NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Newly retired catcher Jorge Posada will soon take an unfamiliar position on the field at Yankee Stadium — and his former teammates couldn’t be happier.
Posada will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Yankees’ home opener Friday against the Los Angeles Angels.
“I think he’s going to be all kinds of emotional, knowing Jorge,” said Mariano Rivera. “At the same time, he’ll be happy. We’ll be happy; I will be happy to see him. I haven’t seen him since his retirement. It will be nice to see him. I think the fans will be happy to see him again.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said “it adds to the excitement” of the home opener, which of course will be a larger-than-life, Yankees-style celebration.
The national anthem will be belted out by Broadway actor Jeremy Jordan, star of “Newsies.” Paul Nolan of “Jesus Christ Superstar” will sing “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch.
After the anthem, a ceremonial Navy F-18 flyover is scheduled. And then, of course, Posada.
“I’m sure the fans are going to show their appreciation for him, as they should,” Girardi said. “He’s a great Yankee.”
The five-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion retired in January after 17 major league seasons, all with the Yankees. The 40-year-old had a .273 career batting average, 275 home runs and 1,065 RBIs.
Posada will become the 11th former Yankee to throw out the opening-day pitch. Mike Mussina had the honor last year.
“I’ve seen enough guys come back and do something like that,” said Derek Jeter. “It’ll be a special moment for him. I’m sure he’ll enjoy it. I don’t want to speak for him, but I can only imagine I’m sure he’ll get a pretty big ovation.”
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