As a lifelong Yankees fan, Derek Jeter’s announcement on Wednesday morning stating that he plans on retiring following the 2014 season deeply saddened me.  I have literally never lived a day in my life when Jeter was not manning shortstop for the New York Yankees.  Like many others baseball fans, young and old, The Captain has been my role model for nearly two decades, leading his team with unparalleled humility and grace under the bright lights and harsh scrutiny of New York City.

He has made 13 All-Star teams, won 5 Gold Gloves, 5 Silver Sluggers, and, most importantly, 5 World Series Championships.  I have lived through his home run on opening day of his rookie season, his famed Jeffrey Maier home run in the ’96 ALCS, his lead-off home run in Game 4 of the 2000 Subway Series, his unbelievable flip play, his ’04 dive into the stands against the Red Sox, his ’08 farewell speech to the old Yankee Stadium, his 5-for-5 day culminated with a home run for his 3,000th hit … the list goes on.

Jeter will go down as one of the greatest Yankees and greatest major league shortstops ever.  He has been the face of baseball for almost twenty years, will undoubtedly be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and will be forever remembered as a great teammate and an even better person.

The face of baseball. (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)

The stoic face of baseball. (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)

As the baseball world prepares to embark on the roller coaster ride that is sure to be his final season, we are all left to wonder: what will life be like without Derek Jeter playing Major League Baseball?

While it will be quite an adjustment going into the 2015 season without Mr. November, someone will eventually step up and become the next worldwide baseball icon — probably sooner rather than later.  As a fan, Jeter’s retirement is bittersweet because I will be sad to see him go, but at the same time I have deep respect for his decision to go when the time was right.  However, as a journalist, Jeter’s retirement intrigues me.  Who will fill Jeter’s shoes as the face of baseball?  Will it be Mike TroutBryce Harper?  Hell, maybe even Yasiel Puig will take the reigns.

However, with as much uncertainty as baseball will face without Jeter, one man has already been quietly providing his team with the same type of consistent success and humble leadership since 2010 as Jeter did for the Yankees in his younger days.  That man is San Francisco’s beloved Buster Posey.

I have been telling my fellow WCB writer, Connor, for quite a while now that I see the similarities between the two stars, but I am not the only one.

I am Buster. (mvmarconi/Creative Commons)

I am Buster. (mvmarconi/Creative Commons)

Let’s take a very simple look at each man’s accomplishments through their first four seasons in the big leagues:

Derek Jeter (1996-99): .319 BA, 795 hits, 63 HR, 334 RBI, Rookie of the Year, 2 All-Star Games, 3 championships

Buster Posey (2010-13): .310 BA, 501 hits, 61 HR, 263 RBI, Rookie of the Year, 2 All-Star Games, 1 Silver Slugger, 1 MVP, 2 championships

It would take a much longer article to actually delve deeply into the statistical comparisons of the two stars, but the stats above look pretty darn comparable.  Keep in mind that Posey’s stats are a little diminished due to his injury-plagued 2011 campaign, but his advantage in power is demonstrated by his OPS+ of 145 compared to Jeter’s lesser OPS+ of 121.  But any way you look at it, Posey has had an incredibly successful first four years in the big leagues, much like Jeter did, each winning Rookie of the Year and participating in two All-Star games.  The extra championship Jeter had through four years, Posey makes up for with his MVP performance and Silver Slugger in 2012.

Posey has shown the ability to lead his team with the same kind of quiet leadership that gained Jeter so much respect among his Yankees teammates as a youngster during the late 90s Yankees Dynasty.  Personally, I am a huge fan of both players and I would love to see Posey experience the same amount of success as Jeter throughout his career while still maintaining his strong character and ability to avoid trouble with the fans and media.

While Derek Jeter’s career is winding down, the future is wide open for Buster Posey and the San Francisco Giants.  Who knows, maybe one day I will be writing about what in the world baseball is going to do without Posey, a lifelong Giant and one of the greatest catchers of all time, once he announces his retirement.  But do not get too excited Giants fans, your team still has to face Puig 18 times a season for the next six years, so it won’t be an easy road to greatness for your beloved Buster.  For now, we can all rest assured that at least A-Rod will not be the next face of baseball.  Phew.

About The Author

Andrew Tweedy
Chief Bossman

I'm a Yankees fan writing about the Giants. Go team.

  • Jesse Bernal

    AT&T Park is factor too. Jeter wouldn’t have hit for as many HR’s out here, I can tell you that much.