Lord of the Rings: Posey tries for third World Series title

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Lord of the Rings: Posey tries for third World Series title

September 25: Clinched spot in NL Wild Card playoff

Hunter Pence #8 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates the wild card playoff berth after they defeated the San Diego Padres 9-8 at AT&T Park on September 25, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants holds up balls to throw to the fans to celebrate the final game of the regular season after defeating the San Diego Padres 9-3 at AT&T Park on September 28, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

October 1: Defeated Pittsburgh Pirates in NL Wild Card game

In this photo made with a fisheye lens, the San Francisco Giants gather along the first base line as they are introduced before the wild-card playoff baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar)

Joe Panik #12 catches a ball hit by Gaby Sanchez #17 of the Pittsburgh Pirates as he collides with Hunter Pence #8 of the San Francisco Giants to end the second inning during the National League Wild Card game at PNC Park on October 1, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants throws out Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third inning during the National League Wild Card game at PNC Park on October 1, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with teammates after the defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 8 to 0 in the National League Wild Card game at PNC Park on October 1, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

October 3: Began NLDS against the Washington Nationals

San Francisco Giants' Joe Panik, right, gets wrapped up with Washington Nationals second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera (3) after being called out at second during the third inning of Game 1 of baseball's NL Division Series at Nationals Park, Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

October 4: Won longest postseason game in MLB history (18 innings, 6 hours and 23 minutes)

Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates with his teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run to right field in the eighteenth inning against Tanner Roark #57 of the Washington Nationals during Game Two of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Pablo Sandoval #48 fails to catch a throw by Madison Bumgarner #40 of the San Francisco Giants on a bunt by Wilson Ramos #40 of the Washington Nationals as Ian Desmond #20 of the Washington Nationals slides into third during Game Three of the National League Division Series at AT&T Park on October 6, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Hunter Pence #8 of the San Francisco Giants catches a ball hit by Jayson Werth #28 of the Washington Nationals for an out in the sixth inning during Game Four of the National League Division Series at AT&T Park on October 7, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Santiago Casilla #46 and Buster Posey #28 of the San Francisco Giants celebrate after the final out of their 3 to 2 win over the Washington Nationals during Game Four of the National League Division Series at AT&T Park on October 7, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

October 7: Won NLDS over Washington, 3 games to 1

San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, upper left, high fives third baseman Pablo Sandoval as pitcher Santiago Casilla, left, second baseman Joe Panik (12), shortstop Brandon Crawford (35) and teammates celebrate after the Giants beat Washington Nationals in Game 4 of baseball's NL Division Series in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014. The Giants won 3-2 to win the series. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

October 11: Began NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws during the first Game 1 of the National League baseball championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

San Francisco Giants' Brandon Belt (9) is forced out at second as St. Louis Cardinals' Kolten Wong makes a diving catch on a throw after a ground ball hit by Brandon Crawford during the second inning in Game 2 of the National League baseball championship series Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
San Francisco Giants' Gregor Blanco, right, celebrates after hitting the game winning sacrifice bunt during the 10th inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series against the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
The San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford (35), Buster Posey, right, and Pablo Sandoval celebrate at home after Gregor Blanco bunted Crawford home in the tenth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco, on Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. The Giants won, 5-4, for a 2-1 series lead. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./Sacramento Bee/MCT via Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants' Juan Perez, left, scores past St. Louis Cardinals catcher A.J. Pierzynski on a hit by Gregor Blanco during the sixth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

October 16: Won NLCS over St. Louis, 4 games to 1

Travis Ishikawa #45 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates after he hits a three-run walk-off home run to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 during Game Five of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 16, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 16: The San Francisco Giants celebrate after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 during Game Five of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 16, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Chris Carlson-Pool/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 16: Joe Panik #12, batting coach Hensley Meulens #31, Hunter Pence #8 and Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants celebrate after the Giants 6-3 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Five of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 16, 2014 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Buster Posey seemed almost embarrassed.

With an NL Rookie of the Year award and MVP plaque, with two World Series rings at age 27, and the possibility of earning a third in the next 10 days, the San Francisco Giants catcher is among the candidates to become baseball's most popular star following the retirement of Derek Jeter.

"It's obviously flattering to get those comparisons," he said Monday, a day ahead of the World Series opener against Kansas City. "Derek Jeter is one of a kind. I think for me right now, my focus is on trying to win, trying to win four more games this season."

He is so boyish looking that when he shaves, he could be mistaken for a high-school student. Giants pitchers maintain he's been a key component to their success.

"He's always been an old young guy, even when he first got here," injured ace Matt Cain said. "He's a guy that's always been wise beyond his years. Definitely doesn't act his age."

Posey has accomplished so much in such a short time - this is just his fourth full season in the major leagues.

After winning the rookie award in 2010 while helping the Giants to their first Series title since 1954, the next season the Marlins' Scott Cousins ran into him at the plate in late May.

Posey fractured a bone in his lower left leg and tore three ankle ligaments. Such was the concern about those kind of collisions that a new rule took effect this year designed to limit runner-catcher contact.

Posey's outlook on baseball changed in a way he couldn't have anticipated, giving an appreciation for each day he spends as a big leaguer.

"I think the further I get away from the injury, it's harder to keep that in perspective," he said. "I think that it's something that I'm going to continually try to do throughout my career because, you know, just like that" - and then he snaps his fingers - "one play and your season could be over, potentially even worse. So you try to enjoy every minute you have out there."

Posey came back with a historic season, hitting .336 with 24 homers and 103 RBIs to become the first catcher to win the NL batting title since the Boston Braves' Ernie Lombardi in 1942. And then the Giants swept Detroit for their second title in three seasons.

"He's one of the best hitters in the game, so he understands what hitters are trying to do at the plate," Giants pitcher Tim Hudson said. "He understands what their approaches may be at times throughout at-bats. He understands when guys take swings and they look a certain way on certain pitches, what we probably should do to them after that."

Posey batted .311 with 22 homers and 89 RBIs this season in a year when offense faded to its lowest level in four decades in some categories. What he does at the plate sometimes overshadows his prowess in other phases of the game.

"If you look at a team that's had success, I think you should look behind the plate, because those guys play such a critical role in your success," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, a former big league catcher.

"Buster's got a great way about him. Pitchers love throwing to him," he said. "When he came up, we had some things to tweak with him to make him a better player, and he gets it. He's made himself into, I think, an all-around elite player. Not just a hitter, but a catcher."

Bumgarner, Giants Take Game 1

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