That Must Be A Record Or Something

by on September 20, 2012 · 3 comments

David Freese and Yadier Molina both hit the 20 HR mark last night.  Based on the practically palpable excitement on the internets, this must have been a record or something.  It was.  The St. Louis Cardinals as a franchise has been around since prehistoric times – 1882 to be exact (that’s what we call the “19th century” for no obvious reason).  In all those years of hitting baseballs around various ballparks, no Cardinal team had ever had 5 players hit 20 HR or more in a single season.  None…until 2012.  You may pretty much expect 20+ from the likes of Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.  You probably knew that if Allen Craig stayed healthy enough he would get there as well.

David Freese always had the potential, but he’s had some injury issues in previous season as well.  But Yadier Molina?  Yadi?

Yeah, Yadi.

The Cardinals have a long, storied history, and Yadi’s 20th HR put him in a rather select group of catchers who had hit 20 or more home runs for the franchise.  Unless I’m missing someone like Sleeper Sullivan from the late 1800’s, my 15 seconds of in-depth research shows that only 3 players have played catcher as their primary position and still hit 20 HR in a season for the Redbirds.

  • Joe Torre 21 – 1970
  • Ted Simmons 20 – 1974
  • Ted Simmons 21 – 1977
  • Ted Simmons 22 – 1978
  • Ted Simmons 26 – 1979
  • Ted Simmons 21 – 1980
  • Yadier Molina 21 (and counting) – 2012

Yadi just happens.  He happens to be working to improve in all facets of the game every single year.  Fans have taken notice.  Molina’s career year comes in the middle of a 10 year / $96.5M contract, and his 6.9 WAR this season basically delivers about 1/3 of the replacement value for the entire contract.  He still has at least 5 more years after this one on that same deal.

Oh by the way, the win that Yadi helped secure last night helps push the magic numbers in the direction of zero for the Cardinals.  As it stands, the magic numbers to clinch the 2nd wild card spot are as follows:

  • 12 – Dodgers
  • 12 – Brewers
  • 10 – Phillies
  • 10 – Pirates
  • 10 – Diamondbacks
  • 6 – Padres
  • 2 – Mets


Cardinals fan since I could hold a fishing pole steady. Accidental blogger. Opinionated. I could care less about what you think of me. Constantly confounded, bemused, and confuzzled (ie I'm a pc and a mac). I'm an IT infrastructure analyst with a penchant for breaking tech toys. I ate a sabermetric primer for breakfast. I love playing "All-powerful GM of MLB". The 2010 Cardinals represented a good, practical definition "cognitive dissonance". The 2011 version got by on duct tape and a prayer, and I'm fine with that. They just need new tape for #12 in 12.
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Rick C September 20, 2012

Didn’t Ted Simmons retire after the 1988 season after playing for the Brewers for 5 years and the Braves for another 3? Besides the years mentioned, the only other time he hit more than 20 was 1982 when he hit 23 for the Brewers.

Dennis September 20, 2012

You are correct about Simmons after his time with the Cardinals, although I’m not sure what that has to do with catchers who hit 20 or more home runs with the Cardinals.

Rick C September 20, 2012

Well, your list of HR’s for Simmons has changed. You had him hitting HR’s in 1989. That has now been deleted from the list.

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