Inspired by Yadier Molina, here are eight other times that baseballs have gotten stuck
When Yadier Molina blocked a pitch in the dirt during Thursday's game against the Cubs, something hapened that seemed to defy all laws of physics and gravity: The ball became lodged on his equipment, remaining stuck there as he searched in vain.
It looked more like a trick baseball or the result of a YouTube prank, rather than a baseball highlight. And yet, both Molina and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had no idea how it happened, or had ever seen something like this before.
Though we hadn't seen something defy the known physics of the universe quite like that before, over the years baseballs have had an odd habit of becoming trapped in the strangest places. Like, for example:
The catcher's mask
Molina's trapped ball may have been stranger, but Jose Lobaton's was certainly more harrowing. The catcher was probably never more thankful for the metal cage on his catcher's mask than after Carlos Gomez lined a foul ball straight into it.
The most common of baseball stuck-isms, probably because a mitt is made to, you know, catch and hold a baseball. Better to err on the side of catching it too well, I suppose.
The king of these was Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, who had to throw his glove -- with ball trapped inside -- to first base for the out in 1999.
Ichiro Suzuki is the master of the infield single. According to Fangraphs' batted ball metrics that date back to 2002, Ichiro has the top three single-season infield-single marks. It's probably thanks to magic like this: finding a way to bury the ball in the pitcher's shirt, as he did against the A's Jarrod Parker in 2012.
What's the best way to avoid being tagged out on the bases? Simple: magic. As Brian Roberts showed, you can't tag someone out if you've been David Blaine'd out of the ball:
The legs pt. 2
Hiding a baseball between your legs is relatively easy -- after all, the ball is small and an athlete's legs are not. But Francisco Lindor managed to inadvertantly play reverse-hacky sack with the bat on his way to first base. Honestly, you could try to do this for weeks and never pull it off quite so spectacularly:
Taking a Roger Clemens fastball to the ribs is a feeling no one ever wants to experience. Somehow, Yankees catcher Matt Nokes managed to not only hold back a barrage of tears after being hit, but kept the ball lodged in the crook of his arm. Blinded with fury, he hurled the ball back to Clemens, who simply caught the ball as if they were playing catch.
"I can see him being angry," Clemens said afterward. "I don't know how he caught it. He threw me back a pretty good pitch. He fired it back to me pretty good."
The broadcast booth
OK, this isn't a baseball, but a person that was trapped. Because of the high strangeness of it, we'll include it. This time the usually friendly confines of the broadcast booth transformed into a house of horrors for legendary broadcaster Bob Uecker. They even needed to bring a ladder in to get him out.
The scoreboard platform
Plenty of balls get trapped in Wrigley's ivy or under the padding of an outfield fence. But at least this one won't ever happen again. As Jonathan Weeks detailed in "Mudville Madness," during a game between the Philadelphia Athletics and the Chicago White Sox in 1905:
Thanks to today's ground rules, we won't see a Rays player trying to get a ball trapped on the catwalk. However, Yoenis Cespdes proved that, yes, it is possible to have similar inside-the-park home runs in the modern era: