Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gold Glove Goes to Molina; Cardinals Catcher Wins Fielding Award Fifth Year in a Row; BASEBALL [Corrected 11/26/12]

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gold Glove Goes to Molina; Cardinals Catcher Wins Fielding Award Fifth Year in a Row; BASEBALL [Corrected 11/26/12]

Article excerpt

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is halfway to Johnny Bench.

Molina was recognized as the National Leagues top defensive catcher for the fifth consecutive year Tuesday night as the Rawlings Gold Glovers were announced in a special hour-long show on ESPN2.

A four-time All-Star, Molina ranks second in consecutive Gold Gloves won by a National League catcher. He had been tied with Charles Johnson, who earned four in a row from 1995-98 while playing for Florida and the Los Angeles Dodgers. But the record for consecutive Gold Gloves won by a National League catcher belongs to Cincinnati Hall of Famer Bench, who won 10 straight from 1968 to 1977.

Molina now has one more Gold Glove than his manager, former catcher Mike Matheny, who won four between 2000 and 2005 three with the Cardinals and one with San Francisco.

Molina, the only Cardinal to receive a Gold Glove on Tuesday, threw out 32 runners trying to steal this season, topping the major leagues, at a 48 percent conversion rate.

He added to his number of pickoffs, his specialty being pickoffs at first base. Molina has 45 pickoffs in his career, the most by any catcher over the last nine seasons.

In a news release from the Cardinals, Molina said, Its always such a great honor to win the Gold Glove award. Its something that you work hard for and its nice to be voted as a top player at your position.

Last year, Molina also won the Platinum Glove, which was given to the player considered to be the best defender in each league. Announcement of this years Platinum winners will be made next week.

Voting for the Gold Gloves, brainchild of Rawlings, the St. Louis- based sporting goods company, was done by coaches and managers in the National and American leagues, who could not vote for their own players.

While hailed again for his defensive excellence, Molina also had his best offensive year for the Cardinals, hitting a career-high .315 with concurrent career bests in home runs at 22, runs batted in at 76 and stolen bases at 12.

Molinas selection means that Cardinals catchers have won 11 Gold Gloves. Besides Molinas five and Mathenys three, Tom Pagnozzi also won three Gold Gloves in the 1990s.

Miami Marlins pitcher Mark Buehrle, a Francis Howell North product, gained his fourth straight Gold Glove, the first three coming with the Chicago White Sox. …

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