Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 4/13/12

While over 50,000 fans paid tribute to former-New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada with a rousing ovation— as he headed to the mound to throw out the first pitch at the 2012 home opener at Yankee Stadium— the career Yankee used the moment to pay a simple compliment to the man who "created me as a ball player" by tossing the ceremonial pitch to his dad— Jorge Posada Sr..

With his ex-Yankees teammates lined up behind him and his son Jorge Luis standing beside him, Posada lobbed the ball into his father's glove behind home plate. The same man that spent countless hours playing catch and honing Posada's switch-hitting skills as a youngster.

"There are three generations of Posadas here," Jorge proudly told YES Network.

Looking tan and fit, it was the first time in 17 years that the 40-year old catcher wasn't suited up in pinstripes at the home opener. Today's appearance of the five-time All-Star and five-time World Series Champion was a surprise after last being seen in the locker room after the Yankees lost Game 5 of the ALDS against the Detroit Tigers. There were tears welling in his eyes that night. It was assumed it would be a while before he would return to the Bronx.

Posada shocked everyone— including his closest pals— by making his return engagement at Yankee Stadium so soon.

Last night, Posada was honored with the 2012 Pride of the Yankees Award and a reunion with some of his best friends including Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, comedian Tracy Morgan and even diplomat Henry Kissinger were just some of the big names on hand for today's festivities.

The only person noticeably missing was the last quarter of the Core Four— Andy Pettitte.

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