The Post-Dispatch is publishing a weeklong series on the storied careers of Cardinals Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina as their final regular season in St. Louis comes to a close. Pick up the print edition on Sunday, Oct. 2.
How do you capture the impact of a baseball player’s career? With numbers, of course. As we look back on their long, historic careers, we find some interesting data, historical context and surprising milestones for the Cardinal stars.
The number of games Yadier Molina has played in a Cardinals uniform, the most ever by a catcher for a single team. That’s 422 games more than the next closest player, Bill Dickey, who caught 1,789 games for the New York Yankees. If an active player were to try and beat this record, Will Smith of the LA Dodgers and Danny Jansen of the Toronto Blue Jays, the active leaders behind Molina, would have to play every game for the next 11 seasons with their current clubs.
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The number of base runners who tried and failed to steal a base on Molina, the ninth-most of any catcher all time. Molina’s prolific ability to catch would-be base running thieves can not only be measured in how many runners he’s caught, but how few have tried. Of qualified candidates, Molina has had the fewest stolen base attempts against him, at 937.
Total games played during which the Cardinals have been eliminated from the playoffs since Yadier Molina debuted in 2004, 2,214 games ago. They’ve made the playoffs in 12 of his 19 seasons and were rarely out of it altogether. For reference, the Pirates this season alone were eliminated from the playoffs with 24 games remaining on their schedule.
The number of hits Yadier Molina has collected in his career, the most ever by a catcher for one team. One of the most prolific contact hitters from behind the plate, his hit total also represents the third most by a Cardinal, and the 38th most by a player for a single team regardless of position.
Games caught after turning 35, the most of any player with one team. This speaks to Molina's ability to age gracefully and continue to play the catcher position, one known for taking a toll on a player's body.
The number of different pitchers Albert Pujols has hit a home run off of, the most in MLB history. Only 39 players ever have hit more than 453 home runs, regardless of pitcher. If those unique home runs were the only ones Pujols had ever hit, he would be just ahead of Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time home runs list.
Metropolitan Community College-Maple Wood rank among colleges with the most career active MLB WAR among its alumni, with 100.7. Albert Pujols is the only player in the MLB from MCC. Some of the programs that sit behind the Kansas City junior college include Miami (99), Georgia Tech (96), USC (88) and Vanderbilt (83).
The number of runs Albert Pujols has driven in during his 22-year career, second all-time and just the third player to surpass 2,200. Pujols' 14 seasons with 100 RBI or more is the most all-time, and his 133 after turning 40 give him the 14th most by a player in their 40s.
The number of extra-base hits by Albert Pujols, third behind only Barry Bonds and Hank Aaron. While both Aaron and Bonds have hit more home runs and triples, Pujols’ 685 doubles rank fifth all-time. His 949 extra-base hits as a Cardinal rank second behind only Stan Musial.
Different parks in which Albert Pujols has hit an MLB home run, becoming only the seventh player to hit a home run in 40 or more, joining Ellis Burks, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Piazza, Gary Sheffield, and Fred McGriff. Some of the parks that Pujols hit home runs in include Busch Stadium II and III, Old and New Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium, Olympic Stadium, Jacobs Field, and Monterrey Stadium in Mexico.
In this Series
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