San Francisco Giants catcher and Leesburg native Buster Posey celebrates as he scores the game-winning run scored on a hit by Angel Pagan against the Cincinnati Reds in the ninth inning Sunday in San Francisco. The Giants won, 4-3, just hours after Posey learned he was the NL All-Star's top vote-getter with 7.6 millon, a new MLB record.
SAN FRANCISCO — Sunday was just Buster Posey’s day.
Hours before he got to the ballpark for the San Francisco Giants’ afternoon game with the Cincinnati Reds, the Leesburg native got the news that he had not only been named the starting catcher for the 2012 All-Star Game on July 10 in Kansas City — Posey’s first starting nod of his three-year pro career — but that he set the National League record with 7.6 million total votes.
But wait ... it kind of gets better.
Posey then went out and played like the All-Star he is by lifting the Giants past the Reds after leading off with a ground-rule double, then scoring the game-winning run on a walkoff single by Angel Pagan in the bottom of the ninth inning.
In addition to his ninth-inning double, he also had two RBI singles to give him a team-best 42 RBI for the season. He hit a go-ahead single to break a 2-2 tie in the seventh to plate Ryan Theriot, who matched a career high with three runs scored.
“He’s a great player,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Posey. “We needed some timely hits, and he got them for us (Sunday).”
Posey was beyond floored when he heard he earned the starting bid, and equally as taken aback when he learned how he did it.
“Yeah, it’s kind of hard to wrap my head around it right now,” Posey told CBSsports.com. “At this point last year I was concerned with getting healthy and getting back on the field. That’s why I’m enjoying every bit of this season.
As position players, Posey joined teammates Melky Cabrera (OF) and Pablo Sandoval (3B) on the All-Star roster, and right-hander Matt Cain was picked to join the pitching staff.
Posey is just the seventh All-Star catcher the Giants have had since the franchise moved to San Francisco in 1958, joining Bob Schmidt (1958), Ed Bailey (1961, ’63), Tom Haller (1966-67), Dick Dietz (1970), Bob Brenly (1984) and Benito Santiago (2002).
Posey, who is batting .303 and also leads the team with 10 home, has recovered nicely after missing most of last season with multiple left leg and ankle injuries sustained in a May 25 home-plate collision.
“Physically, I feel great,” Posey told the web site. “It’s kind of hard to believe we’re almost at the halfway point. I’m excited for the second half. In six or eight weeks, it’s going to get really fun coming down the wire and I’m looking forward to it.”
He should be. The Giants are in first place in the NL West, and winning games in a gritty, hard-nosed fashion — just like they did when they improbably ran away with the World Series title in 2010 as Posey, still a rookie, leading the way.
“He’s a great player who’s beloved in this city,” Bochy told CBS.
Posey, forever humble any time he’s asked about to talk about an honor or an accolade, said the entire season — comeback and all — just seemed surreal.
“I’m obviously really excited. It’s little overwhelming. I just thank all the fans that voted. They’re the ones who make this special for us. … It’s gonna be a blast,” he told the web site. “You don’t think about it that much, but when it happens, it’s humbling. As long as I can remember, I watched the All-Star Game and the home run derby. It’s a bit surreal to think I’ll be in one.”