SAN FRANCISCO - While some players have to wait years to make it to the World Series, San Francisco catcher Buster Posey has gotten there as a rookie.
What makes it all the more noteworthy is that Posey is a catcher, with all the responsibilities of running a pitching staff as well as those of a middle-of-the-lineup hitter. Posey batted third for Game 1 Wednesday night but has spent much of the season hitting cleanup.
Posey is just the 11th rookie catcher to take a team to the World Series and first since Yadier Molina went there with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2004, according to Chuck Rosciam of SABR. Only four of the previous 10 rookie catchers came out on the winning side, most recently Baltimore's Andy Etchebarren in 1966.
San Francisco Game 4 starter Madison Bumgarner has also made it here as a rookie.
"We're probably a little spoiled," Posey said. "But at the same time, we understand the magnitude and how lucky we are to be here. It's something you don't take for granted."
Posey is also one of only seven rookies to regularly bat cleanup for a World Series team. He has already set a rookie record with 11 hits this postseason, breaking the mark of 10 that Freddy Lindtsrom set for the New York Giants in 1924 when there was only a World Series.
On the other side, are players like Texas' Vladimir Guerrero, whose 2002 games were the fourth most of any active player who had not been to the World Series. Rangers third baseman Michael Young, who made his debut in 2000, also finally made it.
BONDS AS COACH? Barry Bonds broke Mark McGwire's single-season home run record. Now he wants to follow Big Mac into the coaching profession some day.
Bonds spoke just outside the San Francisco Giants' clubhouse before Game 1 of the World Series.
When asked if he'd like to do more than just cheer on his former team in the future, Bonds said he would be interested in becoming a hitting coach in the future.
"I have a gift and sooner or later I have to give it away," Bonds said. "I have to share it. Hopefully I'll get the opportunity here."
Bonds, 46, has also been accused of taking steroids. He is scheduled to go to trial in March on charges that he lied to a federal grand jury in 2003 when he denied knowingly taking steroids.
BOCHY AND RYAN: San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Texas Rangers owner Nolan Ryan were teammates for one season, in 1980 wearing the rainbow tops of the Houston Astros.
Now they are opposite sides of the World Series.
"It's going to be good to see Nolan. I don't know if I'll get a chance to say hello, where he'll be," Bochy said. "This is certainly how you thought it would work out. You didn't think I would be owning a club and he would be managing. I was fortunate to have played with Nolan."
Bochy and Ryan played on the same team, but actually never played together.
Even though Bochy was a catcher, he never was behind the plate when Ryan was on the mound. Ryan started 35 games that season, and Bochy appeared in only six of those - all after Ryan had thrown his final pitch. In one of those games, Bochy pinch-hit for Ryan in the eighth inning.
AROUND THE HORN: Rangers C Bengie Molina, who was traded from San Francisco on July 1, joins Lonnie Smith as the only players to ever play for both World Series teams in the same season. Smith was traded by St. Louis to Kansas City on May 17, 1985, and won it all with the Royals. ... If the Giants use Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez,and Madison Bumgarner as their only starters, it would mark the first homegrown World Series rotation since 1986 when the Red Sox used Bruce Hurst, Roger Clemens, Dennis Boyd, and Al Nipper against the Mets.
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