Catching Up with Jorge Posada – for Yankees Magazine Feature
February 19, 2013 – On a recent trip to South Florida, I conducted a lengthy interview with Jorge Posada for a feature that will appear in the April Issue of Yankees Magazine.
The story will detail Posada’s first year of retirement, which, of course, came after the former catcher’s 17-year career with the Yankees.
The interview took place on the 16th hole of the Falls Golf & Country Club in Lake Worth, Florida, where Posada was greeting participants of Bucky Dent’s annual charity golf outing.
As I began talking with Posada, I quickly realized that he was more relaxed than I had ever seen him – and I interviewed him on countless occasions during my first nine seasons with the Yankees.
These days, Posada is enjoying the time with his wife Laura and their two young children, and he is also taking part in what he calls relaxing activities.
“During the week, I take our kids to school, and then I go to the gym to work out,” said Posada, who lives in Miami. “On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I ride my bike about 40 miles. On the weekends, I hang out with my family on our boat.
“Getting to spend so much time with kids has been wonderful,” Posada continued. “Just waking up in the same house as them every day and going through the ups and downs of their lives has been great because I missed a lot of that when I was playing.”
Posada confessed that it took some time to adjust to life at home.
“At the beginning, it was tough to find out what I wanted to do, but once I got the hang of it, and my wife wasn’t kicking me out of the house every day, it was fun,” Posada said.
Posada also said that coming to terms with the fact that his career was over contributed to the difficulties he had in adjusting to retirement.
“The first few months were tough, because I had to come to terms with being done,” Posada said. “But once that happened, it was a lot easier.
Today, Posada is indeed relaxed – and he’s at peace with his career and his life.
“I’m happy now, because I know that I can’t play the game anymore,” Posada said. “I don’t have to wonder if I made the right decision. My mind is clear, and I’m at peace with the decision I made.”
Finally, I asked Posada which games he has the fondest memories from. In addition to David Wells’ 1998 Perfect Game, which Posada caught, and the five World Series clinchers he was part of, the former catcher shared his thoughts about Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series. In that game, which the Yankees won in 11 innings, Posada collected a two-run double with one out in the eighth inning. The clutch hit tied the game, and it came off of Pedro Martinez, who Posada had been jawing with the entire series and on several other occasions.
“When I was standing at second base, I had a revenge-type of feeling,” Posada said. “I felt like I had beaten my biggest enemy. I felt like a boxer that had just knocked out my arch-rival. He was really tough to hit off, and I had tied the game. I felt like I had accomplished everything in that moment.”
There’s a lot more to this exclusive story, and if you have followed the Yankees over the last few decades, you won’t want to miss it. Again, it will appear in the April Issue of Yankees Magazine.
–Alfred Santasiere III