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Baseball Great - Yadier Monlina

            Most people agree that a team's pitcher is only as good as a team's catcher behind the plate. He has to know what pitch to call based off of the batter and the count, frame the ball to make it look like it is over the plate if it is not, and fall to his knees and block the ball if it is in the dirt. He is one of the most important players on the field defensively. Since the very beginning when the Major League Baseball first began, in 1869, catchers were picked up for their defensive, not their offensive abilities. However, Yadier Molina has thrown out the role of being only a "defensive catcher". He has one of the best batting averages for a catcher, while still maintaining the title of being the best defensive catcher in the league, or I would say the best catcher to ever play the game. Yadier Molina should be considered the best catcher to ever play the game for three primarily reasons: his dedication to the sport at an early age, his defensive abilities, and his consistent hitting.
             Coming from a baseball family, Molina grew up in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. His father was an amateur second baseman in Puerto Rico and two older brothers, Bengie and José Molina, are major league catchers, from who taught him his style of catching from an early age. Molina's father, who played second base as an amateur, would come home from work, eat dinner, and then walk across the street to Jesús Mambe Kuilan Park, where he spent countless evening hours teaching Yadier and his brothers the fundamentals of the sport. Molina's catching abilities showed as early as age five and quickly developed due to playing with his older brother. He concentrated on infield positions up until the age of 16, where he began to develop the "catcher's body" which was a familiar Molina family build. Molina's father also looked to mature him early on the baseball field. He placed him on the Hatillo Tigres, an amateur league team full of players about ten years older than him, long before Molina was eligible for the Major League Baseball draft.

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