How Derek Jeter got over the first impression of Jorge Posada


Jorge Posada was in his first full season as a professional baseball player and switched from infielder to catcher at Single-A Greensboro in 1992.

Of course, he had heard of Derek Jeter, who had just finished sixth overall in this year's draft.

He was curious what the 18-year-old would look like when he was promoted to Greensboro in August after 46 games in the Gulf Coast League.

"He showed up in the last two weeks of 1992 and everyone talked about this first-class classic," said Posada on Monday. "He was very slim and very tall, had high tops and ankle pads and I said to myself:" Man, is this our first class? ""

This first impression changed quickly.

"When he started playing, he played one game in the hole, another in the middle, and hit a home run," said Posada. "After that I fell silent."

Their careers have been similar to that of the Yankees. Jeter took over Posada's squad position at Triple-A Columbus in 1994 when Posada broke his ankle and both were in the Bronx for the first time in 1995.

They won four World Series titles together (Posada was off the off-season list in 1996), and with Jeter on the way to the Hall of Fame, Posada worked for Jeter with the Marlins as a special advisor on baseball operations – expected in Cooperstown in July to be where he was for Mariano Rivera's introduction a year ago.

"I watch on TV [Tuesday]"Posada said about the announcement of the BBWAA vote." I think he will be 100 percent like Mo. [of the vote], "

Posada could give many examples of why Jeter belongs to Cooperstown, but consistency is at the top of the list.

"I remember that he always ran hard in Greensboro, no matter what the situation," said Posada, who is now 48 [in 2014]with the last hit in the infield. ""

It was the last success of Jeter's career when he was 3,465 years old – and on the way to the Hall of Fame.

Jorge Posada (l) and Derek Jeter
Jorge Posada (l) and Derek JeterCharles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Tuesday's announcement will be the next step in a journey Posada predicted at the beginning of Jeter's career.

"I think it was after his fifth season when he got 200 hits a year and I said," This guy will get 3,000 hits if he stays healthy, "said Posada." He came up when he was young and you knew he would go on. "

Posada played his last game in 2011 and watched Jeter play for 20 seasons between the minors and the Yankees shortstop.

"In 1995 we went to the spring training camp and did it," said Posada. "He wanted the same things I wanted. We have done better. We had the same personality. We see things differently than most people. We saw guys celebrate or didn't play the game properly and we didn't want to be there. "

They won the four titles and are now working again with the Marlins, of whom Jeter is the team's CEO, while Posada continues to collect donations for his native Puerto Rico after the recent earthquakes.

"What struck the most was how often he played injured," said Posada. "He would limp out there, whatever it took to win. … He wanted to win more than anyone else."