Buster Posey: You gotta love this kid
Posted on July 30, 2010
Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants chases a foul ball against the Florida Marlins during the game at AT&T Park on July 29, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)
As a lifelong fan of the San Francisco Giants I can count on one hand the impact position players the organization has drafted and developed who have gone on to star with the big club. The first home-grown stud of my childhood was Jack Clark. Damn I loved watching Clark hit during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. It was painful to listen to his post-game interviews on KSFO, but that was the price we paid as Giants fans to watch Clark scald the ball all over Candlestick Park. During my high school years in the early 80’s we were all clamoring for the Giants to bring Charles “Chili” Davis up from Phoenix. He was going to save us. He was pretty good and fun to watch when he would break a bat over his knee after striking out, but he never became the superstar we wanted when he wore the orange and black.
Next we had the Golden Spikes Award winner out of Mississippi Valley State, Will Clark. Clark made his famous Giants debut in 1986 and homered in his first at bat off Nolan Ryan on Opening Day at the Astrodome in Houston. A few days later he homered in the home opener that I attended with my sister Paula off Astros lefty Bob Knepper. Clark, along with teammate Matt Williams, were the last two great Giants position players developed within the organization. Until a young catcher and Golden Spikes Award winner was drafted out of Florida State University in 2008 named Gerald Demp Posey.
Entering the 2010 season the Giants had gone over two decades since they developed their own blue-chip position player. As we enter the August pennant races it appears that the drought is finally over. I wrote back in September of last year that rookie catcher Buster Posey was the new Giants phenom. Looks like I was right! Posey was called up to the big club on May 29, 2010 and he has never looked back. After playing mostly first base for the first month or so he finally became the every day catcher on July 1 and has been on fire since then. He enjoyed a 21 game hitting streak in July and enters tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers hitting .358 with 8 homers and 34 RBI.
The addition of Posey to the Giants lineup has sparked the club, increased their run production and helped the team contend in the National League West. Besides his potent bat the young backstop is terrific behind the plate. He calls a good game and has a cannon for an arm, already developing a reputation around the league as a guy you don’t want to run on.
Having Posey in the Giants lineup every day has also helped me. As a photographer I love having the opportunity to shoot him on a daily basis. He has a beautiful right-handed swing that is a joy to photograph. He looks good from third base when he turns and can also look terrific from first base when he goes the other way and hits the ball to right field. From the beginning with his high leg kick to the finish with his nice follow-through his swing makes Posey one of those guys you need to shoot every time he comes to the plate.
As if Posey’s awesome swing isn’t enough to shoot- he is also a catcher! Have I ever mentioned how much I love photographing catchers? I love the gear, the mask, and all the activity that goes on behind the plate. I have made so many great pictures of catchers before, but they are usually of crappy guys that no one cares about. Now that Posey is the Giants everyday catcher I can spend some days just concentrating on him, waiting for him to rip off his mask and make a play.
I am very spoiled having the chance to shoot baseball for a living in the beautiful Bay Area. Now my job has become even better with the addition of Posey in front of my lens. I could not ask for a better subject. I hope he remains in a Giants uniform for a long time.