NEW YORK (WFAN) — Jorge Posada has ended his Major League Baseball career after 17 seasons with the Yankees.
From pinstripe legends to foes on the diamond, Posada left an indelible mark on those who watched him play.
The Yankees released the following statements congratulating Posada on his epic career in the Bronx:
“I want to congratulate ‘Jorgito’ on an outstanding career. He was one of the greatest catchers of his era, and one of the best Puerto Rican players to ever play the game. He was a great teammate, is a great friend and human being, and will always be a great Yankee. I was honored to take the field with him every day for so many years, and I cherish all the memories we have together, topped off by those World Series championships. Frankly, I can’t believe that ‘Jorgito’ is actually announcing his retirement before I do. Seriously, I wish him, Laura, and the kids happiness and success in their future. He will be missed by the Yankees family, all of his teammates, coaches, and most of all, the great Yankee fans.”
-Bernie Williams (Yankees teammate from 1995-2006)
“Jorge was obviously one of the heart and soul pieces of all those championships with us. Everyone brings their own style to the table but Jorge played with so much fire and intensity, and you have to have all the different mixes of personalities on a team to be able to win the way we did. The intensity that he brought on a daily basis to the field was just amazing to watch. He was a wonderful teammate — one of the greatest teammates I’ve ever played with — and a great friend and a great person.
“The fans loved Jorge because of the passion he played with. He didn’t try to hide it, and he didn’t make up excuses. He’s a stand-up guy, and if he wasn’t able to get it done, he would say ‘I didn’t get it done.’ He handled all the victories and all the success with class and never made excuses for anything. Fans love that. They love to see you be real and passionate. When you’re like that in New York, you’re going to be loved, that’s for sure.”
-Andy Pettitte (Yankees teammate from 1995-2003, ’07-10)
“Jorge was one of the cornerstones of all those championship teams, handling the pitching staff all those years. The way he prepared every single day assured that he became the best player he could possibly be. He’s going to go down as one of the greatest all-time Yankees. It’s very rare that somebody comes up through the minor league system with the Yankees and plays 17 years with the club. He did it the right way as a true professional, a great teammate and a great baseball player.”
-Tino Martinez (Yankees teammate from 1996-2001, ’05)
“Jorge is a good kid and he had a wonderful career. He has always been one of the toughest and most passionate guys on the club — the Yankees don’t win those championships without him.”
– Yogi Berra (Hall of Famer, former Yankees player [1946-63] and manager [1964, 1984-85], and current Special Advisor)
“Jorge has bled the pinstripes for a long, long time, and he played with a passion that certainly rubbed off on his teammates. To play the number of games that he did, at the level he did, year in and year out, at the toughest position on the field, is a credit to his commitment to his craft. He left everything out on the field, and that’s what made him special.
– Alex Rodriguez (Yankees teammate from 2004-2011)
“I remember when we switched Jorge in the minors from second base to catcher. I always got reports of his improvement. Jorge was a worker — someone who was always in shape and who you didn’t have to worry about. Even from the beginning, I loved how selective he was at the plate, his power, his strong arm and the fact that he was a switch-hitter. In my tenure as general manager [from Aug. 1990 through Oct. 1995], I never talked about him in a trade. In the big leagues, he provided big time offensive production, and you never had to platoon him. He was tough, durable and the little things just didn’t bother him. He was a lot like Thurman [Munson] in that way.”
– Gene Michael (former Yankees player, coach, Manager, General Manager and current Yankees Senior Vice President)
“Jorge Posada is a great Yankee and a great New Yorker. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I congratulate him on his outstanding career and thank him for the invaluable contributions he’s made to our city.”
– Michael R. Bloomberg (New York City Mayor)
“Jorge Posada is far beyond your true, loyal Yankee. Jorge lives this team, organization and city. A family man unmatched, his love for family and team is shown every single day, and I’ve been there every step of the way to witness and testify to it.
“Georgie’s sense of humor with his teammates and especially with me, in spite of countless painful days, has always been refreshing and energizing. He always helped us to excel, succeed and enjoy the game the way it’s supposed to be. His career blessed us.
“On Opening Day 2010, it was Jorge Posada who singlehandedly took his team and the entire Yankee Stadium crowd to a place that was humbling beyond expression, when he lovingly honored me. Every day for the remainder of my life, I will remember and reflect on his love, as he brought it out from our team and our fans. There is no real way to adequately express the emotion of that moment and what it meant to me.”
