Meet Buster Posey
Your friendly neighborhood baseball superstar.
If you see Buster Posey at your local hardware store or supermarket, don’t be surprised if he seems a bit shy. The San Francisco Giants’ superstar is very private about his life away from the ballpark. Which is one reason Posey and his wife, Kristen, live with their young twin son and daughter in the quiet hills of Lamorinda.
Despite his laid-back demeanor, Posey’s career is anything but quiet. Posey is off to possibly the greatest career start in baseball history, outside of Joe DiMaggio (another East Bay legend).
Posey has already been named National League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, and earned two World Series rings. He has eight years left on a $167 million contract, so Giants fans have a lot more to look forward to from their soft-spoken slugger.
I caught up with him at AT&T Park to talk about the bridge-and-tunnel lifestyle of a Major League superstar.
Q: You played a key role in helping the Giants win two World Series titles during your first three seasons in the big leagues. Giants fans waited more than 50 years for those titles. What was it like to be a part of those championship teams?
A: It’s neat because you have seen that for people like yourself, since the day they were born, they have not seen the Giants win a World Series.
For us, 2010 was obviously really, really special, but I don’t think 2012 was any less special. They both have their rightful spot in the Giants’ history.
Q: I was just talking to someone who named their puppy “Buster Posey.” What are the strangest things about being such an iconic figure here in the Bay Area?
A: I get that one quite a bit: A lot of people have told me that they have named their dog or their cat after me. And … I’m not sure how to respond. Should I say thanks? [Laughs]
Q: Do you have pets?
A: I have a dog named Chapin.
Q: San Francisco is one of the world’s most expensive cities to live in. It’s getting to the point where it seems the only people who can afford to live there are high-tech CEOs and baseball players with million-dollar contracts. Why have you and Kristen always lived in the East Bay suburbs during your time with the Giants?
A: It probably has to do with where we grew up. My wife and I came from the same small town. It kind of fits our personality a little bit more. We both love coming into the city, but for our home base, we like to be a little more slow paced.
Q: What do you like to do in the East Bay?
A: I don’t have a lot of time to do much of anything. But my wife has her routine. We have our little two and a half year old twins, so she has preschool to take them to, and then the gym. She’s also made some friends outside of baseball, which is a real accomplishment. As a baseball player, you get really involved with people on the team, but it is nice for her to meet some other people to hang out with, especially when we are on
Q: Tim and Kim Hudson were great East Bay community members when Tim broke into the big leagues with the A’s. We were sad to see them leave when he was traded to Atlanta, after the 2004 season. Now that Tim is with the Giants, we’re excited to see them return. Were you a fan of Tim when you were in high school? And are you looking forward to catching him this season?
A: I was a big fan of Tim Hudson when I was in high school. We grew up about an hour and a half apart. He went to Auburn, so I remember him as a college player. It’s definitely exciting to be teammates with him. I’m looking forward to getting to know him. The thing that is so exciting about Hudson is that he has been playing the game so long, but he still has this fire. He goes out and competes, every time. Those are the guys that you like to hang around.
Q: I saw an interesting thing you said after your second season, which was cut short by a broken leg. You talked about appreciating every day because you never know how long a career will last. Do you feel that way about parenting, with the precious moments that fly by remarkably fast?
A: Parenting and baseball are two totally different dynamics. It’s funny because we go eight or nine months where I’m at the ballpark every day or on the road. And then, all of a sudden, I’m a stay-at-home dad. My wife has to feel like she is doing it all by herself during the season. [When it’s over], I have to find my role again. Which so far seems to be the disciplinarian.
Q: What are the disciplinary issues that require your enforcement?
A: [Laughs] You know, typical stuff.
Q: When you were a Little Leaguer, who were the players that would have made your jaw just drop if you ran into them at a restaurant?
A: Probably a Maddux or a Glavine or a Smoltz [Atlanta’s three starting pitchers, the first two of which will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame this season].
Q: Realizing that you are the guy that today’s kids see in that light, how do you deal with those situations when a young fan sees you at a supermarket?
A: I just try to be myself. Try to be gracious and take some time for them. And just be appreciative that I’m the focus of his or her excitement.
[At this point, a Giants media representative comes into the suite to warn us of the gathering gaggle of restless reporters outside the door.]
Q: OK, one more: What are you most looking forward to this season?
A: There are a lot of us, not just myself, who have a bad taste from last year [when the Giants finished 10 games under .505]. So I’m excited just to get back out there to compete and try to win ball games. That will never get old—each and every day, trying to find a way to win.
The San Francisco Giants host their home opener against Arizona on April 8. For information and tickets, visit sfgiants.com.