Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants has won this year’s Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, sponsored by the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, headquartered in Oxford, Ohio. Phi Delta Theta presents the award annually to a Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the giving character of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig, a member of the Fraternity’s Columbia University chapter.
The award was first presented in 1955 and is permanently maintained at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Phi Delta Theta plans to present the award to Posey during the early months of the 2021 Major League Baseball season.
Posey is the second member of the San Francisco Giants to win the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award: Barry Zito (2012).
“Thank you to the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity and Lou Gehrig Memorial Award Committee for recognizing Major League players who have an impact in their communities. I am honored to receive this award for the work my wife Kristen and I are doing for children with pediatric cancer by raising awareness and funds for pioneering research and treatment. Lou Gehrig’s character speaks for itself as he accomplished so much on and off the field. It means a lot to me to be recognized alongside Lou Gehrig and all of the previous winners,” stated Posey.
Past recipients of the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award include Stan Musial, Ernie Banks, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew, Willie Stargell, Lou Brock, George Brett, Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripken, Jr., Tony Gwynn, Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, and many more.
Photo by San Francisco Giants
On the Field
Buster has been a leader in the clubhouse and example for younger players on the field. He was selected fifth overall in the 2008 draft and made his debut in 2010. Buster made an immediate impact and was named the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year and caught every inning of the playoffs as the Giants won the 2010 World Series. He is a three-time World Series Champion (2010, 2012, 2014) and six-time All-Star. Buster sustained a major injury in 2011 and returned in 2012 where he won the NL MVP, Batting Champion and Comeback Player of the Year. He is also a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner and won his first Gold Glove Award in 2016 after an excellent defensive season.
Buster has 961 starts at catcher, most in franchise history. Last season he finished the year with 14 defensive runs saved at catcher, third-most among Major League catchers who caught a minimum of 800 innings and saved 10 runs from extra strikes called with pitch framing, sixth-most in the Majors.
Photo by San Francisco Giants
Off the Field
In April of 2016, Buster and his wife Kristen launched The Buster & Kristen Posey Fund in partnership with the V Foundation to provide grants to research hospitals and charitable organizations. The grants support children diagnosed with pediatric cancer in an effort to enrich their lives. In addition to raising awareness and funds, they also provide special experiences for patients and their families.
In just over three years, the Poseys have raised more than $4 million for the Posey Family Research Grant and Fellowship Programs at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals and The Buster and Kristen Posey Fund at the V Foundation. The Posey’s fundraising efforts include their annual gala at Oracle Park each September, which benefits UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals. As part of these research partnerships, Buster and Kristen established the Posey Family Pediatric Oncology Research Grants and the Posey Family Fellowship in Pediatric Oncology at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals with a grant of almost $1 million. They have also funded two research grants through the V Foundation.
The Poseys also continue to partner with the Giants and Major League Baseball during the annual Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day at Oracle Park. Buster and Kristen host more than 150 kids and families on this day both meeting with them individually as well as gathering with them on the field before the game to spotlight their strength, honor their fight, and raise awareness for cancer. The Poseys are working alongside the Giants to expand the reach and awareness for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day again this season.
In addition to his awareness and fundraising efforts, Buster invites pediatric cancer patients and their families to attend a Giants game and personally meet with him, Kristen, and often their children, Addi and Lee, each month. The Poseys also visit monthly with kids and families at the local Bay Area hospitals offering pediatric cancer care by offering support and encouragement to those who are unable to visit Oracle Park.
The six-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, Gold Glover, and three-time World Series Champion has made his mark on baseball with his performance and leadership on the field, but his dedication to his community truly defines the person he is both on and off the field.