Adam Wainwright says goodbye to ‘the best ever’ in heartfelt Yadier Molina tribute

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is approaching his final career game, and pitcher Adam Wainwright said an emotional goodbye.

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is approaching his final career game, and pitcher Adam Wainwright said an emotional goodbye to the veteran player.

Wainwright narrated a video and opened it with, “It’s hard to imagine Cardinals baseball without you.” He further stated that he “earned every bit” of his success and closed the video with, “Thanks for playing catch all these years.”

Molina had a 19-season career with a lot of success. He may not have always been the best hitter, but he was certainly a reliable player overall and earned an extensive list of awards to show for it.

Cardinals veteran Yadier Molina is an all-time great

Molina earned several awards over the years, mostly in recognition of his defensive skills. He earned six Fielding Bibles, nine Gold Gloves, four Platinum Gloves and four Defensive Player of the Year awards, among many others.

Over his career, Molina hit .278/.328/.399 for an OPS of .727 and  hit 173 home runs. He had his best season at the plate in 2012 and hit .315/.373/.501 for an OPS of .874. He also played with the Cardinals every single season of his career.

Over his career, he built a strong bond with Wainwright, as the battery mates set a new standard.

Wainwright told MLB.com, “It’s a relationship that started as pitcher and catcher, baseball only and at the field only, to 19 years later doing Thanksgiving with him in his house in Puerto Rico and our kids playing and being raised together. Things like that you can’t make up.”

He also revealed, “Yadi and I started out as kids and now we’re old men, and we grew up together. I don’t know how many teammates we’ve seen come and go. We’ve seen guys traded, and we’ve played with lots of people, but we’ve always been together. We’ve won a lot together, we’ve lost some together and we’ve cried together. When you have those life experiences, you’re bound to grow close.”

The Cardinals certainly won’t be the same without Molina, but it’ll be especially difficult for Wainwright (who could also retire at the end of the season), who spent nearly two decades alongside the catcher.

The Cardinals are on track to make the playoffs this season, which would be a great final goodbye to their long-time catcher.

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