– Gene Monahan (Yankees Head Athletic Trainer 1973-2011)
“Jorge Posada has been a winner during the season, the postseason and in the clubhouse. He is a loyal and devoted Yankee and is a champion in the game of life. I will always treasure the time I spent with him.”
– Joe Torre (Yankees Manager from 1996-2007)
“Jorge was exceptional behind the plate. He gave you so much in terms of his target, working the umpires, and with the level of communication that he had. To me, the pitcher has to be comfortable and in-sync with the catcher. He fought with me, worked with me, and knew the counts. If I didn’t see something that he did, I would shake off his sign, and he would just put down the same sign again. Whenever that happened, I realized that he knew something I didn’t. It speaks to the trust I had in him. He always wanted the pitcher to feel as comfortable as he could. That’s why in my mind, he was the greatest catcher.”
– David Wells (Yankees teammate 1997-98, 2002-03; with Posada as catcher, tossed perfect game May 17, 1998 vs. Minnesota)
“I’d like to congratulate Jorge on a fantastic career. As two catchers playing in New York at the same time, I was able to get to know him over the years and appreciate everything he brought to the table. He was a general behind the plate and delivered in the clutch when it mattered most. I wish him well on his retirement.”
– Mike Piazza (Major League Baseball player from 1992-2007; New York Mets catcher from 1998-2005)
“After hundreds of head-to-head games during the regular season and the postseason, I can’t say I respect and admire anyone at our position more than I do Jorge. The hard work and preparation he put into catching is a huge reason he has five championships on his resume. He is a true grinder.”
– Jason Varitek (Boston Red Sox catcher from 1997-2011)
“Jorge has carried on the tradition of great Yankees catchers most notably Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Elston Howard and Thurman Munson. Jorge has lived up to the tradition of great Yankees catchers.”
– Arlene Howard (widow of Yankees catcher [1955-67] and coach [1969-79] Elston Howard)
“Jorge was one of my most favorite teammates of all time. He was into winning. He was mentally tough, physically tough, and he was never scared. It means a lot that he is retiring as a Yankee. As the seasons go on, I think people will realize how important he was to the team, and how big a role he played in the Yankees’ success over the years. He was a great teammate and a fun guy off the field. I had a lot of fun with Jorge. I have all the respect in the world for him. He is going to be considered for the Hall of Fame, and any time people talk about you that way, it tells you what type of player you are.”
– Paul O’Neill (Yankees teammate from 1995-2001, current YES Network broadcaster)
“Jorge was an unbelievable competitor, one of the fiercest competitors I’ve seen in a long time. He was always tough to face when I was pitching. He made me work hard, like when he drew a leadoff walk against me in the 2000 World Series (I still think I got him on that 3-2 pitch!). On the flip side, I loved having him as a teammate in 2005. He had a special drive and a special will to win, which is a throwback to the old days. You always knew what to expect with Jorge. He wasn’t flashy. He was just immensely talented and a great leader.”
– Al Leiter (Yankees teammate in 2005, current YES Network broadcaster)
“Jorge played the game the right way. He gave the Yankees and the fans his very best every day. He was a fan favorite, and for good reason. He will go down as one of the greatest Yankees catchers ever, and certainly deserves strong consideration for entry into the Hall of Fame.”
– Ken Singleton (YES Network broadcaster 2002-present)
“Jorge was the ultimate teammate, someone who always put the team before himself. He wasn’t a vocal leader; rather, he let his actions speak for themselves. It was an honor sharing the Yankees clubhouse with him, and my time with him was made even more special since we were both catchers. He handled himself with such class on the field and in the clubhouse. When I think of what the New York Yankees represent, I think of Jorge. Class. Humility. Tough as nails. Fierce competitor. That’s Jorge Posada.”
– John Flaherty (Yankees teammate from 2003-05, current YES Network broadcaster)
“Jorge was one of the greatest Yankees I’ve ever played with, and I had the opportunity to play with him for a long time. He’s one of the greatest not only on the field, but off the field as well. He does so much work in the community — and in New York, that’s huge. Whenever a player gives back, you’ve got to love that, and Jorge is just one of those great guys who loves to give back to the community.”
– Jeff Nelson (Yankees teammate from 1996-2000, ‘03)
How will you remember Jorge? Be heard in the comments below…