Hall of Famer Paul Molitor remembers how he went from being shipped out to AAA to being called up to the show all in 1 day.
Nicknamed “Molly” and “The Ignitor,” Paul Molitor was elected as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, 2004. He played for 21 seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays and his Minnesota Twins.
Molitor started out as a shortstop, then moved to second base when the briefly-retired Robin Yount returned. During the latter half of his career, he was used primarily as a designated hitter, with occasional games at first base and in the outfield. He played nearly half of his career as a DH.
Molitor was part of a young Milwaukee Brewers team that lost the 1982 World Series in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals but batted .355 during the series. In Game 1 of the ’82 Series, he had five hits, which set a Major League record. During that season, he hit .302 and led the American League with 136 runs scored. Molitor also attracted national media attention during his 39-game hitting streak, which ended with Molitor in the on-deck circle when Rick Manning got a game-ending hit to beat the Cleveland Indians on August 26, 1987. Fans booed Manning for driving in the winning run and thus depriving Molitor of one last chance to reach 40 games. The streak continues to stand as the fifth-longest in modern-day baseball history, and remains the longest since Pete Rose’s 44 game hit streak in 1978.
Molitor was a key part of the Blue Jays second World Championship in 1992. Molitor won the World Series MVP Award and tied a World Series record by batting .500 in the six game series.
He left the Blue Jays after the 1995 season and joined his hometown Minnesota Twins for the final three seasons of his career, where he acquired his 3,000th hit. He is the only player to reach the 3000 hits plateau with a triple. Molitor was relishing the opportunity to play with Twins superstar Kirby Puckett, but Puckett developed career-ending glaucoma during spring training in 1996 and never played again. In 1996, Molitor became the first 40-year-old to have a 200-hit season with 225.
Molitor’s lifetime statistics include 2,683 games played, 1,782 runs scored, 3,319 hits, 234 home runs, 1,307 runs batted in, a .306 batting average, and 504 stolen bases. He batted .368 in 5 postseason series and was an all-star seven times.
This data was drawn from Wikipedia.
This episode was originally broadcast as a national radio syndication in April 1987.
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