28: A photographic tribute to Buster Posey
One of the most beloved players in Giants history, Buster Posey is celebrated in the upcoming book, 28: A photographic tribute to Buster Posey. It tells the story of Buster’s career from the candid perspective of those who know him best, with essays from Bruce Bochy, Matt Cain, Brandon Crawford, Hunter Pence, Sergio Romo, Barry Zito and others, associated to photographs from his entire career taken by veteran Bay Area photographer and players’ stand contributor Brad Mangin. A portion of the proceeds from the book will benefit BP28, the pediatric cancer foundation run by Buster and his wife, Kristen.
Photographs by Brad Mangin
“Buddhists talk about being present. You know what it’s like when you enter this flow? And time flies? That’s it. Being intentional, getting into the zone, that’s not something I figured out how to do when I played. The zone came or didn’t come to me, and sometimes it didn’t, and it sucked.
But with Buster, I feel like he just knows. Some guys know how to go about it, day in and day out. Years ago an old trainer told me, “Michael Jordan said he could put the zone on like a coat.” I feel like Buster could do that too.
His rookie year was 2010. I was in my own world in 2010. It wasn’t good. But I think what we all knew from the start was Buster’s presence – that distance, in a beautiful way – about the game. I think that’s the first thing I noticed about Buster . Baseball wasn’t what it was. Even though he was only in first year, there was this contemplation in him.
The next thing I knew we had won the World Series. –Barry Zito
The Phillies were in Washington, DC in 2012 when I saw on the ESPN ticker that I had been traded to the Giants. I had thought the Phillies were still trying to win, so I was shocked they traded me. At the same time, I was very excited to come to the Giants, who were in the running.
I learned right away when I got to San Francisco that one of the coolest things about Buster, and the Giants in those days, was how relaxed they played. There was no tension, no tension. It was much more free, and learning that way really helped me in my career.
I don’t remember when I first met Buster, but as we became good friends over the course of the story, I realized he was definitely a very funny guy, probably something that you wouldn’t really realize if you didn’t know him personally. He loves to crack jokes, and he loves to pick on everyone and make fun of a little bit, but for the most part when it comes to baseball, he’s very determined, very focused and has one of the fiercest fires. more competitive than I have ever seen. The first impression is reserved, calm, as one would see in the media. One has the impression that he thinks a lot more than he says.
And, of course, 2012 was the year he won NL MVP. (And when he won the batting title, we gave him a kegerator, because he likes beer.) I’m glad he won the MVP title, because I was hitting behind him, and they didn’t kept walking him. I think the only time I got 100 RBI was the year they walked Buster whenever there was an RBI situation.
He was on everything. And he had the kick in the leg, and it was his timing, and he was young and so healthy. Often, though, I think he faced a lot more injuries than people realized. He’s one of the toughest guys I’ve ever played with. –money hunter
“Buster’s work ethic reminded me of another player I managed: Tony Gwynn. Tony never felt he had arrived as a player, and I don’t think Buster ever did. But players like Buster and Tony, their actions are so consistent – how they come to the stadium every day, ready to play, to be the best player they can be, every day.
Another comparison I’ve heard for Buster is Derek Jeter. Jeter wasn’t known for his defense, but he was known for his professionalism – how he presented himself every day. Guys like that are so consistent with who they are and how they play the game. They’re not mercurial, not top-down. They are just amazing. Buster brought this every day.
It all came to a head in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series in Kansas City. I always joke with Bumgarner about all those high fastballs he threw at Salvy Pérez. I said, “All you had to do was bounce a breaking ball, and he would have swung!”
I was maybe hoping he’d break one, but Bum said, “Well, I didn’t mean to bounce one, and he scores on a wild pitch.” It was his thought. He had so much faith in that rising fastball.
Once again, it’s Buster who feels good there. Good receivers are like good pitchers: they know what they want. Bumgarner knows what he wants to pitch and Buster knows what pitch he wants to call. There is no hesitation. –Bruce Bochy
To purchase a copy of 28: A photographic tribute to Buster Posey Click on here. To learn more about the BP28 Foundation, click here.