NEW YORK — Flanked by his wife and children, with five World Series trophies sitting on a table to his right, Jorge Posada announced his retirement Tuesday.
The five-time All-Star catcher ends his major league career after 17 seasons, all with the New York Yankees.
The 40-year-old Posada finished with a .273 career batting average, 275 home runs and 1,065 RBIs. Shifted to designated hitter last year, his playing time diminished.
Posada joins Bernie Williams and Andy Pettitte in retirement, leaving only 37-year-old Derek Jeter and 42-year-old Mariano Rivera from the core group that led the Yankees to four World Series titles in five years from 1996-2000.
With Jeter, Rivera and CC Sabathia looking on, Posada began by quoting Joe DiMaggio: "I want to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee."
"I could never wear another uniform," he said. "I will forever be a Yankee."
Posada's voice broke up, especially when he spoke in Spanish. He thanked his teammates, rubbing his chin three times and wiping his eyes.
"Hopefully you won't miss me that much," he said.
Diana Munson, wife of the late Yankees catcher Thurman Munson, spoke about how Posada helped revive her interest in baseball, which had disappeared after her husband's death.
"I think he and Thurman definitely would have been best buds," she said.
Posada said he made the decision to retire during last season, which turned tumultuous May 14 when he was dropped to No. 9 in the batting order against Boston. He asked to be taken out of the lineup, saying he wasn't ready to play.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman said that was just a blip in his career — part of Posada's fiery nature, the one that drew fans to him. Jeter said that emotion can't be faked, that it comes from a drive to win.
"I feel the same way," Jeter said. "I'm just better at hiding it."
Jeter and Rivera talked about how their days for retirement would come.
"Mo's going to be here longer than all of us," Jeter said.