My true love gave to me, four calling birds.

Or in this case, a goat calling pitches behind home plate. Cardinals fans know him as Yadier Molina — the man who defies Father Time by continuing to persevere each and every season.

Drafted in the fourth round of the 2000 MLB Amateur Draft, Molina was known more for his defensive prowess rather than the lack of offensive qualities. The understudy to Mike Matheny, Molina quickly found his way into the hearts of St. Louis faithful by 2004 and still remains 16 years later.

With 1958 hits, 156 HR, and 916 RBIs in those 16 years, Molina has been a force to be reckoned with. — 9x All-Star, 2x World Series Champion, 9x Gold Glove Award winner, one Silver Slugger Award, one Roberto Clemente Award, and 2x All-World Baseball Classic Team catcher.

Having earned a reputation as a team leader throughout his career, Molina formulates fielder positioning plans and complete pitching strategies to opposing hitters. Through 2019, Molina is currently the longest tenured player with one team in Major League Baseball, having been with the Cardinals since the 2004 season.

He’s a machine. And an all around good guy.

Molina has a charitable foundation called Foundation 4, which helps to raise donations for childhood cancer in Puerto Rico. After the devastating hurricane in 2017 hit Puerto Rico, Molina and his wife started a GoFundMe page for victims. The page raised $20,000 in the first seven hours of being live.

Here’s to another year of Yadier Molina!

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