Buster Posey's decision to skip the 2020 Major League Baseball season for the safety of his recently-adopted newborn twins served as a stark reminder of the human toll the coronavirus has taken on athletes.
Though the San Francisco Giants catcher said the choice was "relatively easy" from a family perspective, Posey admitted that it was tough from the standpoint of someone who has spent his whole life playing the game.
“I’m going to miss that the most not having that challenge of overcoming hurdles and obstacles, and being able to celebrate the good times and being able to share some of the down times," Posey said.
At 33 years old, the six-time All-Star may be in the later stage of his career, but is undoubtedly one of the best all-around catchers in the history of the game. Posey helped the Giants win World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and was the NL MVP in 2012.
Posey's contract with the Giants runs through 2021 (with an option or buyout for 2022) — and who knows what will happen beyond that — but his legacy is already secure. The only question is whether or not he will be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame once his playing days are over.
Here's a closer look at his Hall of Fame candidacy:
The case for
Winning three World Series is no small feat, but it's even more impressive for an everyday catcher. Each of those teams was unique and Posey's role in handling the pitching staffs can't be overstated. Considering the storied Giants franchise hadn't won a title since 1954 – when they were still in New York – the dynasty resonated nationwide and had deep meaning for multiple generations of fans.
Posey's current .302 career average is sixth all-time among catchers (minimum 1,000 games with at least 75% of time spent at the position) and his 41.8 WAR ranks 16th.
The case against
Catchers are held to a different standard for longevity due to the physical toll of the position, but Posey's greatness may have been too short-lived for some voters. He certainly has a few more years left, but it will be tough for Posey to offer the kind of production he did earlier in his career.
Sports video of the day
On this day 10 years ago, Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0 after extra time in the 2010 World Cup Final. The match in Johannesburg, South Africa, featured 14 yellow cards – the most ever in a final – and was scoreless until Spain's Andres Iniesta scored in the 116th minute.
What we're reading
- The Pac-12 joined the Big Ten in going conference-only for fall sports, a plan that will have a far-reaching impact.
- QB Caleb Williams, five-star Oklahoma commit, has plans on becoming the No. 1 pick in NFL draft.
- A few U.S. senators have criticized the NBA and WNBA in recent weeks, but USA TODAY Sports' Nancy Armour says they should stick to politics.
- Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery writes open letter to Sen. Kelly Loeffler, telling the team co-owner: "Don’t end up on the wrong side of history."
- The Power Five college sports conferences had more than $2.9 billion in combined revenue for their 2019 fiscal years, the conferences’ new federal tax records show.
- Following his anti-Semitic posts, the Eagles announced they are penalizing DeSean Jackson for "conduct detrimental to the team."
- Travis Hamonic of the Flames is the first player to opt out of the NHL restart, his young daughter's battle last year with a respiratory illness being a key factor.
What we're watching
Soccer: The MLS Is Back Tournament rolls on in Orlando, with matches at 8 p.m. ET (Fox) and 10:30 p.m. ET (FS1). Earlier in the day, you can watch Premier League matches on NBCSN starting at 7:30 a.m. ET. The second match of two straight matches on the network features EPL champ Liverpool, and after IndyCar qualifying, Chelsea plays at 3 p.m. ET.
Racing: IndyCar's REV Group Grand Prix at Road America kicks off at 5 p.m. ET.
UFC: "Fight Island" makes its debut with UFC 251. Prelim matches can be seen on ESPN starting at 6 p.m. ET.
Golf: The Workday Charity Open can be seen on Golf Channel (1-3 p.m. ET) and then on CBS (3 p.m.-6 p.m. ET).
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