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Bengie Molina was a college shortstop (seriously)

Mar 16, 2010, 4:41 PM EDT

Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News writes the most shocking thing you’ll read today: Bengie Molina was a shortstop in college.

It turns out that before Molina settled in for a career behind the plate, before he became the Sultan of Squat, he was a lithe and rangy shortstop for Arizona Western Community College.

Yes, that Bengie Molina. The player that manager Bruce Bochy has diplomatically described as “not being born with the gift of speed” first set out to make majors as the next Ozzie Smith. He had deft hands, a rifle arm and enough speed that he usually hit in the No. 2 hole. …

“He was really skinny,” [coach John] Stratton recalled. “He’s just turned 18. And he was not a slow base runner. He wasn’t a burner, but he was very athletic and a decent runner.” Molina went on to make all-conference at the position.

Baggarly goes on to tell the really interesting story of how Molina went from community college shortstop to big-league catcher thanks to “a lark” and his mom’s collection of newspaper clippings. Definitely worth checking out the entire article.

  1. Dan in Katonah - Mar 16, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    I hate to be a nay-sayer, but in actuality the shortstop at AWCC was a guy named Ted Kowalski, who was Bengie’s roommate. Ted disappeared under mysterious circumstances and Bengie was noted to have underwent sudden weight gain at that time. I think Stratton must have buried what was left of Ted’s chewed-up carcas and is now covering up. No way Bengie was ever skinny.
    Just a working theory…

  2. BCTF - Mar 16, 2010 at 5:46 PM

    Jason Tyner was a DH in the majors

  3. Bobomo - Mar 16, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Woah, woah, woah, woah….
    Bengie Molina went to college?

  4. Tom - Mar 16, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    It just shows how crazy athletic everyone who makes the majors is. Even a player that is reported to be the slowest player in the majors like Bengie could probably beat out 95% of Americans down the baselines.

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