At 38 years, one month and 27 days old, Yadier Benjamin Molina made history. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Molina dug his cleats into the left batter’s box on a 2-2 pitch and blooped a 98-mph pitch from Brewers right-handed pitcher Justin Topa into center field to collect career hit No. 2,000.
“Amazing,” Molina said after being asked to describe what it meant to him to hit No. 2,000. “It’s a great honor. A lot of effort, a lot of years to get to this point. It’s just great. The most important thing, we got the win … That moment was good, good for me, good for my family. I think they’re enjoying it.”
Molina becomes the sixth player in St. Louis Cardinals history to accomplish the momentous feat. The Bayamon, Puerto Rico native joins Cardinals legends Stan Musial (3,630), Lou Brock (2,713), Rogers Hornsby (2,110), Albert Puljos (2,073) and Enos Slaughter (2,064) on the 2,000 hits list as a member of the Cards.
— MLB Puerto Rico (@MLBPuertoRico) September 25, 2020
What made the moment all the more special, was knowing Yadier’s brother and former major league catcher, Bengie Molina, was in the Spanish radio broadcast booth making the call when his younger brother made history.
“I can’t wait, I can’t wait to go home and hear his voice in Spanish,” Molina said with the brightest grin on his face. “It’s just great, it’s great to have Bengie here and Polo, they’re doing a great job with the Spanish radio and the Latino community. It’s just great to have them here.”
It was on July 3, 2004 that Molina broke into the league, only a few days shy of his 23rd birthday. In 17 seasons playing professional baseball, Molina has won two World Series championships and is a nine-time All-Star, a nine-time Gold Glove winner and last, but not least, a LatinoMVP Award winner. A resume written by a future Hall of Famer.
Molina’s historic night helped capitalize on a must-win game for the Cardinals — who remain on the brink of clinching a playoff berth. The Cardinals cling onto second place — playoff seed No. 5 — within the National League Central as the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers are at their heels and ready to pounce given the opportunity with three days remaining in the regular season.
Molina has remained a glowing and striking force for Puerto Ricans in the league. On Opening Day, Major League Baseball had 20 Puerto Rican ballplayers donning major league uniforms. Despite the low percentage of Puerto Ricans playing major league ball, those who have come from the caribbean island have made their mark before the vast majority and continue to let their ink within the history books.
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