Yadier Molina was born July 13, 1982.
Molina came from a family of baseball players. His father Benjamin Molina was a great hitter, and was elected to the Puerto Rican baseball Hall of Fame in 2002. Older brothers Bengie and Jose both had solid careers as MLB catchers.
As a prospect, Molina was scouted as a great defensive catcher, with a spectacular arm. But his offensive upside was considered limited.
Although Molina believed he was going to be drafted by the Cincinnati Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals selected him in the fourth round in 2000.
As a rookie in 2004, starting 51 games, batting .267 with two home runs and 15 RBI in 151 plate appearances. Although the Cardinals lost to the Red Sox in the World Series that year, manager Tony La Russa was impressed with Molina. He was made the Cardinals starting catcher the following season.
In Molina's first few years in the league, his offensive performance was clearly not up to par with his defensive ability. In 2006, the Cardinals made it back to the World Series. They proceeded to beat the Detroit Tigers, giving Yadi his first first championship ring.
In 2008 Molina enjoyed a breakout season as a hitter. He hit above .300, with 135 hits, 37 runs, and 56 RBI's. In addition, he became the third catcher to win the Gold Glove Award.
Molina was selected to his first All-Star appearance in 2009. His all-around stellar play garnered MVP consideration, and he won his second straight Gold Glove.
Molina has made seven straight All-Star appearances and won seven NL Gold Glove Awards (2008-2014).