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The New York Times bestseller about Major League Baseball’s Molina brothers and how they became Gold Glove, World Series–winning catchers: “A simply told, deeply moving story, quite unlike the usual baseball book” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review).
A baseball rules book. A tape measure. A lottery ticket. These were in the pocket of Bengie Molina’s father when he died of a heart attack on the rutted Little League field in his Puerto Rican barrio. The items are powerful symbols in Molina’s beautiful memoir about his father, who through baseball taught his three sons about loyalty, humility, courage, and the true meaning of success.
Bengie and his two brothers—José and six-time All-Star Yadier—became famous catchers in the Major Leagues with World Series championships among them. Only the DiMaggio brothers can rival the Molinas as the most accomplished siblings in baseball history.
Bengie was the least likely to reach the Majors. He was too slow, too sensitive, and too small. But craving his beloved father’s respect, Bengie weathered failure after deflating failure until one day he was hoisting a World Series trophy in a Champagne-soaked clubhouse. All along he thought he was fulfilling his father’s own failed dream of baseball glory—only to discover it had not been his father’s dream at all.
Written with the emotional power of sports classics such as Field of Dreams and Friday Night Lights, Molina is a love story between a formidable but flawed father and a son who, in unearthing answers about his father’s life, comes to understand his own. “It’s this year’s baseball book most likely to be made into a terrific movie” (Chicago Tribune).
About the Author
Benjamin José "Bengie" Molina is a former Major League Baseball catcher who has played for the Anaheim Angels, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the San Francisco Giants. His brothers, Yadier and José, are also major league catchers. Bengie holds two World Championship rings, and two Gold Glove Awards. He is now the first base coach and catching instructor for the Texas Rangers.
Joan Ryan is an award-winning journalist and author. She was one of the first female sports columnists in the country, and has covered every major sporting event, from the Super Bowl to the Olympics and championship fights. Her work has earned her thirteen Associated Press Sports Editors Awards, the National Headliner Award and the Women's Sports Foundation's Journalism Award by the San Francisco chapter of the National Organization for Women. Her book Little Girls in Pretty Boxes: The Making and Breaking of Elite Gymnasts and Figure Skaters was named one of the Top 100 Sports Books of All Time by Sports Illustrated (the only one to be authored by a woman), and one of the Top 50 Sports Books of All Time by the Guardian. Joan now works as a media consultant to the San Francisco Giants.
"For three brothers to make it to the big leagues, to all play the same demanding position, and to appear, between them, in eight World Series to date is remarkable enough. What is just as remarkable is the backstory—the family, especially the parents, who made Yadier, Bengie, and José Molina the ballplayers and men they became." —Bob Costas
"If Molina was just a baseball book explaining how a small town in Puerto Rico produced a historic set of three brothers who became Major League catchers and earned six World Series championships, it would still be a terrific read. The reality is that Molina is that and much more: it is a great book. Bengie honors his family, especially his Pai and Mai, by describing how their love and support carried him and his brothers through difficult beginnings into legendary careers—Mai taking care of the home front and Pai coaching their physical and mental baseball skills. Throughout the book, wonderful stories are combined with fascinating insights. I have read Molina three times to fully appreciate its many important messages. Molina will touch you on many levels. You will love it." —Tony La Russa
"I've always believed that it takes a village of people to love and nurture a professional athlete into being. The Molinas are the perfect example. They will go down with the Alous, the Boones, the Bells, and others as baseball family royalty. This book is a must-read for all parents who want to teach their children the skills of the game while making sure they know that their skills away from the diamond are just as important." —Ron Darling
“An affecting memoir about a remarkable man who raised three sons to become baseball champions. . . . A simply told, deeply moving story, quite unlike the usual baseball book.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"A good baseball story, but an even better story of fathers, sons, and the importance of family.” —Booklist (starred review)
“It's this year's baseball book most likely to be made into a terrific movie. … An ideal Father's Day present." —The Chicago Tribune