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Giants catalyst Buster Posey inducted into Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame

SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey wasn’t just any athlete who came through town, won a few championships, and earned a spot Thursday night in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

Turns out it’s a legacy.

“My mom lived in San Francisco when she was very young,” Posey said. “My grandfather was an orthopedic surgeon in the army and they were stationed here for a few years.”

Colonel Jack Tippens and his wife, Lyn, “talked about really loving living here”. So did their daughter Traci’s son, Gerald “Buster” Posey III, who was drafted by the Giants 15 years ago and served as the franchise’s cornerstone at receiver from 2009-21.

That baseball legacy could one day land Posey in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY — “We’ll see, we’ll see,” he said — but Thursday night he was honored in downtown San Francisco for the Bay Area. Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

Joining him in this year’s class: former 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, Oakland basketball legend Gary Payton, boxing champion Andre Ward and soccer star Julie Foudy, who was particularly proud to be the only woman in this group whose plaques will join those displayed inside San Francisco International Airport.

“It’s bittersweet to be back, because our oldest twins are here with us tonight, and we raised them here, their first 11 years of life,” Posey, 36, said.

After moving last year to his native Georgia — just north of Atlanta, rather than his hometown of Leesburg — Posey returned to town last week with his wife, Kristen, and their two sets of twins, aged 11 and 2 years old.

When they weren’t meeting up with friends near their old digs in Lafayette, Posey played a few rounds of golf at Orinda Country Club and, of course, kept tabs on the Giants, having joined their ownership group last September.

Posey considers himself a fan, however, and someone who is thrilled with the immediate success sparked by rookies Casey Schmitt and Patrick Bailey.

“When you have that youthful injection of energy, it’s palpable. You can feel it through the TV screen,” Posey said. “Hopefully it’s something we can go up and win a lot more games.

“It’s kind of what happened in 2008, ’09, ’10 and after. You need this stuff. Young players, often you hear about how their energy can rub off on a guy who’s been doing it for a while. It’s true. It’s contagious.

It’s certainly once Posey returned to the full-time starting role in 2010, when the Giants won their first of three World Series titles in a five-year span.

“Apart from those three rings, Posey’s accolades are many: seven-time All-Star, 2012 National League MVP, 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, two-time National League Returning Player of the Year ( 2012, 2021), 2012 NL hitter. champion.

Drafted fifth overall on June 5, 2008, the former Florida State shortstop (freshman) retired in November 2021. Six months later, the Giants honored him with ‘Buster Posey Day “. He said he was in excellent health, which is great news considering the ankle and hip issues he overcame with the Giants.

“I’ve had enough time now to reflect on (his career), to be so grateful to really so many people who have helped me along the way – teammates, coaches, wife, children, parents, grandparents , could probably go on and on,” Posey said. “As I’ve had time to think, what does all this really mean?” These are memories with people.

Willis, 38, was thrilled to enter the Hall of Fame alongside Posey and found the timing opportune. Willis was drafted in 2007 by the 49ers, and he was at the top of his seven Pro Bowl powers while Posey won the World Series titles.

“Buster Posey was keeping him at receiver for the Giants, and then Stephen Curry came to the Bay Area (in 2009) and around that time I was starting to feel the rhythm,” Willis recalled. “It was pretty special to be one of those mainstays in the Bay Area, and now to be recognized for that is truly an honor.”

Willis made sure to introduce not only himself — as well as his sister and nieces — to Posey ahead of Thursday’s ceremony, and, in return, Lee Posey shook hands with Willis. Afterwards, the two Bay Area sports titans talked about their southern roots — Willis is from Tennessee — and chatted amicably like old friends for 15 minutes.

What does the next 15 years hold for Posey?

“Oh my God, I have four kids, so I just go day to day. I don’t think about it too much. I really don’t know,” Posey replied. “I would say 15 years ago, I probably could have answered this question more succinctly, with an idea of ​​what I was hoping for.

“Now I just try to be in the moment, enjoy every day with the kids and watch them learn and grow, trying to teach them some lessons I’ve learned along the way.”

Rather than being a coach, however, he became a “tennis dad” by watching his 11-year-old older twins compete in the sport. His son, Lee, modestly said at Thursday’s pre-ceremony reception that he was playing a level against the 14-year-olds. When asked if he wore his father’s World Series rings, he humorously replied that he didn’t go into his father’s vault too often.

About these titles, “I don’t think I would have expected three. I would have hoped to have one and hoped to have established myself as a Major League Baseball player. It’s more than anything I could have dreamed of.

California Daily Newspapers

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