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Jorge Rafael Posada Villeta (born August 17, 1971 in Santurce, Puerto Rico) is a Major League Baseball catcher who plays for the New York Yankees. He is a switch hitter, and has been on five All-Star teams over his 15-year career.

He is the only Major League catcher to ever have hit .330 or better with 40 doubles, 20 home runs, and 90 RBIs in a single season. Posada and Yogi Berra are the only Yankees catchers to hit 30 home runs in a season. Since 2000, Posada had more runs batted in, home runs, and hits than any other catcher in baseball.

Early life and education

Posada attended the Alejandrino High School in San Juanmarker, where he participated in basketball, volleyball, track, and baseball. As a baseball player in high school, he was named an All-Star player at shortstop in the 1988-89 season.

He attended Calhoun Community Collegemarker in Decatur, Alabamamarker in 1991, where he received an Associate Degree. He was the valedictorian of the class. He was voted best hitter (1990), co-captain (1991), and selected all-conference (1991). He was inducted in the Alabama Community College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006 and Calhoun retired his number (#6).

Minor Leagues

He was drafted by the Yankees in the 24th round of the 1990 Major League Baseball Draft.

Posada was a second baseman during his first minor league season before being switched to the catcher position.

While playing for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers in , Posada suffered a home plate collision in which he broke his left leg and dislocated his left ankle.

New York Yankees

Posada has also been a member of five World Series championship teams (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2009) and seven American League championship teams (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2009). Posada is a five-time All-Star (2000-03, 2007) and a five-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award in those same years.

Posada debuted with the Yankees in , playing in one game. Posada was called up late in the season appearing in 8 games, but was not added to the postseason roster. In , Posada replaced Jim Leyritz as the backup catcher and heir apparent to Joe Girardi. Girardi helped mentor Posada. The two catchers split time for the Yankees through , until Girardi left as a free agent, at which point Posada became the full-time catcher.

In , he hit 30 home runs (one every 16.0 at bats, ninth best in the league) and drove in 101 runs, both career highs. He batted .281 and was also fifth in the league in OBP (.405), and sixth in the league in walks (93; walking 17.5% of the time, a career high). He tied Yogi Berra’s record for most home runs by a Yankee catcher and finished third in the MVP voting. He also made the final out of that year's World Series, a groundout against Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Beckett.

In , Posada posted one of his best offensive seasons and he led the major leagues with 20 pinch hits. In addition, work with new first base coach Tony Peña, a former catcher, helped him improve his percentage of runners thrown out stealing second almost 60 points above his career average.

In , Posada batted at .338, with 20 home runs, 90 RBIs, and career highs in hits (171) and doubles (42). He joined Iván Rodríguez as the only two catchers in MLB history to record at least 40 doubles in two separate seasons. He was 3rd in the AL in on-base percentage (.426), 4th in batting average, 6th in OPS (.970), and 8th in doubles and slugging percentage (.543). Posada batted .395 in September, and became the first Yankee catcher since Thurman Munson, in 1978, to finish among the top 10 AL batting leaders. His longest hitless streak was only 11 at-bats. Posada is the first catcher to hit .330 or better with a slugging percentage of at least .540 and an on-base percentage of at least .420 since Mike Piazza in 1996-97. On the final day of the 2007 regular season, Yankees manager Joe Torre allowed Posada to act as the manager for the game, an honor that Torre bestows upon a veteran player if the final game does not matter in the standings. The Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 10-4 to give Posada an unofficial win in his 'managerial debut'.

On November 2, 2007, Posada openly backed new Yankes manager Joe Girardi, after reports claimed that he would have a difficult time playing under Girardi.

On November 12, 2007, Posada signed a 4-year, $52 million contract to remain with the Yankees.

On July 21, 2008, Posada was placed on the disabled list. Posada intended to recover from this injury in order to perform as designated hitter or first baseman. However, the team decided to acquire Xavier Nady, in order to allow him enough time to operate. On July 28, 2008, Yankees officially announced that he would undergo season-ending surgery to repair the glenoid labrum in his right shoulder. Consequently, Posada did not participate again until 2009 spring training. Through 2008, Posada has hit 162 homers from the left side of the plate and 59 from the right side.

On September 21, 2008, Posada was selected to catch the ceremonial first pitch prior to the final game at the original Yankee Stadium. The pitch was thrown by Julia Ruth Stephens, the only living daughter of Babe Ruth.

On April 16, 2009, in the bottom of the 5th inning, he hit the first regular season home run in the new Yankee Stadiummarker against Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians.

On May 1, 2009, he hit the first walk off hit in a nine inning game in the new Yankee Stadiummarker against Brian Fuentes to help the Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10-9. On October 4, the last game of the season, Posada again served as the honorary manager, as the Yankees went on to win, 10-2 over the Tampa Bay Rays.

On October 11, 2009, Posada hit a tie-breaking HR to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the top of the 7th inning against the Twins. This was also the last home run hit at Minnesota's Metrodome. He hit another HR to tie it 4-4 on Oct, 19, in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Angels.

Personal life

Posada's father, Jorge Posada Sr., is Cuban, and was a scout for the Colorado Rockies. His uncle, Leo Posada, played for the Kansas City Athletics. His mother is from the Dominican Republic.

On January 21, 2000, Jorge married Laura Posada, an attorney and former model and actress from Puerto Rico. They have two children, Jorge III and Paulina.

Posada's son, Jorge III, suffers from craniosynostosis, which he was diagnosed with 10 days after he was born, and has endured numerous surgeries to correct the condition. Posada established the Jorge Posada Foundation to help find a cure for the disease and support families with children affected by the condition. Jorge released a charity wine in 2008 called Jorge Cabernet to raise funds for his foundation.

Posada is close personal friends with teammate Derek Jeter, who served as best man at Posada's wedding.

Awards

  • 1993 – Carolina League All-Star C
  • 1995 – International League All-Star C
  • 1996 – International League All-Star C
  • 2000 – AL Silver Slugger Award C
  • 2000 – AL All-Star
  • 2000 – Thurman Munson Award received for baseball accomplishments and philanthropic work
  • 2001 – AL Silver Slugger Award C
  • 2001 – AL All-Star C
  • 2001 – Milton Richman "You Gotta' Have Heart" Award received from the NY Chapter of the BBWAA
  • 2002 – Baseball America First-Team Major League All-Star C
  • 2002 – AL Silver Slugger Award C
  • 2002 – All-Star
  • 2003 – NY Yankees Player of the Year
  • 2003 – AL Silver Slugger Award C
  • 2003 – AL MVP Voting Rank: #3
  • 2003 – AL All-Star
  • 2003 – Named one of the Diamond Dads Founding Fathers
  • 2007 – AL All-Star
  • 2007 – Roberto Clemente Award Nominee
  • 2007 – AL Silver Slugger Award C


See also



References

  1. http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2009/07/01/sweet-home-alabama/
  2. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20091104&content_id=7620796&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb/
  3. Botte, Peter. Jorge Posada to have shoulder surgery, will need six months to rehab. New York Daily News. 2008-07-28. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.


External links




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