Just as he did when he opted out of the 2020 season to take care of his adopted twin daughters during the COVID-19 pandemic, Buster Posey again chose family over baseball in deciding to retire after 12 MLB seasons with the Giants.
"The reason I'm retiring is I want to be able to do more stuff from February to November with my family," Posey said Thursday to reporters at Oracle Park.
When Posey first took the podium, he thanked the Giants' medical staff during a long and emotional speech crediting a countless amount of people. He joked if it wasn't for them, his career would have ended five years ago.
At 34 years old and with over 1,000 regular-season games in the crouch as the Giants' catcher, Posey was brutally honest about what a toll the game has put on his body.
"Physically, it's much harder now," Posey said. "And to be honest, it's hard to enjoy it as much when there's physical pain that you're dealing with on a daily basis.
"Again, I halfway joke with our training staff about being done five years ago but I don't know how far of a stretch that's really off without the work that they were doing daily. With the history of an ankle injury and then a hip, it was just getting to the point where things that I was enjoying were not as joyful anymore."
Following the Giants' Game 5 loss to the Dodgers in the National League Division Series, Posey told reporters that he would take his time to talk with his wife Kristen and the rest of his family to decide what's next. His contract held a $22 million team option for 2022 that was a no-brainer for the Giants to pickup. Really, it was expected they would try to complete a contract extension, just as they did with Brandon Crawford during the season.
But on Thursday, Posey revealed he had an inkling this season could be his final in a big league uniform.
"I kind of went into this last season feeling like it might be my last," Posey said. "But just gave myself some space in my mind to be OK in deciding otherwise if I wanted to keep playing, and I just really never wavered.
"I think it really allowed me to -- not that you don't give it your all -- but really, really empty the tank this year like I never have before."
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What Posey's tank had left was a historic season where he again looked like a MVP at his peak. In his 12th and final season in San Francisco, he hit .304 with 18 home runs and an .889 OPS while also leading the Giants to a franchise record of 107 wins. He was an All-Star, the NL Comeback Player of the Year for the second time and if it wasn't for that dang column, he would have been the proud owner of a Splash Hit with his final home run, which fittingly came against the Dodgers in the playoffs in front of the home fans.
He gave it his all, and will be remembered by all who ever rooted for the orange and black of the Giants.