In just his fourth year in the majors, Buster Posey's No. 28 San Francisco Giants jersey is ranked as the best-seller in the world.
MLB's Top 20 jersey sellers
- Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
- Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees
- Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
- David Wright, New York Mets
- Matt Harvey, New York Mets
- Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
- Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
- Manny Machado, Baltimore Orioles
- Mike Trout, LA Angels of Anaheim
- Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
- Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox
- Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Sergio Romo, San Francisco Giants
- Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
- Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants
- Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
SAN FRANCISCO — Buster Posey’s never been big on playing up personal accolades in a team sport like baseball.
But during a month when Posey’s reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants have fallen into a serious slump and suddenly find themselves in last place in the NL West, anything positive is welcome.
Following another demoralizing defeat to the lowly New York Mets on Wednesday — the Giants’ eighth in their last 10 games — Posey awoke Thursday morning to the kind of news every baseball player, young or old, dreams of: His No. 28 major-league jersey was the top seller in the world.
Posey, the reigning NL MVP and two-time World Series champ, called his latest honor “humbling.”
“It’s not something you ever think about, so I was definitely surprised when I found out this morning,” the Leesburg told The Herald on Thursday afternoon before Game 1 of the Giants’ crucial four-game series Thursday night against NL West foe San Diego. “Considering all the great players in the game, it’s humbling to think my jersey is currently the top seller.”
A consummate believer of always respecting the game of baseball and playing it the right way, it’s no surprise Posey is a fan favorite — although the list of players he beat out is something to brag about.
All-time saves leader and sure-fire Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees was No. 2, followed by Posey’s counterpart behind the plate, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina at No. 3. Rounding out the Top 6 were a pair of New York Mets: third baseman David Wright and ace Matt Harvey, followed by Washington Nationals phenom outfielder Bryce Harper.
Fourteen of the players in the Top 20 were All-Stars this year, including all of the Top 6. Derek Jeter (SS, Yankees) was No. 7, followed by Manny Machado (3B, Orioles), Mike Trout (OF, Angels) and Yasiel Puig (OF, Dodgers).
Other notables on the list were reigning American League MVP Miguel Cabrera at No. 12, while MLB’s strikeout leader Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers came in at No. 18. Posey’s teammate Pablo Sandoval was No. 19 and former AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander rounded out the list in 20th.
Notably missing from the list was Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, who is the first pitcher in more than two decades to start the season 13-0, and Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who leads all of Major League Baseball with 33 home runs.
There were also no Atlanta Braves players on the list for the first time in years. Despite being retired, Chipper Jones’ jersey was still the eighth-best seller at the end of last season before finally falling out of the Top 20 this year.
Posey reached the top of the jersey list in just his fourth year in the majors out of Florida State, where he won nearly every award under the sun — including the Golden Spikes — his junior season before being drafted No. 5 overall by the Giants in 2008. He won a World Series title and NL Rookie of the Year honors in his first season MLB in 2010, then he saw his sophomore campaign in 2011 get cut short after a devastating home-plate collision, ending his year with a broken leg and torn tendons in his ankle.
But what undoubtedly played a part in making Posey such a fan favorite was the resiliency he showed in coming back from the injury in 2012 — and coming back better than ever.
He led the Giants to their second World Series championship in three years last season, while earning the majors’ Comeback Player of the Year award, NL MVP honors and his first NL batting title after hitting .336 with 24 homers and 103 RBI.
This season, he’s not far off that pace once again, hitting .316 in 86 games to go along with 13 home runs, 50 RBI and an on-base percentage of .391.
And right now, the Giants need every bit of Posey’s help they can get.
After battling for the top spot in the NL West for most of the early part of the season, the Giants (40-50) have slid to 6 1/2 games back of first-place Arizona after going 5-18 in their last 23 games. To make matters worse, ace Matt Cain — who perfect game was caught by Posey last year — is struggling mightily. Cain suffered the most humiliating defeat of his career vs. the Mets on Thursday when he lasted just 2/3 of an inning before being yanked.
And right now, Posey would likely trade just about any individual accolade for a couple of wins for his team.
“I don’t think we’re pressing,” Posey told the San Jose Mercury News after the Giants’ 7-2 loss to Miami on Sunday. “But at this point, it’s time to crank it up a little bit and play with a sense of urgency.
“It’s part of baseball; it’s a long season. We’re going to go through some highs and some lows and just a matter of keep on keeping on.”