Buster Posey's off days are rarely days off. Posey and his wife, Kristen, spend much of their time raising funds for and visiting with infants and children who have cancer. They go to hospitals, host a gala and generally give as much time and energy as possible to a cause that will be Posey's legacy long after he hangs up his catcher's mask for the final time.
The Giants catcher is a three-time World Champion, an MVP and possibly a Hall of Famer. But the biggest impact he is making on society comes in those hospital rooms, and it is a passion that will guide the rest of his life.
Posey revealed that there is another cause near and dear to his heart Friday morning. Buster and Kristen have spent years trying to adopt, hopeful that they could add to a family that already included two vibrant 8-year-old twins. They have had a couple of adoptions fall through, including one in which they had a baby for a few days before the birth family changed its mind.
As MLB became embroiled in ugly negotiations and the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the United States, the Poseys kept trying. They matched with a set of twins a couple of months ago, and last Friday, Ada and Livvi, twin girls, were born. As his teammates reported to Oracle Park for the first time, Posey stayed home and continued wrestling with a decision that seemed tough, but ultimately was not.
Posey opted out of the 2020 MLB season Friday. He will stay home with his wife and a family that now has swelled to six with the addition of two babies who were born prematurely at just 32 weeks.
"This ultimately wasn't that difficult a decision for me," Posey said. "From a baseball standpoint, it was a tough decision. From a family standpoint and feeling like I'm making a decision to protect children, our children, I think it was relatively easy."
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Posey now is a father of four, and much of his summer will be spent in a neonatal intensive care unit, not at the ballpark. He has spent months talking to doctors and getting his hands on any available data, and ultimately there was very little that needed to be decided. The twin girls will be in a fragile state for four months minimum, he said, which covers the entire baseball season.
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Posey first talked of potentially opting out on a video call with reporters last Saturday. He had already addressed the issue with team executives, manager Gabe Kapler and teammates. Posey has said repeatedly that his biggest fear was the unknown.
"Talking to different doctors, there are no solid answers on what it'll mean if the babies contract the virus," he said. "Unfortunately, there's just not any data right now. This is so new that we just don't have those answers."
The final answer, then, became an easy one. Posey is 33, and he is foregoing what looked to be a potential bounceback season. He also is giving up about $8 million. Posey said that if the twins had not been born last week and had not been so premature, he "probably would be playing" this season.
The timing did not line up, but that doesn't matter. The Poseys long ago committed to a goal that is far more important than anything Posey would have accomplished on the field this season. He said he has wrestled with this decision, but on Friday morning he looked at peace. If he had any lingering doubts, they likely floated away Thursday night when his eight-year-olds, Lee and Addison, celebrated their new siblings by cutting up confetti and throwing it over their heads.
"My wife, myself, and our older children are just overwhelmed with joy to welcome them into our family, to love them unconditionally, and just share life with them," Posey said.