
There are 16 catchers enshrined in Cooperstown as Hall of Famers. Many believe that when Ivan Rodriguez retired he could be the next one to join the Hall of Famers in Cooperstown. But personally I believe that Mike Piazza will be the next Hall of Fame catcher and he will go in as a New York Met.
But before Piazza and/or Rodriguez goes into the Hall of Fame, we should take time to compare Jorge Posada to one of the HOF catchers that best resembles Posada's career.
Gary Carter played in 19 Major League Baseball seasons for four teams. By the end of Posada's career, he would have played close to Carter's 19 seasons and possibly all for one team, the New York Yankees. Posada's home-run total stands at 243 and could come very close to Carter's 324. Posada's (964) R.B.I. total is even closer to the former Montreal Expos' catcher (1,225)! Offensively Posada could have himself a Hall of Fame type* year.
The reason an asterisk was placed after the Hall of Fame type year is because over the years there have been stats that have guaranteed a player an entry into baseball's White House. Whether it's 500 home-runs, 300 wins, 3,000 hits, or 3,000 strike-outs, Posada doesn't come close to some of these "cut-offs." This is where Posada's Hall of Fame chances diminish.
He has proven himself as a clutch performer for the Yankees. No need to look for proof for that other than the five World Series rings that he has around his fingers. Posada has been a great communicator with his pitchers, with the exception of AJ Burnett this season. He has served as a mentor to young players and a role model to even younger players of the sport. Posada is a great guy, but being a great guy doesn't always get a guy into the Hall of Fame.
In the end, I do not see a plaque in Cooperstown with Jorge Rafael (Villeta) Posada's name. At most the Yankees could retire his No. 20. to stand on the same wall as other Yankee fan favorites like Reggie Jackson and Ron Guidry. Guidry may not be in the Hall of Fame, but Yankee fans grew very close to the Louisiana Lightning that they decided to put his no. 49 in the Yankees wall of retired numbers. The same could happen to Posada.
It might be too early to tell. Posada could have a stunning year and improve his stats to read like Johnny Bench's or Yogi Berra's. Jorge Posada is a very nice man and should be rewarded for his closeness to the fans and his teammates some way at the end of his career.
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