On Wednesday, Yadier Molina won the first Rawlings Gold Glove Award of his career. That award, though, was merely a prologue to the honor that Yadi is about to receive today, when he is featured in the Baseball Card of the Week.
What we have here is a 2006 Yadier Molina card by Bowman. It was sent in by Michael Turner of O'Fallon (Mr. Turner did not specify Missouri or Illinois), back in June or July, I believe. I had meant to feature it earlier, but it got pushed aside due to a couple of other submissions. Now, though, I'm actually glad I never got around to it before, as now I've got a perfect reason.
The interesting thing about Molina winning the Gold Glove this year is that 2008 may, in fact, have been his worst season defensively of his major league career.
ChuckB made the case yesterday over at Viva El Birdos that it may have been, and I have a tough time disagreeing with him. Yadi was worse at throwing out runners than in years past, allowed more wild pitches and passed balls, and his catcher's ERA (which I have to say I think is a myth anyway, but lots of people put a lot of stock in it), wasn't anything too very special, either.
Still, the fact that this may have been Yadi's worst year with the glove just proves what kind of an lofty standard he's set. He's the best in the game at controlling the running game, as far as I'm concerned. He blocks the plate well. And the pick-off move to first that he and Albert have pulled off so many times is truly a thing of beauty.
Congratulations, Yadi. It may be a year later than it should have been, but hey, better late than never, right?