However much spirit, passion, fight and commitment a player has, there’s one opponent he can never beat. The impact of the ageing process affects people differently, but the one constant is that it will get the better of you eventually.
One day you just have to accept that the treasured life of earning a living by playing the sport you love has to come to an end.
Calling time on the one thing you’ve always dreamed of doing must be incredibly difficult, particularly for sportsmen who generally face this fate at a relatively early point in their lives. The competitive spirit must always be there, telling you that you might just have one more good season left in you.
Consequently it’s easy for a player to stumble into retirement instead of going out in a manner that fans want to remember them by.
Posada probably could have carried on for another year or so as a bit-part player on a team out of contention; however, that would have been a great shame and his comments at his press conference showed that he appreciated this better than anyone.
He deserved to go out as a life-long Yankee, remembered for his part in helping the team win five World Series.
His retirement – alongside the previous retirement of pitcher Andy Pettitte – reduces the Yankees’ fabled ‘core four’ down to two. Watching Posada’s emotional press conference brought home the fact that there will be a day in the not too distant future when the New York Yankees will no longer have Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera on their roster either.
Those of us whose dreams were shattered by the all-conquering Yankee juggernaut of the late 1990s and early 2000s might not initially be too sad about that. Yet the baseball fan in us – rather than the emotional team fan – can’t help but recognise that they were a tremendous side.
I hated them at times, but that feeling was inspired by them being so devastating good, especially in those moments, that all great teams seem to have, when they somehow won despite it looking for all the world that they were beat.
Jorge Posada personified that never-say-die attitude and he should be mightily proud of the career that he has now brought to an end.