When Buster Posey won the Hank Aaron Award, given to the league's best hitter, he gave an answer that wouldn't surprise anyone who ever has listened to him speak.
"I'm humbled that Hank Aaron knows who I am," Posey said, extending a season-long streak of humility.
But Posey's teammates don't shy away from singing his praises, and many actively pushed him for the MVP award, which he won Thursday. Before the MVP choice was revealed, here is what those around Posey said made him such a force in 2012.
"Just look at the consistency that he brings every single day," said relief pitcher Sergio Romo. "He's a true professional and you always know what you're going to get with that man. It would mean a lot to us if he won the MVP because everyone here is proud to say they are his teammate. To be the MVP would mean everyone else would realize what Buster means to us. He has the reins to the pitching staff and he also has the keys to the lineup, and he's driving it well."
Infielder Ryan Theriot: "You don't see many catchers that are legitimate four-hole hitters. Buster is that guy, he reminds you of a Mike Piazza back in the day and his defense is head and shoulders above. He handles himself like the leader that he needs to be in order to be a catcher. He's a young player, but he demands respect. As a catcher you have to have that, and he's got that quality. He's a born leader."
Pitcher Ryan Vogelsong: "His toughness definitely rubs off on us. Even with how demanding the catcher position is, I've never seen him give away an at-bat. You know he's got to be physically beaten down sometimes and mentally tired from calling games, but he stays out there and has good at-bats. To see him stay out there through all that, it rubs off on you. The big thing for us is just how much he's been able to play."
Shortstop Brandon Crawford: "To go through what he's gone through over the past year and then do what he's done, not many people can do that. That's how you would want to play the game and how you try to play the game. He's been a great example for the rest of us. That's why he won the Willie Mac Award, voted on by us."
First baseman Brandon Belt: "Look at our record when Melky (Cabrera) went out and look at where we ended up. Buster stepped it up and was our leader. Look at how well he played after the All-Star break. This is about him being a leader while playing the toughest position in baseball. He only had a couple of times all season where he was even a little off his game. You see the work ethic and the kind of athlete he is, and you see that when he goes to first base and doesn't miss a step. It shows a lot about his leadership, too, that he's willing to do that on days when he's not catching."
Rightfielder Hunter Pence: "He's the complete package up there at the plate. He's good at everything. You can't just point at one thing and say that's what makes him who he is, because he does it all. I wasn't surprised when I got here and saw it. What you see is what you get."
Pitcher Tim Lincecum: "It's just: 'I'm Posey. I'm back out there and I'm doing my job.' He was on hiatus for a year, and now he's back to being Posey."
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval: "I look at his toughness. I didn't think he would have this success after the injury — that was tough to see. But he just worked so hard. It was going to be tough because that wasn't an easy injury, but he battled and he fought. You have to fight after surgery. You have to be tough mentally and physically and Buster is. He came back the right way."
Relief pitcher Clay Hensley: "I don't know if you can point to one thing. It's his whole game — scoring runs, the way he gets on base all the time. One of the most impressive things is he never tries to do more than what he's given. You pitch him away, he hits it away. You throw him a cookie, he takes it out of the park. And then you look at the way he handles the pitching staff. The MVP is the whole spectrum of what he brings to the table, and he brings a lot of things. It's about everything he does, and it's all fun to watch."