”I will forever be a Yankee.” (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Through it all, Jorge Posada was a constant behind home plate and in the heart of the order. But that run has finally come to an end.

On Tuesday Posada, 40, announced his retirement after 17 seasons in the bigs, all in pinstripes.

“I could never wear another uniform,” Posada said during an emotional press conference at Yankee Stadium. “I will forever be a Yankee.”

Posada hit .273 for his career with 275 home runs and 1,065 RBIs while handling a pitching staff full of multi-million dollar signees. His efforts at the plate and behind it earned him five All-Star appearances.

Posada was shifted from catcher to designated hitter last season and saw his numbers and playing time dip. He said he made the decision to retire during the season. His retirement leaves shortstop Derek Jeter (37) and closer Mariano Riveria (42) as the last remaining players from a core group that included outfielder Bernie Williams and pitcher Andy Pettitte who helped the Yankees to four championships in five years from 1996-2000.

“Hopefully you won’t miss me that much,” Posada said.