Yadier Benjamin Molina, born July 13, 1982 and known affectionately by fans as "Yadi", is a Puerto Rican Major League Baseball catcher who plays for the St. Louis Cardinals. Molina was the third catcher to play in two World Series before age 25, along with Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra. He is considered one of best defensive catchers in baseball.
"I will stand behind the fact that Yadier Molina has impressed me more than any catcher I've ever witnessed," Cardinals manager and four-time Gold Glove-winning catcher Mike Matheny said earlier this month. "The things that he does that are intangible you can only see by watching every day and watching [with] a very critical eye. But he has everything that you would ask for from a catcher defensively."
With his fifth Gold Glove, Molina moves further into elite catching company. Only four catchers -- Ivan Rodriguez (13), Johnny Bench (10), Bob Boone (7) and Jim Sundberg (6) -- have earned more Gold Gloves than Molina, whose five ties him with Bill Freehan.
"The league has many good catchers," Molina said during the National League Championship Series. "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."
He recently won his fifth straight Rawlings Gold Glove Award and captured the NL's Platinum Glove Award, recognizing the top defender regardless of position, for the second straight season. He added a Fielding Bible Award and Wilson Sporting Goods defensive award to his collection, as well.
For Molina, the defensive recognition is hardly a new phenomenon.
His batting average jumped to .304 in 2008, and he struck out only 29 times in 444 at bats...The Cardinals will continue to look for Molina to capitalize on his enormous potential and mature into the type of leader that McCarver, Pagnozzi, and Matheny were before him.
Molina, who had never finished higher than 21st in an MVP vote, led the Cardinals with a career-high .315 batting average in 2012. He had a career-high 22 homers and 76 RBIs, in addition to collecting 28 doubles and stealing 12 bases. Molina's batting average ranked fourth in the NL, behind Posey, McCutchen and Braun. His .373 on-base percentage was eighth best.
During his first eight seasons in St. Louis, the team reached the World Series three times. Molina got the hit that won the 2006 pennant for the Cardinals and led the team with nine RBIs in the 2011 World Series.
Remembering back to those days in Vega Alta, Yadier happily recalled his first baseball memory. "I was five years old," he said. "We used to call it the 'Pampers League' or the 'Diaper League' because we were all so young and still babies. I remember hitting a home run and my father was waiting for me at home plate, but my pants were falling down because they were too big. I wanted to stop, but my dad said, 'keep going' and when I got to home plate he gave me the biggest hug!"
As a child, Molina was always a big fan of baseball, and he used to play at home. He joined Maestro Ladi School Vega Alta, Puerto Rico later, and then played for the school team. His love for the baseball, made him a good junior player, and soon he became a notable player for his school team. He continued to struggle and his game was improving with the passage of time, after considered to be a promising player, it was a time when he was selected by St. Louis Cardinals in 4th Round (113rd overall) of 2000 amateur entry draft. Molina played several games for the minors, and then there was a time when his dream came true when he made the debut on June 3, 2004 for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Yadier Molina is the youngest of a unique set of brothers. All three Molinas - Benjamin Jr., Jose, and Yadier - are major-league catchers. He credits their father (and mother) for getting them started on the road to Major League Baseball.
Yadier Molina is a professional baseball player from Puerto Rico. He was born on July 13, 1982 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. At present, Molina represents St. Louis Cardinals in Major League Baseball as Catcher. His talent and ability to perform has made him an important part of his team, and for the same he has earned a lot of respect and fame as well.