SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. Yadier Molina, who played for the Smokies in 2003, drove the first pitch he saw from Mets’ reliever Aaron Heilman over the left field wall to send the Cardinals to their second World Series in the past three years.
The Puerto Rican native has played in all eleven games for the St. Louis Cardinals this postseason and is batting .333, with two home runs and seven RBIs. Yadier was a fourth round selection of the 2000 First Year Amateur Player Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2005, at age 22, he became the second youngest catcher to start for a National League team on opening day since Jason Kendall did so for the Pirates at the age of 21 in 1996.
Molina played in 104 games for the Smokies in 2003 and helped the team to a second half divisional title and a playoff appearance. He batted .275 on the year with two homeruns and 51 RBIs and was a member of the 2003 Eastern Division all-star team.
He is one of eight former Smokies on the Cardinals active roster. The list also includes: Chris Carpenter, Tyler Johnson, Anthony Reyes, Brad Thompson, Josh Kinney, Chris Duncan, and manager Tony LaRussa.
Yadier is the younger brother of Anaheim Angels catcher Jose Molina and Bengie Molina of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Web: Smokies Baseball Minor League
Address: 3540 Line Dr, Kodak, TN
Phone: (865) 286-2300