Yadi reunites with fellow star catcher in Japan

9-time Gold Glover chats with Abe prior to exhibition at Tokyo Dome

November 8th, 2018

TOKYO -- Nine-time Gold Glove Award winner 's reputation has followed him to Japan, where he is one of the marquee attractions among a roster full of Major League stars touring the country for the Japan All-Star Series.

But Molina wasn't the only catcher with rock star status at the Tokyo Dome on Thursday. The Yomiuri Giants, who the Major Leaguers played in an exhibition game, sport a legendary backstop of their own. Before the MLB All-Stars' 9-6 win, the two met in the visitors' dugout for a quick chat, a couple of handshakes and a general open display of goodwill.

Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe has played in the World Baseball Classic in the past -- he was the captain of the Japanese national team in 2013 -- and that's where he first met Molina, who has played for Team Puerto Rico in all four Classics. Abe and Molina greeted each other warmly on Thursday, with the aid of an interpreter, who huddled with the two catchers and relayed the friendly conversation for both to understand.

The two catchers, who between them have hit 545 home runs -- 399 for Abe, 146 for Molina -- ended the meeting by posing for a few photos. It wasn't the first time -- nor will it be the last -- that Molina was asked to take a picture while he's touring Japan. He's one of the most popular attractions on the Major League All-Star roster.

"It's such an honor to be here," Molina said. "I know the respect that [Japan's players] play with during the games. The respect that they give to the fans. I've played against them in the WBC, and it's always such an honor."