SAN FRANCISCO – Three-time World Series Champion and seven-time All-Star Buster Posey announced his retirement after a 12-year Major League career. Posey became just the fifth player in Giants history to play their entire career with the Giants (minimum 10 seasons) joining Jim Davenport (1958-1970), Scott Garrelts (1982-1991), Robby Thompson (1986-1996) and Matt Cain (2005-2017).
“After 12 seasons, I have decided to officially retire from Major League Baseball,” said Posey. “After discussing my options with my wife and family, I felt it was time to start a new chapter in my life. It has been an amazing journey and I’m truly blessed to have been able to play the greatest game in the world.
There are a countless number of people I’d like to thank, including my teammates, coaches, training and clubhouse staff, the Giants ownership group, front office and the fans in San Francisco and all over baseball. This is a bittersweet day, but I’m proud to have played my entire career with the San Francisco Giants and I look forward to being a part of the organization for many years to come.”
Posey ends his Major League career as one of the game’s greatest catchers, posing a career 44.9 WAR according to Stathead, eighth best for any catcher since 1950 behind Johnny Bench (75.1), Gary Carter (70.1), Ivan Rodríguez (68.7), Carlton Fisk (68.4), Mike Piazza (59.5), Yogi Berra (53.7) and Thurman Munson (46.1). All of that group but Munson have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Overall, his 44.9 career WAR is 12th best among catchers in Major League history.
The Leesburg, GA native finished his playing career with a .302 career average, exactly 1,500 regular season hits, 293 doubles, 158 homers, 729 RBI and an .831 career OPS. He is one of three catchers to win at least three World Series titles and catch at least three no-hitters. The other two are Berra and Bill Carrigan. Overall, Posey is one of 17 catchers in Major League history to have caught three or more no-hitters.
“On behalf of all of us with the San Francisco Giants, congratulations to Buster Posey on a tremendous career,” Giants Chairman Greg Johnson said. “Buster defined what it is to be a San Francisco Giant both on and off the field and we are forever grateful to him for what he brought to our club and to the Bay Area as an important role model. Throughout his career, his consistency and dedication to excellence were unparalleled and he represented our franchise as a consummate professional. He is a Hall of Fame-level teammate, husband and father and helped raise the Giants’ franchise to new heights.”
“It was an honor to be part of a baseball family that included one of the best all-around catchers ever in the game. We were all lucky to have had his gifts, talents and leadership guide us through three World Series championships. I’m thrilled now that Buster will be able to focus his time and energy on his family. Thanks so much for the incredible ride. Wishing Buster, Kristen and his family the best in retirement.”
Bruce Bochy, Senior Advisor and former Giants Manager
The Giants’ fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft, Posey spent his entire career in the Orange and Black beginning with his Major League debut on September 11, 2009 against the Dodgers. A year later, Posey helped lead the Giants to the first of their three World Series titles in San Francisco while also being named the National League Rookie of the Year after hitting .305 with 18 homers, 67 RBI and an .862 OPS. Posey finished 11th in the MVP voting that season.
After his 2011 season ended prematurely due to injury after 45 games, Posey burst back on to the scene in 2012 to help lead the Giants to their second World Series title in three seasons. Named the 2012 National League MVP and the NL’s Comeback Player of the Year, Posey led the NL in batting average (.336) while posting the best OPS+ of his career (171). He was named an All-Star for the first time and also won the first of his four Silver Slugger awards after setting career-bests in batting average, doubles (39), homers (24), RBI (103), walks (69), OBP (.408), slugging (.549) and OPS (.957). By winning the World Series and being voted the league’s MVP, Posey became the third catcher his MLB history to accomplish the feat, joining Berra (1951 Yankees) and Roy Campanella (1955 Dodgers).
Posey helped lead the Giants to their third World Series title in five seasons in 2014, won his second Silver Slugger Award and finished sixth in the MVP voting after hitting .311 with 22 homers, 89 RBI and an .854 OPS. He would go on to be named to four straight All-Star teams from 2015-2018, win two more Silver Sluggers (2015, 2017) and capture his first Gold Glove award in 2016.
“Buster played the game at its highest level,” said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer. “Equally important, his selfless commitment to the Giants family and the community is second to none. He truly embodies the values of our organization and we deeply appreciate all that he and Kristen have given to the Bay Area — in particular to the countless children, families and medical professionals who they have joined in the fight to end pediatric cancer. It has been an honor to work with Buster over the past decade and we look forward to celebrating his career with the fans in the near future.”
After opting out of the 2020 season, Posey returned to his All-Star form in 2021, earning his seventh Midsummer Classic selection. He was named both The Sporting News and the MLB Player’s Choice National League Comeback Player of the Year this season after hitting .304 with 23 doubles, 18 homers, 56 RBI and an .889 OPS in 113 games for the National League West Division champs.
In San Francisco Giants history (1958-present), Posey ranks among the club’s all-time leaders in batting average (min. 3,000 PA) (3rd, .302), doubles (4th, 293), home runs (11th 158), RBI (6th, 729), walks (7th, 540), OBP (5th, .372), SLG (12th, .460), OPS (9th .831) and games played (6th, 1,371). His 1,063 starts behind the plate are the most all-time in franchise history.
In postseason play, Posey caught 511 career innings across his five postseason appearances with SF, sixth-most all-time behind Jorge Posada (996.1), Yadier Molina (868.1), Berra (544.1), Jason Varitek (528.0) and Russell Martin (518.2). Posey’s 2.71 career postseason catcher’s ERA is fourth-best all-time (min. 200 postseason innings caught) behind Mike Scioscia (2.41), Bill Dickey (2.51) and Mickey Cochrane (2.63).
Including the Giants two shutouts during this postseason, Posey was behind the plate for 14 total shutouts in the postseason, the most of any catcher in postseason history ahead of Molina (eight) and Berra (seven).
Posey’s 58 career postseason games, 57 postseason hits and his 25 postseason RBI are all the most by a Giant in franchise history. He is also one of six Giants to hit at least five postseason homers joining Barry Bonds (eight), Rich Aurilia (six), Pablo Sandoval (six), Jeff Kent (five) and Cody Ross (five).
“All of us at Major League Baseball congratulate Buster Posey on an outstanding career on and off the field. Buster was a Rookie of the Year and an MVP on two World Series Championship teams in his first three full seasons. By the end of 2014, he was the anchor of the greatest era of success the San Francisco Giants have ever known. Buster remained in All-Star form this season as the Giants earned the best record in their history. Most importantly, Buster was a tremendous representative of the Giants and all of Major League Baseball, particularly through his charitable work and commitment to others. I wish Buster and his family all the best in their next chapter and hope for his continued involvement in our great game.”
Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball Commissioner
Photo/Video/Content courtesy of SF Giants and photography by Suzanna Mitchell