NEW YORK -- In the two decades since Yankees designated hitter Jorge Posada was a second baseman for Class A Oneonta, he has had two children, won five World Series titles and collected 1,657 Major League hits. But in 1,812 big league games -- 1,573 of them at catcher -- over 17 seasons, Posada had yet to take the field at the keystone. That is, until Thursday, when the Yankees overwhelmed the A's, 22-9.
With the Yankees leading, 17-8, in the eighth inning, Posada had an urge to return to the position he played at the very beginning of his professional career. After some persuasion by Posada and his teammates, manager Joe Girardi agreed to put Posada in the field if the Yankees scored another run. When Curtis Granderson hit New York's third grand slam of the game -- a first in Major League history -- to give the Yankees a 21-8 lead, Girardi had no choice but to send Posada out for the ninth.
"I said, 'Let me get in there; I can go in there. If we get one run, you have to put me in,'" said Posada, who had played just 11 games in the field all season, all at first base.
"Everything that Jorge has done for this organization -- the numbers that he's put up, the year that he's been through this year -- it was just hard to say no," Girardi said."
Posada's only chance came with two outs in the inning, when Anthony Recker hit a routine grounder to second base. Posada fielded the ball cleanly, took a crow hop, wound up and unleashed a throw that reminded all in attendance why he was moved to catcher to begin with. First baseman Nick Swisher went to his knees but was able to pick the ball out of the dirt to retire Recker and end the game.
"I knew it was coming," Posada said. "The second out, I said, 'Here it comes.' I moved, and I knew exactly where it was going to be. That tells you right there why they moved me behind the plate."
"I'm thinking to myself, 'Man, you're, like, 15 feet from me -- what are you double-crow-hopping for?'" Swisher said. "Either way, that was fun. That was definitely fun."
Aaron Taube is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.