A Better Catcher Than Molina? Yadier Mind?

Cardinal ballplayer Yadier Molina is currently the best defensive catcher in baseball. Its known that as a catcher, it’s nearly impossible to score a run or steal a base on his watch. So much so that the Cardinals have manufactured a t-shirt for fans that reads, “Steal Second? Yadier Mind?” Although Molina is a fantastic catcher, it’s far from his only skill on the field. He’s also known for hitting impressive runs of his own.

Molina was born in Puerto Rico and is part of a huge baseball-loving family. Molina’s two older brothers also have a love of the game that mirrors his own. His oldest brother Bengie was a former catcher and his other brother Jose now plays for the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s been said that Yadier is the most talented of all three of his brothers. He has been selected to play in the MLB All-Star Game on multiple occasions. He took over the catching duties for Mike Matheny in 2004, who is now the Cardinals manager.

Molina has received many awards for his baseball playing skills including: Rawling Gold Glove Award, Platinum Glove Award, Fielding Bible Award, and Wilson’s Sporting Good Defensive Award. On top of these other honors, Molina has been awarded the Golden Glove Award five different times. While other player’s egos may have inflated at this point, Molina stays humble, saying, “The league has many good catchers, I just want to be the best that I can. You have to think that way. If you get comfortable, you won’t be here for a long time. You can’t be comfortable in this game. You have to constantly work to get better.”

Molina is sometimes questioned on his out-of-the-norm pitching calls by the Cardinal pitching coaches, but it shocks everyone when his unusual call works out perfectly for the game. Cardinal rookie pitcher Shelby Miller even comments that he owes all of this success to Molina. He has been a valuable partner to have for pitches ever since 2005 and continues to be to this day. Miller comments on Molina, “Yadi knows everything about every single hitter, exactly what to throw.” Molina is no doubt a valuable player to have and the Cardinals will have no problem taking down their opposing teams this year with his help.

The Crusader Raid, Vol. 6, Num. 4.
The Spring/Summer Issue
May 2014

Written by Sarah Forgey

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