Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jorge Posada: Hall of Famer?

(Photo courtesy of

With the official retirement of great Yankee catcher Jorge Posada, questions have been swirling about whether he's a legitimate candidate for the Hall of Fame. While Posada's credentials are far from first-ballot worthy, there really is no reason he shouldn't be a Hall of Famer.

Baseball is a game of statistics. Always has been, always will be. There are 13 catchers currently in the Hall of Fame and if Posada was to be enshrined, here's how his career stats would stack up against the others.

.273 batting average (10th out of 14)
.374 on-base percentage (5th)
.474 slugging percentage (7th)
1,664 hits (8th)
275 home runs (5th)
1,065 runs batted in (7th)
900 runs (8th)

Those numbers don't even count the most important one: World Series rings. Posada has five, regardless of how little a part he played in the 1996 championship team. Only Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey, fellow great Yankee catchers, have more.

Posada's numbers compare very favorably with the rest of the Hall of Fame catching crowd, but some may say that those numbers are skewed because he played in the "Steroid Era." Meanwhile, Posada has never been linked to any performance-enhancing drugs. Not once. Even with a .338 average, 20 home runs and 90 RBI in his age-36 season.

Since Posada played on loaded teams as a Yankee and in a time marred by performing-enhancing drugs, many will look to those facts as reason to exclude Posada from the Hall of Fame. But when you look at all of the reasons to induct him, you see a much more convincing argument than any against his legacy.

Posada deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. I just wonder if he'll ever actually make it.

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