93 Facts About Yadier Molina


Widely considered one of the greatest defensive catchers of all time for both his blocking ability and his caught stealing percentage, Molina won nine Rawlings Gold Gloves and six Fielding Bible Awards.

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Yadier Molina played for the Puerto Rican national team in four World Baseball Classic tournaments, winning two silver medals.

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Yadier Molina ranked first among catchers in putouts, second all-time among catchers with 130 Defensive Runs Saved, and at the time of his retirement ranked first among active catchers with 845 assists, 40.

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Yadier Molina was a two-time selection to the All-WBC Tournament Team and was a member of the 2018 MLB Japan All-Star Series.

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Product of a baseball family, Yadier Molina was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

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Yadier Molina's father was an amateur second baseman and the all-time hits leader in Puerto Rican baseball, and his two older brothers, Bengie and Jose, developed into standout defensive catchers with lengthy MLB careers.

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Yadier Molina appeared on five NL Most Valuable Player Award ballots, including finishing fourth in 2012 and third in 2013.

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When Hurricane Maria ravaged the island of Puerto Rico in September 2017, Yadier Molina began relief efforts for victims of the catastrophe, consequently receiving the Roberto Clemente Award in 2018.

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Yadier Benjamin Molina was born on July 13,1982, in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, the youngest of three boys to Gladys Matta and Benjamin Molina, Sr.

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Yadier Molina attended Maestro Ladislao Martinez High School in Vega Alta.

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Each day when he completed work, Yadier Molina's father went directly home, ate dinner with his family, and crossed the street from his family's home with his sons and his son's friend Carlos Diaz to Jesus Mambe Kuilan Park, exhausting countless evening hours teaching them the fundamentals of the sport.

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Yadier Molina remained hopeful that his sons would become professional baseball players.

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Yadier Molina's catching aptitude showed as early as age five and developed quickly.

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Yadier Molina made the team after a single workout and immediately became the starting catcher.

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Yadier Molina observed that Molina's skills closely resembled that of both his older brothers—both accomplished major league catchers—and decided that his defense was "polished" enough to be considered more advanced than most high schoolers in the United States.

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Yadier Molina put on a spectacle at Riverfront Stadium with his arm and bat that grabbed the attention of executives, scouts, and prominent former Reds players, including Johnny Bench and Bob Boone.

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Yadier Molina began his professional career with the Johnson City Cardinals of the Rookie-level Appalachian League in 2001, playing 44 total games and batting.

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Yadier Molina stroked a broken-bat single to shallow center field in the bottom of the ninth inning against the New York Mets.

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In 2005, Yadier Molina struggled with injuries and saw a drop off in the offensive performance in his rookie season.

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Yadier Molina made an unconventional choice by calling for a changeup to start the sequence against Beltran.

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Yadier Molina's mask was turned in for display at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Four days later, Yadier Molina faced his brother Bengie for the first time in a game against the San Francisco Giants.

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Yadier Molina reported to spring training having lost 15 pounds and in improved physical shape from rehabilitating following knee surgery.

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Yadier Molina started the season with an Opening Day home run and seven-game hitting streak.

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Yadier Molina returned to the field against Boston at Fenway Park as the designated hitter.

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Yadier Molina erased a Mets runner by throwing out Luis Castillo attempting to steal second base.

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Yadier Molina was selected through fan vote to represent the Cardinals in the All-Star Game in St Louis' Busch Stadium – his first All-Star Game.

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At that point, Bill James Online rated that Yadier Molina saved his team fifteen total runs from pickoffs alone in his career.

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Yadier Molina led the major leagues with eight pickoffs and was second in the NL in innings caught.

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Yadier Molina finished tied for 23rd with Miguel Tejada with one percent of the vote share.

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On Opening Day, April 5,2010, Yadier Molina connected for a grand slam, becoming just the third Cardinals player to hit an Opening Day grand slam, following Mark McGwire and Scott Rolen.

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Yadier Molina turned in a productive April, driving in 15 runners, the most for a Cardinals catcher in the month of April since Ted Simmons drove in 20 in 1977.

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Yadier Molina continued his productivity with the bases loaded that month, collecting four hits and 11 RBIs in five at bats.

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Yadier Molina ranked as the fourth toughest in the NL to strike out with 10.

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Yadier Molina led all NL catchers in at-bats and stolen bases, and his 122 hits ranked second, just behind Brian McCann's 123.

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Yadier Molina bumped umpire Rob Drake in the chest multiple times and appeared to spit upon him.

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Yadier Molina provided a spark to the offense in the close of the season, batting.

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Yadier Molina led all NL catchers with 12 three-hit games, and collated 39 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI games.

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In Game 3, Yadier Molina accumulated four RBI, and two more each in Games 6 and 7.

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Yadier Molina started all 18 games and played every inning in that 2011 playoff run, including one at first.

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Yadier Molina won the first-ever National League Rawlings Platinum Glove Award, bestowed upon one player in each league.

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On March 1,2012, Yadier Molina signed a five-year extension with the Cardinals worth $75 million through 2017.

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Yadier Molina led the team in batting average for the second straight season, thus becoming the first catcher in franchise history to do so.

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Yadier Molina led NL catchers in stolen bases and set a Cardinals single-season record for catchers, and ranked second among NL catchers in HR and third in RBIs and batting average.

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Yadier Molina became just the ninth MLB catcher to post a season with a weighted runs created factor of 140 and 45 percent of runners caught stealing.

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Yadier Molina finished fourth in the NL in batting average, second in doubles and sixth in batting average with RISP.

