Yadier Molina, Cardinal for LIFE!
Best Baseball Catcher in the MLB
Baseball fans have high respect for Yadier Molina, the BEST baseball catcher in the MLB! He is affectionately known by St. Louis Cardinal fans as 'YADI' and Cards fans LOVE their YADI! In Busch Stadium in St. Louis you will hear this popular chant from fans ... "YADI - YADI - YADI!"
The guy has an arm like a cannon, can throw fire at 2nd base without even standing up! Opponents know better than to take a big lead-off with Yadi ready to pick them off, and they'll definitely think twice about stealing ANY base with Yadi behind the plate.
As Cubs 3rd base coach Mike Quade said, "He'll throw anywhere, anytime, at anybody." Yadi has proven himself as a fearless catcher."
Yadi has earned and SIX consecutive gold gloves! SIX as of October 2013, WOWZA!
* photo courtesy Ray DeRousse at http://www.facebook.com/stlcardinalbaseball
YADI Congratulates Carpenter
Yadi & Carpenter
Shortly after this game, Atlanta lost the same night.
This made the Cardinals the winner of the wild card race to post season play in 2011.
Carpenter pitches near perfect game!
Yadi Plays a Pennant Year in 2004
...with the Saint Louis Cardinals backing up Mike Matheny
YADI played his first season with the Cardinals in 2004, which turned out to be a pennant-winning season. At that time the starting catcher was Mike Matheny, who served as a mentor to Molina while Yadi played back up. During game 4 of the World Series, YADI was put in as starting catcher over Matheny against the Boston Red Sox. Matheny left to sign a contract with the San Francisco Giants during the following off season, and from then on YADI has been starting catcher for St. Louis.
Is Yadier Molina the best catcher in the MLB?
Yadi Grand Slams at 2010 Opener!
Show 'em what ya got, Yadi! At the season opener in Cincinatti on Monday April 5th, Yadi blasts one outta the park in the 9th inning for the first ever grand slam of his career. Yadi's grand slam followed two home runs from Puhols in the same game against the Cincinatti Reds.
Yadi has been considered the best defensive catcher in the MLB for years. As he rattles the bats with impressive offense this year, respect for him climbs toward best catcher in the MLB, period!
"He's one of the best in the game. They don't run much on him, because everyone knows he has a great arm."— Pudge Rodriguez, fellow Puerto Rican with the Astros
Yadier Molina and World Series 2006
YADI scores in the 9th inning and calls game-winning pitch!
In Game 7 of the National League Championships in 2006, Molina came up to bat against Aaron Heilman of the New York Mets. With the score tied 1-1, he hit a two-run homer in the top of the 9th inning. This gave the Cardinals a 3-1 lead and toward securing a trip to the 2006 World Series.
In the same inning, Molina called for Adam Wainwright to pitch the the change up to fellow Puerto Rican and Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. That pitch set the stage for Wainwright's curve ball and strike for the final out. That cemented a pennant win and a trip to the World Series.
In that 2006 World Series, the Cards defeated the Detroit Tigers in five games!
Yadier Molina Awards and Highlights
Yadi is a baseball hero.
In five seasons with the Cardinals, YADI has received a Cy Young award, two Golden Gloves and was elected to start in three consecutive all star games. Molina has thrown out a record-breaking 55% of runners attempting to steal bases!
He also leads major league catchers in pickoffs, so runners are very careful about taking a lead off with YADI behind the plate. In his young career Yadier has already played in two World Series. This is so rare before age 25 that only Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra have done so prior to YADI at such a young age.
YADI as a Youngster
Yadi as a Youngster in Puerto Rico
Yadi grew up in Puerto Rico, the youngest of three brothers who ALL became Major League catchers. Baseball really grew as a popular sport in that country during the 20th century and there are now several MLB stars playing for teams here in the US who are originally from Puerto Rico, and curiously most of them are catchers.
Yadier Molina and his Brothers
The Molina brothers are MLB catchers, all three of them.
Yadi has two older brothers who are also major league baseball catchers. Both of them agree that Yadi is the greatest catcher among the three of them. Yadi's older brothers are Bengie (with the Giants) and Jose (with the Yankees). All three brothers now have World Series rings, Bengie and Jose with the 2002 Angels and Yadier with the 2006 Cardinals.
"He has more of an impact than a lot of people know. He controls a lot through the game that the average person doesn't realize."— Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter
Praise for YADI from LaRussa
St. Louis Cardinals baseball manager finds YADI to be 'amazing' ... game after game after game.
"He's amazing. Night in, night out, he's amazing." says St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa about Yadier Molina on a night when Jaime Garcia had pitched a no-hitter for seven innings and then finished with a win and only 2 hits.
LaRussa could easily have been talking about the shut out game pitched by Garcia (May 6, 2011), but Yadi played a HUGE part in the win. Garcia agreees, "He's amazing. Every time I go out there, he's the best. I trust him a lot. I'm so fortunate to have him here."
"He's amazing every night" says LaRussa "His feel for the game, for what the pitcher has, for what the hitters are trying to do, he's really got an exceptional feel for it."
Yadi and the Brawl in Cincinatti - Midseason MLB 2010: Yadi stands up to Phillips
Molina is a fan favorite in St. Louis, and maybe that fact was never more obvious than midseason in 2010 when he stood up to Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds. Phillips had made some negative remarks the day before, calling the Cardinals "little bitches" among other things.
The story got out, and many found his remarks offensive. The next day, when Phillips came up to bat, he tapped the Molina's shin guard to say hello as most players do. Molina kicked Phillips' bat away and got in his face to let him know how he felt, "you talk bad about my team, don't say hi to me, that's stupid".
*From Author Ray DeRousse ... "On the field, Molina is probably the best defensive catcher of his generation and one of the hardest strikeouts in the game. His physical skills are matched pound for pound by his intensity to win and his loyalty to those lucky enough to be his friend. In the Cardinals clubhouse, Yadi is that dog who will stand up to an opponent of any size to protect and defend those he loves."
YADI Links - More about Yadier Molina
- Yadier Molina: St. Louis Golden Boy
The 'Bleacher Report' sings praises of YADI to Cardinal Baseball.
- *Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinal's Secret Weapon
The impact of Yadier Molina as a stealth secret weapon from the MLB Fanhouse.
- Yadi Wins Another Golden Glove Award
Yadi gets Golden Glove Award twice in 2 years!
- Yadier Molina on Wikipedia
Read more about Yadar Molina here.
- Yadier Molina Player Profile and Career Stats
Complete career stats for YADI, 2004 - 2009
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"He's the best defensive catcher in the game, no question about it. He's a game-changer. You don't see many game-changing catchers. The other team has to alter their game plan because of him."— Ryan Theriot, Chicago's leadoff hitter and primary stolen base threat