Jorge Posada has had a big 2015. He just released his new book and will have his number retired in Monument Park this summer. Over the weekend on Mother’s Day, I had a chance to interview Jorge at Yankee Stadium before the Yankees took on the Orioles about some of the highlight moments from his career. Here are a few snippets from it below.
I was with David Wells a few months back and he attributed a lot of the success from his perfect game to you, saying that you "called" the perfect game...not that you just "caught" it. What was it like catching David Wells’ perfect game?
As a catcher you throw own fingers and you hope that the pitcher is going to execute the game plan. David Wells executed with each pitch that day. Everything was working…sinker, four-seam, curveball and change up. Changeup was his worst pitch, but that day I called it the most.
They don’t happen often because it is so hard to do, but that day was super special.
Was there a particular pitcher that you always loved to catch, that you were in automatic harmony with?
There are a lot of guys: Andy Pettitte, El Duque (Orlando Hernandez), Mike Mussina…but the one guy with the way you prepare before the game, the way you plan each hitter, each pitch…Roger Clemens was probably my favorite. His intensity brought out my intensity. When I knew he was pitching the next day I just wanted to be there. I fed off his energy.
Mariano was pretty easy, too…I just had to stick one number down and that was it. Over the course of his career though, he learned two variations of his fastball.
Andy would talk to himself a lot. You get to the mound and he was talking…usually to a little friend on his shoulder. But, he was a very focused guy. That’s why you always see the iconic look: his eyes just peering over the glove. He wanted to focus on the pitch and nothing else.
I got to know Andy in 1991. In the minors he was throwing knuckle balls. I was still playing infield at that time and catching a little bit. When I would catch his bullpen, the first knuckle ball he ever threw at me hit me right in the kneecap. I said, “No more," after that.
BONUS: How important was Joe Torre to you?
He was my father on the field. After what I went through with my son Jorge, I was able to talk to Joe Torre the person, not the manager. That was super important that I had someone that had my back and it wasn’t just about baseball.
BONUS: When you were a kid was there a moment where you figured, wow I think I’ve got something here.
When I was a kid in Puerto Rico I would drive through a certain area when I was prepping for a bike race. There was an incident. I guess I must have gone through the area too many times and the kids there one day were waiting for me. They took my bike, hit me with sticks and threw rocks. There was blood all over. This incident made me concentrate more on baseball