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Yadier Molina collected more awards following the season, including his first Silver Slugger Award, sixth Gold Glove, and a third-place finish in MVP voting.

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Yadier Molina was a co-winner, along with Wainwright and Matt Carpenter, for the BBWAA St Louis Baseball Man of the Year.

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Yadier Molina stayed in the lead and won the vote as the starting catcher in the All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, his sixth consecutive appearance.

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In Game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants, Yadier Molina collected his 89th career hit in the postseason, passing Pujols for the franchise record.

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When Yadier Molina was introduced, he smiled and turned and pointed his thumbs toward the back of his jersey.

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Yadier Molina won his eighth consecutive Gold Glove Award and fourth Platinum Glove Award in 2015.

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In December, it was revealed that Yadier Molina had a second surgery on his left thumb, pushing his return to late in 2016 spring training.

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At age 33, Yadier Molina broke the Cardinals' all-time games caught record on April 8,2016, in his 1,440th game, passing Ted Simmons.

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Yadier Molina's hit total was a career-high, leading the club, and he was eighth in the league in batting and ninth in doubles.

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Yadier Molina agreed to a three-year contract extension for a reported $60 million, making him the highest-paid catcher in baseball.

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Yadier Molina was not interested in exercising his 2018 mutual option, which would have been worth $15 million.

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The extension assured Yadier Molina of remaining in St Louis through 2020, and increases the chances that he will finish his career having played for just one organization, the one that drafted him.

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Yadier Molina homered, making him the oldest catcher to hit a homer in an All-Star Game, in his age-34 season, and the first Cardinal to homer in an All-Star Game since Reggie Smith in 1974.

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Yadier Molina led the team in 2017 with 134 hits and 78 RBIs, and all NL catchers in both categories, entering play on that date.

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Yadier Molina broke the tie with Bottomley on September 20, with his 1,728th hit, and tied his own career-high RBI total for a season with 80, reached in 2013.

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Yadier Molina was the 2017 recipient of the Missouri Athletic Club's Sports Personality of the Year Award.

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In January 2018, Yadier Molina expressed his plan to retire following the 2020 season when his contract would expire.

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Yadier Molina had the highest fielding percentage among major league catchers, at.

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On Opening Day 2019, versus the Brewers, Yadier Molina extended his team-record for Opening Day starts with 15.

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Yadier Molina had the slowest sprint speed of all National League players, at 22.

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Yadier Molina was the second-oldest player in the NL, and had the slowest sprint speed of all major league catchers, at 23.

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In 2021, Yadier Molina returned temporarily to Puerto Rico to play in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente to play as a reinforcement with the Atenienses de Manati in the semifinals.

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Yadier Molina was nominated for a Gold Glove, making him one of six Cardinals to be nominated which led the major leagues.

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Yadier Molina gave up all four of the Pirates' runs on four hits and two home runs.

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Four World Baseball Classic tournaments have been held – 2006,2009,2013, and 2017 – and Yadier Molina has participated in all of them for the Puerto Rican team.

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Yadier Molina was fellow defensive standout Ivan Rodriguez's backup in 2006 and 2009 and the primary catcher for the 2013 and 2017 squads.

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Yadier Molina prepared for the Classic by playing 14 games for the winter league team in Puerto Rico Rodriguez managed.

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Yadier Molina was voted on the All-World Baseball Classic team for the first time.

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Yadier Molina then chased Uchikawa, cornered him by positioning himself between first and second and tagged out Uchikawa – an unassisted caught stealing.

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Yadier Molina made a strong case to be named Most Valuable Player of the entire tournament, batting.

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Yadier Molina was named the catcher of 2017 All-World Baseball Classic team, his second All-WBC honor.

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However, Yadier Molina managed the team to four more victories in the group stage and consolation round.

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In 2022, Yadier Molina announced that he would be managing the Navegantes del Magallanes in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, having been recruited by former major leaguer Pablo Sandoval.

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Also in 2022, Yadier Molina was announced as manager of the Puerto Rico national team in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

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Winner of eight consecutive Gold Gloves, Yadier Molina has been widely praised for his preparation, defense and leadership, not just of the pitching staff, but of the entire team, even from Johnny Bench.

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Yadier Molina ranked second all-time among catchers at the end of the 2014 season on Baseball-Reference.

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Yadier Molina is known for his in-game pitch-calling skills, and pitchers rarely reject signs that he shows for the next pitch.

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Yadier Molina's pitch calling, sometimes you're thinking he's doing something so out of the norm, yet it was the right thing to do at the time.

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Baseball Prospectus estimated in 2013 that Yadier Molina saved 35 defensive runs per season through his pitch framing and had moved 301 out-of-zone pitches that were called strikes between April 1 and June 30,2013.

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Yadier Molina pushed to shed the light-hitter label he had in common with his brothers.

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Over time, with assistance of teammates such as Pujols, Yadier Molina found his comfortable stance, sounder mechanics and adopted a line-drive style of swing that eliminated the dip and helped him hit fastballs with more authority.

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One trait that has always persisted is that Yadier Molina is an aggressive and free-swinging — but high-contact — hitter.

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Yadier Molina hit into 27 double plays in 2009, but in 2012 reduced that figure to 10.

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Yadier Molina owned a home in Jupiter, Florida, the home of the Cardinals spring training facilities, but sold it in 2020.

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Yadier Molina married his wife Wanda Torres in 2007 and the couple have three children.

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Yadier Molina's agent is Melvin Roman of MDR Sports Management, who has represented him since he signed his first professional contract with the Cardinals shortly after being drafted in 2000.

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Yadier Molina is an avid fan of the St Louis Blues, and attends games frequently.

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