NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — After 17 seasons in pinstripes, Jorge Posada said goodbye to baseball Tuesday morning.

With Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera in attendance, the Bombers’ longtime catcher and DH announced his retirement during an 11 a.m. press conference at Yankee Stadium.

Posada began by quoting Joe DiMaggio: “I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”

The five-time All-Star catcher ended his career with the team that drafted him rather than attempting to play elsewhere.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports

WFAN’s Sweeny Murti first reported Posada’s plans two weeks ago.

“Today’s a very emotional day for me,” Posada said. “Ever since I was a little kid, all I wanted to do was become a major leaguer.”

More: Teammates, former foes wish Posada well in retirement

Posada joins Bernie Williams and Andy Pettitte in retirement, leaving only Jeter and Rivera from the core group that led the Yankees to four World Series titles in five years from 1996-2000.

Diana Munson, the widow of former Yankees captain Thurman Munson, was among those who made the trip for Posada’s retirement. She spoke about how Posada helped revive her interest in baseball, which had disappeared after her husband’s death.

“I’m so honored to have loved two Yankee catchers in my life,” Munson said.

All five World Series trophies from Posada’s career were on display to his right, and the marquee outside Yankee Stadium read “Thank You, Jorge.”

Posada became a free agent after a trying season in New York, the final year of a four-year, $52 million contract.

“It’s been an honor,” said a teary-eyed Posada. “I could never wear another uniform. … I will forever be a Yankee.”

Posada’s voice broke up, especially when he spoke in Spanish. He thanked a number of current Yankees, rubbing his chin three times and wiping his eyes.

“I also want to thank my teammates,” Posada said while struggling to maintain his composure. “Especially Derek Jeter, who helped me stay focused and positive. Hopefully you won’t miss me that much. Mariano Rivera, my brother. I couldn’t have done any of this without you.”

Posada said he made the decision to retire during last season, which turned tumultuous May 14 when he was dropped to No. 9 in the batting order against Boston. He asked to be taken out of the lineup, saying he wasn’t ready to play.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman said that was just a blip in his career — part of Posada’s fiery nature, the one that drew fans to him. Jeter said that emotion can’t be faked, that it comes from a drive to win.

“I feel the same way,” Jeter said. “I’m just better at hiding it.”

Jeter and Rivera talked about how their days for retirement would come.

“Mo’s going to be here longer than all of us,” Jeter said.

Posada finishes with a .273 career batting average, 275 home runs and 1,065 RBIs.

Should the Yankees retire Posada’s No. 20? Sound off below…

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (15)
  1. Cait Mick says:

    Definitely should retire #20. The man is one of the greatest catchers in the history of the MLB. It’s unfortunate that he was put on the back burner when Martin started. Defensively, although it was a good call on Girardi’s part, it’s still depressing not seeing him during every game. It’s better than he retires while he’s still decent, than to be embarassed or break my heart wearing a tampa jersey. Johnny Damon was enough, I can’t see Posada move to florida too! hahaa! love u Posada! xox

  2. Roy Nelson says:

    I believe that Jorge contributed a lot to the Yankees not only on the field but off. He has such a gigantic heart and he is one of the great humanitarians in the world. I think that Mrs. Munson’s testimony is ound for the magic that Jorge had for the Yankees. This woman wanted nothing to do with baseball let alone the Yankees after she lost her husband. But because she saw the way Jorge lived and played it changed her outlook on life. I think Jorge did that for a lot of children in his program too. I know we all have days that are not the best days and we anger and we learn to forgive or we die. I believe yes that the Yankees have already retired numbers to the point where its not so special anymore. But Jorge number deserves to be on that wall. YES

  3. ROMMEL says:

    Big cry baby!! Now go play golf, travel the world, never again step foot inside the stadium until your called on old timers day, raise your kids & lay that hot wife of yours on a table & bang the crap out of her!

  4. Jon Elliott says:

    Yes, retire Posada’s # 20 for showing the loyalty of retiring from the same team that drafted him 17 years ago. Posada proves to have a solid and loyal heart, let’s ALL show it back.

  5. David Stricklin says:

    Jorge has been one of the best Yanks in my lifetime. (born 56) I was not only a pleasure to watch Jorge play, it was excitment. Yes, his number should be retired. There will never be a Yank that was totally involved in the game, as Jorge. Honestly, I hope and pray you become Yank manager someday. I’m 55, so lets take take too long getting there. I’ll miss you until then

  6. jojjimbo99 says:

    NO, the Yankees have enough retired numbers…in fact we are the worst organisation in baseball in that department. we took something that was meant for the elite’s, and started handing them out to everyone and their mother…in my opinion their really should be about 8 to 9 retired numbers period…sorry Jorge. you were a great player for us. and you’ll be missed…but he was not retired number worthy. Jeter and Mo are the only players imho that are.

  7. JJC says:

    I feel with amount of success the team had during his time you have to retire the number. Like Munson it goes way beyond the stats with Jorgie he was the fire that kept a lot of millionairs on their toes. I think his effect on the team and Jeter is greatly overlooked.

  8. GB says:

    OK he had a great run with the Yankees,but you can’t retire his number.If they did his,how many other Yankees from the past,present and future would want the honor bestowed upon them and then your down on great lower numbers to be used for the coming years. You’d have to start in the 20’s to have numbers for the newer guys coming in.He was a decent catcher,and has 5 WS Rings,but a Hall of Famer,I do not think so. Sorry Jorge,best of your retirement see you at the Old Home Games down the road.

  9. TOM B says:


  10. Da truth says:

    Posada was a good hitter but his own pitchers wanted someone else to catch them.

    1. .. says:

      Yet he won 4 rings being behind the plate and one pitcher, David Wells threw a no hitter.

      Posada caught veteran pitchers (Wells, Clemens, Pettite, Mussina & Johnson) who most of the time called their own game.

      The job of a catcher is to receive the ball; the pitcher’s job is to put the ball where the catcher wants it.

      Posada may not have been the best defensive catcher in the game, but he won more games, more WS titles behind the plate than any other catcher during his run.

      Just ask Piazza who was the best hitting catcher in the game, but the worst defensive catcher in the game & retired with no rings.

    2. David Stricklin says:

      Only one wanted anothern catcher. The dumbass from Toronto. All the greats loved Posada. Your a hater. Probably a mets fan.

  11. MJ888 says:

    Posada has been a vital cog for 15 years. He has performed consistently. And yes his number should be retired and yes he should also be in that stupid Hall of Fame where there is no clear cut standards on admittance.

    There has been very few catchers that has been as consistent as Posada has been during his career.

  12. Paul M. List says:

    I think yes, they should retire Jorgie’s number

  13. CN says:

    Posada was very good, and it’s a shame the Yankees forced him out, but if they retire numbers based on Posada’s career soon all the players would be wearing three digit numbers because there would be too many other numbers that would also deserve to be retired.

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