Less than three weeks after he announced his retirement from baseball, Giants catcher Buster Posey added another award for his mantel: He was named National League Comeback Player of the Year on Monday for the second time in his illustrious career.
The award is sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has been presented annually since 2005 to one player in each league who has re-emerged on the field during the season. The 30 club beat reporters for MLB.com vote for the award.
Posey joined pitcher Francisco Liriano as the only players to twice win the honor in either league. Posey also the won in 2012 while capturing the NL MVP and batting title after being limited to 45 games in 2011 because of injury.
Posey elected not to play in the pandemic-shortened '20 campaign after he and his wife, Kristen, adopted twin baby girls, Ada and Livvi, who were born prematurely in July 2020. The couple also has a second set of twins, Lee and Addison, who recently turned 10.
The 34-year-old Posey returned in 2021 to show that he could rediscover his prime. He did just that by registering one of his best offensive seasons since 2015 while helping the Giants to a franchise-best and Major League-leading 107 wins.
Posey hit .304 with 18 homers, 56 RBIs and a .499 slugging percentage. His .889 OPS was his highest since 2012, when it was .957.
But the season took a toll physically on Posey. While he clearly had a lot left in the tank, he decided to retire in order to spend more time with his family.
“I can honestly say, no, playing the way I did didn’t sway me,” Posey said at his retirement announcement. “I think that’s part of the reason that I do feel at peace with my decision, because obviously it would be much harder if I felt otherwise.
“The reason I’m retiring is I want to be able to do more stuff from February to November with my family. Physically, it’s much harder now, and, to be honest, it’s hard to enjoy it as much when there’s physical pain that you’re dealing with on a daily basis.”
Orioles first baseman/designated hitter Trey Mancini won the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.