February 27, 2012

The night Bengie Molina stole his last base....

Bengie Molina, one of my all-time favorites announced his retirement today. I will miss him for his engaging personality (he was always tremendous with fans), his clutch hitting (I always felt good when Bengie came to the plate with runners in scoring position), and his awesome defense (he won gold gloves in 2002 and 2003).

The one thing he wasn’t known for is his speed or lack of it, so to speak and yet – my fondest memories of Bengie involve a couple events on the base paths.

It started on May 16, 2006 when he was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays and his team was in Anaheim to play the Angels. His brother – Jose Molina was the starting catcher for the Angels that evening. In the bottom of the 6th with Angels leading 3-0, Jose stole second base off his brother Bengie. Jose would score that inning and the Angels would go on to win 8-3, but the fun was just getting started.

The next night (May 17, 2006), in the top of the 2nd in a scoreless game Bengie would try to get a little revenge and attempt to steal a base against his brother. He was gunned down and the Angels would go down 3-0 that night.

But this is not where the story or the memory ends…

Four month later, on September 9, 2006 Bengie would exact his revenge. In the top of the 4th with his team trailing 1-0, Bengie would go lumbering down the base path to steal second (the third and last stolen base of his entire career). He wouldgo on to score as his team would win 2-1.

The smile on his face must have been priceless (hard to tell from my seats). I know I had to smile as I recalled the events of the year leading up to this moment. It was almost predictable. Two brothers were living our their sibling rivalry on major league playing field. It was priceless to watch and something I will always remember.

Bengie was the ultimate competitor, but he knew how to have fun too. This is the kind of player I have always loved to root for. He was tough as nails and made the most out of his abilities.

Cheryl and I have a ton of Bengie memories and we will miss him. We missed not seeing him in a uniform at all last year (and really hated it when he wore Texas colors) and we have missed him ever since he left the Angels following the 2005 season. The Angels catching core has never been the same. Just saying.

Note: I will post Day 3 in Tempe (which was yesterday) later tonight....

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