One of a Kind

I talked to Buster Posey’s college coach, Florida State’s Mike Martin, last week. I wanted to know about Posey’s transition to catcher two years ago when he was a sophomore. He had earned All-American honors as a shortstop his freshman year and also pitched. But Martin needed a catcher – someone who could be the leader on the field.

“I thought when he put the gear on for the first time, he’d walk like a duck,” Martin says. He didn’t.

“After three pitches, I said, ‘You got to be kidding me.’ He looked as if he had been catching all his life – the way he could frame a pitch, the way his mitt looked like a pillow, the fact he didn’t snatch at the ball. He looked very polished.”

Not that Martin was surprised.

Posey is one of those kids who seems to have stepped out of the pages of a Hardy Boys novel. Square-jawed, clean-cut, straight A’s, polite, hard working. A finance major, Posey made the President’s List in spring 2007 for his 4.0 GPA, and the Dean’s List in the fall of 2005 and 2007.

When Posey took over as catcher, everything changed, Martin said.

“Best leader I ever had,” he said. “He treated everyone with respect, but if someone needed to be dealt with, Buster dealt with him. We would have never gone to the World Series without him.”

In the NCAA regionals last year, FSU lost its first game and was facing elimination. Over the next four games, Posey batted .500 (8-for-16) with five home runs and 13 RBIs. FSU outscored Florida, Bucknell and Tulane 74-35 to reach the College World Series.

In his final at-bat as a college player, Posey came to bat in the top of the ninth with bases loaded and two outs and FSU behind by three runs. Martin says that one at-bat encapsulates Posey’s disciplined approach to the game.

“He doesn’t chase a single pitch,” Martin said. “He draws a walk – playing the game exactly how it’s supposed to be played. That (at-bat) shows what he is all about – some guys would want to be the hero, but Buster put together a great at-bat and turned it over to the next guy.”

Unfortunately, the next guy grounded out, eliminating FSU from the series.

Posey was such a force at FSU that fans created a song called “Hail to the Buster” and sang it whenever he came to bat. Martin said in 29 years of coaching, he has never seen a player have the impact Posey had.

“There ain’t nobody like Buster Posey,” Martin said. “One of a kind. I’ll never coach another Buster Posey.”

Posey married his high school sweetheart, Kristin, in their hometown of Leesburg, Georgia, in January.

In case you wondered, Posey’s full name is Gerald Dempsey Posey III. His father, known as Demp, was nicknamed Buster as a kid and passed it on to the oldest of his four children.

Pictures from the wedding courtesy of Buster’s aunt, Missy.

Some of the groomsmen (left to right): Jess Posey (brother of the groom), Demp Posey (father of the groom), Buster Posey (groom) and Jack Posey (brother of the groom).

Buster's_Wedding_1-10-09_.jpg

The bride, Mrs. Kristen Posey:

Buster's_Wedding_1-10-09_2.jpg

11 Comments

I really like Buster. Can’t wait till he makes his way to the SF Giants and stays up there! I’m hoping it’s in Sept.

~ King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

Good luck to Posey! He seems like a really great guy!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Great information, thanks!

I am getting so excited about him as a prospect and future major leaguer! And it’s nice that he’s also a good person to boot, that would make me root for him even more.

Thanks for the story about Buster Posey! I really like him, and I can’t wait til he comes to San Francisco to play! Thanks for the pics from the wedding, too. Kristin looks soo happy! :)

Great story, sounds to me like SF Giants 2010-11 are gonna be a real force, and not just in the NL west. Any chance we can get the lyrics to the ‘hail Buster’ song, we are gonna need them.

great story, any chance we can get the lyrics to that ‘hail buster’ song? come 2010 were are gonna need them.

Great story. I totally didn’t know he was married. Congrats kid!

Can’t say how great of a joy it was to watch Buster play at FSU. He left incredibly big shoes to fill.

Hail to the Buster: What I can remember from memory.

Hail to the Buster, the Buster, the Buster
Hail to the Buster, the Buster Posey
He singles and doubles and triples and home runs
Hail to the Buster the Buster Posey.

We would just sing this repeatedly.

Nice…any pictures from the bachelor party?

He’s a real force alright …. and the SF Giants win the World Series !! What an awesome feeling. “I Bust for Posey !!!”

I know I’m late, but CONGRATS to the bride and groom! (…and of course all of your career success.) KP you make one heck of a beautiful bride. Spoke to Mrs. Deborah about a month ago…Congrats on whats to come!!!! It is quite an experience! We’ll see ya at Turner Field…
ps: could the Giants please pray for the Braves
– Tabatha Hale

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