Leesburg, the small city of southwestern Georgia with a population under 3,000, is not only home to country singer Luke Bryan, but also prominent baseball rookie Buster Posey.
After Posey’s successful first year in the majors, Bryan has no choice but to share the spotlight in Lee County.
VSU student Sam Posey and the rest of her family headed out to San Francisco on Tuesday to watch and support their loved one in the World Series.
Baseball has come naturally to the gifted catcher and compared to his siblings, he isn’t the only one. Buster has two younger brothers and one younger sister. Jack Posey is a red shirt junior who is a pitcher for the Florida State Seminoles and Jess Posey is a high school junior who plays shortstop for Lee County High School.
Sam Posey, the only girl of the family, is the 3rd basemen for the Lady Blazer softball team. Sam’s oldest brother, Buster, has been a huge influence in her life on and off the field.
“He’s impacted me a lot because he has always had an age difference on me,” Sam said. “My dad taught us everything we know; he just is very knowledgeable of the game,” she said.
“Buster mainly taught me how to hit. If you ever watch him swing then watch me swing — you’ll see the same mannerisms. Buster always told me to keep the right attitude and to be modest. Sportsmanship is also a big thing in our family.”
Sam and Buster have always had a special bond that some brothers and sisters envy. During high school, Sam played softball, impressively, known for her hitting and exceptional speed. Before then, Buster was the baseball star at Lee County. They are three years apart, so Sam got to enjoy her freshman year with big brother as the top dog senior.
Growing up, Sam would play baseball with her brothers daily. She played baseball until she was about 14. The Posey parents, Traci and Demp, felt that it was better for her to keep playing baseball so she wouldn’t ruin her swing transitioning to slow pitch. Also, all the recreational leagues and high schools in their county started changing to fast pitch. With her brother’s help, she was prepared for any competition that came her way.
The Posey children are very close to one another. They all manage to be skilled at different positions, and even though they learned how to play the game under the same roof, they all carry their own unique style to the diamond.
“We literally grew up at the baseball field,” Sam said. “If we weren’t at the field then we were at home playing wiffle-ball in the backyard. Since it was the four of us, we always had even teams.”
Sam has left Panama City, where she played for Gulf Coast Community College the last two years, to now become a Lady Blazer. She will be showcasing her talent and family genes playing the hot corner.
“I still think Sam is the most athletic of them,” Demp Posey said. “She has the most tools. Buster, I think he’s just the hardest worker.”
She passed up attending other schools like Florida State, where her oldest brother is still praised to this day, and also where Jack is currently playing. Sam took her opportunity with
VSU to play softball competitively and to be closer to home.
Sam has been welcomed with open arms since she arrived to Valdosta.
While playing for VSU, she hit a homer last Friday night during their practice game. The ball actually landed in the parking lot behind the softball field. The Lady Blazers put on a nice preview as their fans cheered them on.
Many are excited to see No. 7 suit up for her first season here, but no one is more thrilled than head coach Thomas Macera.
“I expect her to come in and start 60 games for us,” Macera said. “I want her to produce and contribute right away. There are still things she can improve on, but she’s a hard worker. Sam is a good player and she will fit in well here.”
Sam has been a big supporter of her big brother Buster since the first time he picked up a baseball, and now she is pumped to watch him play the biggest series of his life.
The last time her brother’s team, the San Francisco Giants, came to town they faced the Atlanta Braves for the first series of the National League Division Series playoffs. Sam immediately picked sides and decided who she was rooting for with no hesitation.
“I’m full out for the Giants!” Sam said. “One hundred and fifty percent. There was no Braves cheering at all. Blood comes first.”
Buster and the Giants ended up defeating the Braves at Turner Field in Game 4. This closed the last chapter of Bobby Cox’s long-lasting tenure as the Braves’ skipper.
The next series didn’t get any easier. The Philadelphia Phillies was their next opponents and would lose to the Giants in Game 6. Busters’ performance has earned him a chance to compete for a title as a rookie and bring a championship to San Francisco.
The Leesburg native will continue to be catcher throughout the World Series, including for ace Tim Lincecum.