Puerto Rico Native Yadier Molina Homers in First At-Bat Wearing Roberto Clemente’s No. 21

Jesse Pantuosco
September 10, 2020 - 3:09 pm

Need something uplifting to get you through your Thursday afternoon grind? Well you’ve come to the right place.

For context, players across MLB are honoring baseball pioneer Roberto Clemente this week by wearing his iconic No. 21. Veteran catcher Yadier Molina, who may someday join the Pirates great in Cooperstown, proudly donned Clemente’s number Thursday in the first game of the Cardinals’ doubleheader with Detroit. Molina, who grew up idolizing Clemente in his native Puerto Rico, honored the late Hall of Famer in remarkable fashion, slugging a no-doubt homer to deep left in a surreal scene Thursday at Busch Stadium.

You can't make this stuff up. Launching a tape-measure blast (just his third of the season) in his first trip to the plate while wearing Clemente’s No. 21 is the dictionary definition of goosebumps. The Cardinals, who are playing their second doubleheader in three days with three more on tap next week (the result of a 17-day COVID layoff), are off to a pretty good start in this one, leading the Tigers 10-2 through four highly eventful frames.

Molina now ranks 10th all-time among Puerto Rican-born players in career hits (1,988) trailing Clemente, Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Roberto Alomar, Bernie Williams and Carlos Delgado, among other familiar faces. The nine-time All-Star has represented P.R. in every World Baseball Classic since the tournament's inception in 2006.

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