By Jorge Posada
Jorge Rafael De Posada was born on August 17,1971 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. From a very young age, Jorge Posada showed a tremendous aptitude for sports and particularly for baseball. He attended the Alejandrino High School in San Juan, where he participated in basketball, volleyball, track, and baseball. As a baseball player in high school, he was named an All-Star player in the 1988-1989 season.
He went on to attend Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama, where he received an Associate Degree. At Calhoun College, Jorge continued to develop his skills and was voted best hitter in 1990. A year later, he was named co-captain of the team, in addition to being selected to the All-Conference team. Jorge was drafted by the New York Yankees in 1991, where he began his professional career with the Oneonta Yankees, making his major league debut on September 4, 1995. In the year 2000, he became the starting catcher for the Yankees, a position that he has held ever since.
In 1999, Jorge married Laura Posada, an attorney from Puerto Rico. The couple has two children, Jorge Luis (age 8) and Paulina (age 5). Just ten days after birth, Jorge Luis was diagnosed with Craniosynostosis, a congenital birth defect characterized by the premature closure of the bones in the skull, and has endured numerous surgeries to correct the condition. As a result, in the fall of 2000, the Posada family created The Jorge Posada Foundation to promote awareness about Craniosynostosis and provide emotional assistance to families with children affected by this condition through its Mentors Program. The organization provides grants to a number of partner medical centers to help underwrite a portion of the costs of initial surgeries and encourages further research of this medical condition. The Foundation also strives to create awareness through events and through funding other educational outreach efforts.
Jorge has received a number of awards on and off the field. In 2000, he received the Thurman Munson Award for his baseball accomplishments and philanthropic work in New York. From 2000 to 2003 he was awarded the Silver Slugger Award. He received the 2001 Milton Richman "You Gotta' Have Heart" Award by the New York Chapter of the BBWAA. He was also named one of the Diamond Dad’s Founding Fathers in 2003 and was nominated for a Roberto Clemente Award in 2005 and in 2007 was named one of the finalists. More recently, Jorge received the 2007 Bart Giamatti “Caring” Award from MLB’s Baseball Assistance Team. Jorge was also honored with the 2006 Mentor of the Year Award from Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. and Fashion Delivers, and both Jorge and Laura further received the 2006 Puerto Rican Family Foundation Excellence Award for their commitment to children, especially those affected by Craniosynostosis.
Professionally, Jorge is currently enjoying the best years of his career. He is a five time World Champion – 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009. In 2003 he tied Yogi Berra’s record for most home runs by a Yankee catcher (30), and ranked third in the American League Most Valuable Player selection. In 2004, Jorge was one of the team's leaders in home runs and RBIs, as well as being among the top of the list of the best American League baseball players. He is the first Yankee to make six straight Opening-Day starts at catcher since Thurman Munson made 10 straight from 1970-79. In 2005, he recorded his 1,000th career hit with a seventh-inning double in 8/20 win at Chicago.