No one looked forward to saying goodbye to Buster Posey, especially his teammates.
The longtime Giants catcher announced his retirement at a press conference on November 4 at Oracle Park, ending an award-winning career that included three World Series championships.
He won two of those along with shortstop Brandon Crawford, who paid tribute to his teammate and friend with an emotional Players Tribune article titled “Thank you Buster‘ which was published Tuesday afternoon.
Crawford goes on to discuss the player and person Posey was, and the memories the two shared together from even before their respective Giants careers. The mutual respect goes all the way back to a summer high school tournament in 2004.
“It’s great to know that he and Kristen will experience so many cool family milestones together as the kids get older,” Crawford wrote. “All the memories the hell makes at home while his former teammates order bad takeaway from a hotel across the country, you really can’t put a price tag on that.”
“Busters has been there my entire professional career. We were part of the same Giants class from 2008. And we go back even further than that. We actually played each other in a summer high school tournament, so we go all the way back to 2004. He was on Team Georgia and I was on Team California. This was before one of us got too much hype, and I won’t say who won, but I clearly remember being on the other team because, well.”
Crawford goes on to discuss one of his favorite Buster Posey moments, which happens to be a favorite of many Giants fans.
“2012. NLDS,” says Crawford. “During what ends up being an absolutely magical flight to the World Championship. We lose the first two games to the Reds, but fight back to force a winner-take-all Game 5. And Giants fans, you guys remember this well I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that what Buster did in that game was special.
“What I remember most about it is Buster rounding the bases and going to home plate where the three guys he was riding were waiting for him, and then Buster just knocked the s–t out of their hands. And then he came down in the dugout and did the same to all of us there because he was so excited about giving us a six point lead in such a big game.”
A Giants team without Posey leading the way will be a hard pill to swallow for fans, players, coaches and the entire baseball game.
“But again, for me the hardest part is not seeing my boyfriend for more than 162 days a year,” Crawford adds. “Not having those conversations, those moments when all the good friends share the little jokes, the laughs, the company. We’ve played together for so long, been through so much together. So over the years, all those things have become part of what baseball is to me stands for.”
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There is no substitute for someone like Posey, and the Giants certainly have their work cut out for them if they hope to fill just a fraction of the void left by the seven-time All-Star who might one day be inducted into the Baseball Hall of fame.
“In a few years it will be so cool to see my friend in Cooperstown and then visit the Hall of Fame and see that bronze bust of him with the San Francisco Giants cap,” Crawford writes.
“And lastly, Buster, if you happen to be reading this, I want you to know that I’m so proud of you and that your friendship means the world to me.
“I miss you already.”
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