Yankees: Joe Girardi Makes Hall of Fame Argument for Surprise Former Teammate
By Adam Weinrib
Joe Girardi believes New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada should be a Baseball Hall of Famer.
From catching castoff to World Series hero to the manager behind Championship No. 27, Joe Girardi’s Yankees tenure took on multiple lives.
As a veteran voice in the locker room at the start of the ’90s dynasty, he helped mold the careers of many future MLB stars long before it was his official job title. In fact, he’s often credited with setting Jorge Posada’s transcendent career off on its axis, smoothly supervising the handoff of the most important position on the diamond to No. 20 in 1998, before moving on to Chicago at the end of the 1999 season.
Though Posada became one of the best offensive catchers and greatest champions of his generation, he hasn’t gotten much Hall of Fame consideration, and fell off the voters’ ballot after just one season. But Girardi believes in his backstop, and told NJ.com this weekend that when he looks at Posada, he sees a Hall of Famer.
“Jorge Posada was one of the greatest catchers I ever saw play. He’d play 140 games a year. He was durable. He was an offensive catcher. He was a defensive catcher. I look at Jorge Posada as a Hall of Fame player,” Girardi extrapolated to NJ.com, while recounting his two decades’ worth of Yankees experience.
As the man himself would say, though, Posada’s low vote totals are “not what you want.”
To the naked eye, and from someone who wasn’t in the locker room with Posada every day for several decades, his peak appears a bit too limited to merit serious consideration to bypass the doors of the Hall of Very Good and transcend to the next level. He was a five-time All-Star from 2000-2007, and rebounded in 2009 to club 22 homers and knock in 81 runs as a 37-year-old.
His career was certainly good enough to be a foundational Yankee (after all, when does this team ever succeed without a rock behind the plate?), but as long as Thurman Munson remains un-enshrined, we’re not sure if Posada’s hopes are anything more than a pipe dream.