Buster Posey Featured on Regional Cover of This Week’s Sports IllustratedPosted: July 17, 2013
In this week’s SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, senior writer Tom Verducci profiles the game’s most indispensable player—Giants All-Star catcher Buster Posey. Featured on a regional cover of this week’s SI, Posey is the only player in MLB history to win the Rookie of the Year Award, the MVP and two World Series titles by age 25. This is Posey’s third SI cover appearance.
Posey is off to another great start for a Giants team that enters the second half 6-½ games back in the NL West. It’s no surprise that the Giants, World Series winners in two of the last three years (2010 and 2012), are a significantly worse team when Posey is out of the lineup. When his 2011 season was cut short in late May after he broke his leg and tore ankle ligaments, the Giants failed to make the playoffs. Verducci says, “Over the past four seasons, the Giants are a .561 team when Posey is in the starting lineup and a .510 team when he’s not—the difference between 91 and 83 wins over 162 games.” (PAGE 50)
On a team full of characters such as Pablo Sandoval, Sergio Romo, and Hunter Pence, Posey stands out with his stellar play and humble nature. “The juxtaposition of Buster with those guys enhances him,” Giants CEO Larry Baer says. “Buster is cut out of all-America land. What we find is the fans like all of them, but Buster is the glue.” (PAGE 50)
Verducci adds that it’s Posey—a fame-phobic country boy—who has become the face of the team in the nation’s most progressive city. Verducci says, “For all the costumes, the hats, the watercraft and the characters, however, it is a humble, self-confessed homebody from Turkey Farm Road in Leesburg, Ga.—an idyll even further removed from the maddening San Francisco crowd than its Carson McCullers–like name implies—who is the Giants’ best and most popular player.” (PAGE 50)
With his wife Kristen (whom he met in high school), and daughter, Addison, Posey enjoys the same quiet, family-centric life he enjoyed growing up on a farm in Georgia. “I don’t really get into the city much—just for the games,” says Posey, who lives in the East Bay area during the season. For the off-season, he has a home 20 minutes from Turkey Farm Road. “I think that’s the way I like it, the way my wife likes it and hopefully my kids grow up liking it,” he says. (PAGE 50)
Despite signing a groundbreaking nine-year contract extension worth $167 million in March, Posey remains a humble country boy on and off the field. When asked what about baseball brings him joy, Posey said, “I was just thinking today as I was driving here how fortunate I am that this is my job. . . . I enjoy being in the clubhouse with the guys. I enjoy batting practice before the games. I enjoy the atmosphere. I like all of it.” (PAGE 53)