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Molina earns fifth straight Gold Glove Award

ST. LOUIS -- Already considered the gold standard at his position, Yadier Molina received more gold hardware to display as proof of that excellence.

During an hour-long program on ESPN2 Tuesday night, Molina was announced as the Rawlings Gold Glove winner, sealing the fifth straight year in which he has been voted the league's best defensive catcher. Molina becomes the first Cardinals player since Jim Edmonds to receive a Gold Glove Award for that many consecutive seasons.

"It's always such a great honor to win the Gold Glove Award," Molina said. "It's something that you work hard for, and it's nice to be voted as a top player at your position."

Voting for the award is done by managers and coaches. Finishing closest to Molina in the vote were Arizona's Miguel Montero and Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz.

"The league has many good catchers," Molina said during the National League Championship Series. "I just want to be the best that I can. You have to think that way. If you get comfortable, you won't be here for a long time. You can't be comfortable in this game. You have to constantly work to get better."

With his fifth Gold Glove, Molina moves further into elite catching company. Only four catchers -- Ivan Rodriguez (13), Johnny Bench (10), Bob Boone (7) and Jim Sundberg (6) -- have earned more Gold Gloves than Molina, whose five ties him with Bill Freehan.

Molina, 30, preceded this honor by winning another defensive award -- the Fielding Bible Award -- last week. It caps a season in which he threw out 46 percent of attempted basestealers and topped all catchers in the Defensive Run Saved statistic. According to that measurement, which was created to calculate how many plays a fielder makes above or below an average player at that position, Molina scored a 16.

Statistics, though, cannot fully measure Molina's impact. He excels at blocking pitches in the dirt and is among the game's best in calling a game.

"I will stand behind the fact that Yadier Molina has impressed me more than any catcher I've ever witnessed," Cardinals manager and four-time Gold Glove-winning catcher Mike Matheny said earlier this month. "The things that he does that are intangible you can only see by watching every day and watching [with] a very critical eye. But he has everything that you would ask for from a catcher defensively."

The rest of the list of 2012 NL Gold Glove recipients includes: Carlos Gonzalez, Andrew McCutchen, Jason Heyward, Adam LaRoche, Darwin Barney, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Headley and Mark Buehrle.

Molina will now compete against that group of NL players for the second annual Rawlings Platinum Glove Award, which Molina won in 2011. The award recognizes the best defensive player (regardless of position) in each league and will be determined through a fan vote.

Visit to cast a vote for the award. Winners will be announced on Nov. 9.

St. Louis Cardinals, Yadier Molina