Jorge Posada New York Yankees
Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees former backstop is on the ballot for Cooperstown for 2017, but does Jorge Posada really deserve that monumental honor?

The Core Four was an integral part of the New York Yankees of the late 1990s. The combination of Derek Jeter, Andy Pettite, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera blessed the Yankees with five World Series titles in two decades.

Thanks to that monumental accomplishment and more, Jorge Posada is the first member of the Core to be placed on the Hall of Fame ballot, as announced on Monday.

While a nomination in itself is an honor, being voted into Cooperstown forever cements a player’s legacy in the game of baseball.

Unfortunately, Jorge Posada won’t and shouldn’t receive that honor.

There is no doubt that Posada’s presence on the Yankees helped them emerge victorious in all five of those World Series seasons.

He was a consistent player, a gritty catcher and a clutch hitter for Yankees teams ripe with incredible talent. His number, 20, was even retired in the Bronx in 2015 for his major accomplishments on the field for the Yankees.

The problem with his nomination is that while he made such a difference for the Yankees, his stats are only average. The Yankees probably could have remained a dynasty without him. In the Yankee Hall of Fame? Sure! In the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame? Posada just isn’t deserving of that recognition.

He means a lot to the Yankee organization, believe me. In 17 seasons in pinstripes, he posted a .273/.374/.474 slash line. While he produced above average offensive numbers for a catcher, only once in his 17 seasons did he have 100 RBIs (2003). His .992 fielding percentage was also impressive for the five-time All-Star.

In the post-season, Posada batted .248 with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs. With 29 post-season series under his belt, Posada played a role in helping the Yankees win five World Series titles, but he was not the reason.

If you look in the Hall of Fame, you see Babe Ruth. Ken Griffey Jr. Mickey Mantle. Names that transcend the very sport of baseball: names that have changed the game as we know it. And the name “Jorge Posada” does not fall into that category.

To the baseball world, he wasn’t a stand-out player by any means. His name was recognized in the Yankee circle, not necessarily by everyone who followed baseball. He didn’t have that league-wide recognition that accompanies all current members of the Hall of Fame.

Out of 312 Hall of Famers, there are only 17 catchers on the list. Of these 17 prestigious players are the likes of Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk, and Yogi Berra. These are the top-tier of players who not only played well but were team leaders. They were the face of their teams.

It’s not Posada’s fault. He was a consistent player that was overshadowed by big-name teammates who got things done. While Posada’s stats are good, they are not other-worldly. While he was a part of a dynasty, he wasn’t the leader of the dynasty.

 

In the Yankees universe, Posada deserves all the recognition on the planet. Yankee fans will surely agree that he played with a passion that made him so fun to watch. He may have won five World Series titles, but the Hall of Fame is about quality, not necessarily quantity. The quality of stats that Posada compiled in his career are impressive, but not worthy of Cooperstown.

Posada made a huge difference on the Yankees in his 17-year career. He provided Yankees fans with entertainment in the forms of walk-off hits and thrilling comebacks.

All his great accomplishments deserve a spot in a Yankees Hall of Fame, but Posada’s career simply is not worthy of a plaque in Cooperstown.


4 COMMENTS

  1. “If you look in the Hall of Fame, you see Babe Ruth. Ken Griffey Jr. Mickey Mantle. Names that transcend the very sport of baseball: names that have changed the game as we know it.”

    If that’s the criteria, then about 50% of the inductees need to be tossed out. I don’t think Posada belongs, but there is room in the Hall for players that don’t have the grandeur of the names you mentioned

  2. I think the author is being a bit dismissive about Posada’s career. He’s 8th on the all time catcher’s list for home runs, doubles and slugging. 6th for OBP. 5th all time for OPS. 12th for RBIs. Even his career batting average – .273 – compares favorably with HoF’ers Jonny Bench (267) and Carlton Fisk (269).

    Is he a slam dunk? No, But his record is on par with other hall of famers, especially those of the modern era.

    • I have been a life-long Jorge Posada fan always and I think he’s had a great career for a Yankee catcher. Always been a big fan. My main issue is that while his numbers have been pretty good, I feel criteria of the Hall of Fame should also be about leadership and what they’ve done for their team. While Posada was good, he was often overshadowed because he wasn’t a leader.
      Again, love Jorge and I would be honored if he was in the HOF, I just don’t feel like he deserves it over others who have served as great players AND leaders.

      • For me, where a player stands in comparison to those playing his position, all-time, is the acid test. There are 17 catchers in the HoF. Where does Posada’s career stand among them? In many critical batting categories, 8th or better. Based on his bat, he’s HoF.

        Fielding? Not in the top 20 in most categories, but still better than some older, HoF members. Good, but not HoF.

        Post season? 2nd in games played (125) and strikeouts (109), 3rd at-bats (413) and doubles (23), 4th in plate appearances (492), hits (103) and walks (70, 2 off the leader); 6th for total bases (161), 8th in runs scored (53), 9th in RBI’s (42), as a core member of one of the most successful teams in baseball history. Worthy of HoF consideration.

        His career is without PED scandal. He’s a top ten offensive catcher and post-season player all time. His fielding is comparable to older HoF members, but not as good as his contemporaries, some of whom were juicing.

        Should he go in on the first ballot? No. But he should get enough votes to stay on the ballot as we sort out how to judge PED and non-PED careers.