Carolan is a St. Louis native raised on Cardinals baseball and Busch Stadium. GO Redbirds!
Best Catcher in the MLB - Yadier Molina
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.
"He'll throw anywhere, anytime, at anybody." Yadi has proven himself as a fearless catcher."
— Cubs Coach Mike Quade
Yadi Joined Cardinal Baseball in 2004
... and has remained a Cardinal ever since!
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 (later Cardinals MLB Manager), who served as a mentor to Molina while Yadi played back up.
Later that season with Matheny on the injured list, Yadi was put in the game as starting catcher during game 4 of the World Series, YADI was put in as starting catcher against the Boston Red Sox. Matheny later left to sign a contract with the San Francisco Giants during the off season, and from then on YADI has been starting catcher for St. Louis.
"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
Yadi Grand Slams at 2010 Opener!
At the season opener in Cincinatti on Monday April 5th, Yadi blastsed one out of the park in the 9th inning for the first ever grand slam of his career. Yadi's grand slam followed two home runs from Pujols in the same game against the Cincinatti Reds.
Yadi had already been considered the best defensive catcher in the MLB by many for years. Few players will dare to try and steal a base on Yadi. As he rattled the bats with impressive offense that year, respect for him only continued to climb. Show 'em what ya got, Yadi!
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
Name any MLB award and Yadi has either received it (some multiple times, especially Golden Glove) or is in the running. Beyond multiple Golden Glove Awards, Yadi has also received the Cy Young award, Silver Slugger Award, and the Fielding Bible Award. He was listed on MVP ballot multiple times and is already considered a candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was elected to start in multiple consecutive All Star games. He ranks first among active MLB catchers in assists, runners caught stealing and pickoffs.
He has played for the Cardinals in eleven playoff races and four pennant winners. Before age 25, Yadier had 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 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 and 2011 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 in Cincinatti
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".
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."
— Author Ray DeRousse
"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
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Carolan Ross
skjk3318 lm on July 02, 2013:
Let's be honest, the Molina's have some SERIOUS talent!
anonymous on February 05, 2012:
Yadi could play on my team any day, great clutch hitter, tough player too, But he's not even in the same Zip Code as Johnny Bench, the actual greatest catcher in the history of baseball, first ballot hall of famer 1989, 1970 and 1972 MVP,1976 world series MVP, 10 gold gloves and 14 all star selections.
Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on April 20, 2010:
Love YADI. Already a 'great' catcher, he's destined to become one of the 'best' catchers in baseball history --- and he's one of the St. Louis Cardinals' greatest assets today! Us Cardinal fans are so lucky to have him playing for us. He's a 'treat' to watch play. Lens rolling to my Cardinal baseball story.