Buster Posey has been the face of the Giants just about since the day he first took the field in an Orange and Black uniform.
Holding down one of baseball's most important positions for over a decade is an accomplishment in and of itself, but Posey's impact on the organization goes far beyond just being a consistent leader for the clubhouse.
The 33-year-old won the NL MVP in 2012 and was an invaluable member of all three World Series-winning teams for the Giants. But has he done enough in his career to this point to warrant consideration for a spot in the baseball Hall of Fame? MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman shared a list of six players he believes are "locks" to be enshrined in Cooperstown, but Posey wasn't among them, although he was close.
On what would have been Induction Day, how many Hall locks are currently active? I’d say 6: Pujols, Miggy, Verlander, Scherzer, Kershaw and Trout (who just qualified by playing in 10th season, via @JeffFletcherOCR). Close/Very close: Yadi, Posey, Votto, Lester, Greinke.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 26, 2020
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One of Posey's former batterymates, ex-Giants pitcher and NBC Sports Bay Area analyst George Kontos quickly responded to Heyman, arguing on behalf of two of MLB's best active catchers.
Agree with those, and think Yadi and Buster belong in the lock group.— George Kontos (@G_Kontos) July 26, 2020
Is Posey already a Hall of Fame "lock?"
Looking purely at his numbers, the argument can be made both for against being inducted. Posey has an MVP award under his belt, something only one other catcher has done in the 21st century (Joe Mauer, 2003). Posey also won the batting title with that remarkable 2012 campaign, as he finished with a .336 batting average. He's top-20 among active MLB players both in offensive and defensive career Wins Above Replacement.
But Posey's relatively short-lived peak might keep some from viewing him as a Hall of Fame candidate. He posted four great seasons following his MVP honors in 2012, but his numbers have tailed off starkly over the past few years as the Giants have begun a major rebuild of the roster under president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi.
However, as with every sport's Hall of Fame, popularity and character off-the-field can go a long way in making or breaking your candidacy. Posey has been about as professional as they come in his MLB career, with about as little controversy as you'll find in a player of his caliber. He's beloved by the Giants fan base in a way few players ever have been.
He also has steered clear of any performance-enhancing drug allegations, something many of his contemporaries and other deserving Giants (ever heard of a guy named Barry Bonds?) haven't been able to do.
To be fair, this likely is a silly discussion to have in the first place. Although Posey's case might not be 100 percent fool-proof, the catcher has done nothing in the way of indicating he's interested in retirement anytime soon. Posey did opt out of the 2020 season to keep his two newborn children safe as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, but he's signed through 2021, with a club option available to the Giants for the 2022 season.
Whether he's already a Hall of Famer or not, Bay Area fans all can appreciate his dedication and loyalty to the organization, not to mention all of the World Series titles he stood behind the plate for.