Jorge Posada played 17 seasons in the same pinstripes that Thurman Munson sported for 11 years. But the link between the two former Yankees catchers goes well beyond the uniforms that they donned.
Munson's wife, Diana, shed some light on the link during Posada's retirement news conference on Tuesday. She credits Posada as the person who brought baseball back into her life.
"This is a man who probably doesn't realize it, but he in fact is the one who brought me back to love baseball again," Diana said, as pointed out by YES Network's Jon Lane. "After losing Thurman I kind of lost my love for baseball and actually turned to the Cleveland Browns, if you can imagine that."
Thurman Munson, who played for the Bronx Bombers from 1969 to 1979, died suddenly in a plane crash at the age of 32.
Diana Munson compared the way Posada played the game to the way her husband did, saying both catchers possessed the "it" factor.
"I am so honored to have loved two Yankees catchers in my life," Diana Munson said. "I think he and Thurman would have been best buds. He definitely has the 'it' factor. I can't describe it. I don't know what it is, but I knew immediately upon meeting him that he had it. And I think the Yankee fans also have realized that."
Diana also recalled the first time she met Posada, during which he revealed that he kept a clipping of one of her husband's quotes in his locker — something Diana didn't believe. Sure enough, though, Posada retrieved the clipping and show it to her.
The quote from Thurman Munson read: "Look, I like hitting and I like the good batting average. But, what I do every day behind the plate is a lot more important because it touches so many more people and so many more aspects of the game."
Judging by the way Posada — a five-time World Series champion — played the game for nearly two decades, one could easily mistaken that quote for his words.
Check out the video below to hear more from Munson's widow at Posada's retirement news conference.