04/06/2013 5:10 PM ET
MVPs Kent, Mitchell express admiration for Posey
By Willie Bans / Special to MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Kevin Mitchell looked at Buster Posey's mugshot shown on the video board at AT&T Park and shook his head, confirming the opinion he's had since watching Posey play at Class A San Jose.
"He's like the All-American Boy, like Captain America," Mitchell said.
On Saturday, Posey received the hardware to show he's also an MVP -- just like four other former Giants stars in attendance, Willie Mays (1954, 1965), Willie McCovey (1969), Mitchell (1989) and Jeff Kent (2000).
"I knew this day was coming for a while for him," Kent said. "I just didn't know when."
Mitchell and Kent were here to welcome Posey to a special Giants fraternity. Posey is the seventh Giants player to win an NL MVP, joining Carl Hubbell (1933, 1936), Mays, McCovey, Mitchell, Barry Bonds (1993, 2001 to 2004) and Kent.
Both Kent and Mitchell commended Posey for doing it the difficult way: playing catcher, an important, demanding position.
"I can't do it," Mitchell said of playing catcher. "No way."
Mitchell and Kent did it similar to Posey's way, posting the MVP-caliber numbers. In 1989, Mitchell had 47 home runs, 125 RBIs and a big part in securing the team's World Series appearance against the Oakland A's. Kent had 33 home runs and 125 RBIs for the 2000 Giants, who won the NL West before losing in the Division Series to the Mets.
Kent highlighted what he saw as a mental strength Posey has, both to overcome his broken leg in 2011 and manage a pitching staff.
"He's a smooth, reserved, intelligent ballplayer," Kent said. "The best ballplayers are smart. People want to recognize the physical talent he is, but it's the intelligence of his that really stands out."
Family, stars help honor Posey for NL MVP Award
SAN FRANCISCO -- For having a reputation as being the kind of guy who wouldn't even want a cake on his birthday, Buster Posey is going to have to get used to this.
Alongside his parents, grandparents, wife, two children, four former Giants National League MVPs and in front of a warm AT&T Park crowd, Posey got his NL MVP and Silver Slugger Awards during a pregame ceremony Saturday near the pitcher's mound.
"I am extremely honored to have my name etched alongside these winners," Posey said.
There were also video highlights and a speech by Jeff Kent, the 2000 NL MVP for the Giants. During Posey's speech, he thanked his wife, his parents, his family, his coaches and his current teammates, who watched the ceremony from the dugout. Lastly, he thanked the fans, most of whom had Posey bobbleheads from the game's giveaway.
He earned the MVP award for his remarkable comeback 2012 season in which he returned from a devastating leg injury to win the NL batting title (.336 average), hit 24 home runs and 103 RBIs, and record a .408 on-base percentage and .549 slugging percentage.
In manager Bruce Bochy's view, there will be a career full of Buster's special days. After all, Posey is only 26.
"This guy is going to be talked about for a long time," Bochy said. "At his age to accomplish what he has already is truly amazing."
In 2012, not only did Posey help lead the Giants to their second World Series in three years, he also took home the Silver Slugger and the Hank Aaron Award as the league's best offensive player.
"I've been fortunate to be doing this for a while, managed some great players," Bochy said before the second game of the three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. "But he's as good as I've had and I just think we're all going to enjoy watching this ceremony."
On May 25, 2011, against the Marlins, Posey suffered a broken left fibula and three torn ankle ligaments during a home-plate collision with Scott Cousins. What Posey did on the field --- the statistics, mainly --- is just as valuable as what he did off the field, according to pitcher Matt Cain.
"I think it's more of what he does off the field, more as a teammate," Cain said. "He's a guy you can talk to any time -- I think anybody can. He'll be straightforward usually. He's just a good teammate, and he finds ways to win and finds ways to help guys get better."
Giants in no hurry to play Posey more at first
SAN FRANCISCO -- With a new nine-year contract, Buster Posey is with the Giants to stay. And with MVP credentials and a demanding position at the backstop, one wonders how the team will try to keep him fresh. He is a catcher, strongly prefers it, but also plays first base.
In 2012, Posey started 111 games behind the plate and 29 at first base. Manager Bruce Bochy was asked Saturday what the approach is in 2013, seeing as Posey's contract goes until 2021 and it would be nice to keep Posey as healthy as could be.
Bochy only went as far as saying "maybe" Posey would appear at first base a few more games this year. Five games into this season, Posey has started one at first, necessitated when regular first baseman Brandon Belt was ill.
"But if it's not broken," Bochy said, "don't fix it."
Willie Bans is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.