Yadier Molina
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Yadier Molina, the Cardinals’ backstop, caught the 2,000th game of his career in Wednesday’s series finale against the Nationals, becoming the sixth catcher in MLB history to reach such a mark. But what sets this mark apart is that he is the first catcher to do catch 2,000 games for one team.

Facing the Nationals at Busch Stadium, starter Adam Wainwright fired the first pitch to Trea Turner before the game was paused for a standing ovation. It was fitting that Yadier Molina did so with Wainwright on the mound. The duo has started 277 games together, which ranks sixth all-time for the most games ever played by a starter-catcher battery. In six starts, that mark becomes the fourth most.

The other five catchers to achieve the feat are Hall of Famers Iván Rodríguez, Carlton Fisk, and Gary Carter as well as All-Stars Jason Kendall and Bob Boone. Molina is a nine-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove winner, and two-time World Series champion. Only Iván Rodríguez has done it while amassing more Gold Glove Awards along the way. None have done it with a single team. Until Molina.

Yadier Molina, publicly unrivaled in dedication to his craft and to annual improvement as his game is forced to evolve with age, has yielded some of the best results at the plate in his career this season. Small sample granted, he is batting .353/.410/.588 with two homers and a 178 OPS+ through the first 10 starts of 2021.

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