Milestones that St. Louis Cardinals players could reach in 2022

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ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 07: Yadier Molina #4, Albert Pujols #5,and Adam Wainwright #50 he St. Louis Cardinals sit in the dugout prior to the start of the Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium on April 7, 2022 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 07: Yadier Molina #4, Albert Pujols #5,and Adam Wainwright #50 he St. Louis Cardinals sit in the dugout prior to the start of the Opening Day game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium on April 7, 2022 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Another all-time Cardinal is calling it quits after this year, as Yadier Molina is preparing to ride off into retirement at the same time as Pujols.  While Yadi doesn’t have the glowing statistics of his teammate, the catching position doesn’t lend itself to such offensive output.  Still, Molina is closing in on some impressive totals.

Games caught: Molina is one of only six catchers to squat behind the dish for 2,000 games, and with 67 more appearances there, he’ll become one of only four players to do so 2,200 times, joining Ivan Rodriguez (2.427), Carlton Fisk (2,226), and Bob Boone (2,225).  With 94 more games caught – a reasonable goal for Mr. Durable behind the dish – he’ll pass Fisk for second place all time.

Hits as a catcher: With another 22 base knocks so far this year, Molina is up to 2112 hits for his career while serving as a catcher.  (He has another 22 during his minimal time at other positions and while pinch-hitting.)  Ahead of him on the list?  Rodriguez (2,749 hits), Jason Kendall (2,160), and Fisk (2,145).  Will Yadi reach safely another 49 times and slide past Kendall into second place on this list, too?  Absolutely.

Total Bases as a catcher: Figuring out how many of those 22 non-catcher hits were singles, doubles, triples, and home runs isn’t easy, but Molina has 3,070 total bases overall, so even if all of those additional hits were homers – which, of course, they’re not – he still would have 2,982 total bases as a catcher.  That’s ahead of Johnny Bench (2,976) for fifth place, and it makes it semi-plausible he could surpass Gary Carter (3,201) for fourth place.  Maybe not, but who’s going to tell Yadi he can’t do something?

Home runs as a Cardinal: Molina recently passed Ted Simmons to set the St. Louis franchise record for home runs by a catcher, currently at 173.  If he can clear the fences nine more times, he’ll move into eighth place among all Cardinals players, displacing Jim Bottomley.

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