Book Review: Molina

molinaMolina is a book by Bengie Molina about his father who raised an unlikely baseball dynasty.  If you are a baseball fan, then you probably know about the “catching molinas” – brothers Benjie, Yadier and Jose who have six World Championships among them. After their father’s death, Bengie realized that he didn’t really know his father beyond him being his father. He talked with his father’s family and old teammates and other people that he knew to find out more about him.

The book focuses a lot more on Bengie’s career and life than his father’s – but shows how his father helped him and his career and to make him the player he was by teaching him the rules of baseball and to never give up. Bengie’s father never really told his kids about his baseball playing years and why he ended up never playing in the majors despite everyone saying he was a great player.  It is not until after his death when his father’s friends begin to share stories that he realizes what his fathers true dream was, and it was not playing professional baseball.

This was a really interesting book – I’m a baseball fan so I certainly know about the Molina’s and that they are all catchers (although Bengie did not start out that way) so it was nice to read this back story about their father and all the hard work he had put in over the years to provide for his family.

I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for this review.

About the Book

The inspiring true story of the poor Puerto Rican factory worker, Benjamin Molina Santana, who against all odds raised the greatest baseball dynasty of all time: Molina’s three sons—Bengie, Jose, and Yadier—have each earned two World Series rings, which is unprecedented in the sport, and his story is told by one of them, Bengie.

A baseball rules book. A tape measure. A lottery ticket.

These were in the pocket of Bengie Molina’s father when he died of a heart attack on the rutted Little League field in his Puerto Rican barrio. The items serve as thematic guideposts in Molina’s beautiful memoir about his father, who through baseball taught his three sons about loyalty, humility, courage, and the true meaning of success.

Bengie and his two brothers—Jose and six-time All-Star Yadier—became famous catchers in the Major Leagues and have six World Series championships among them. Only the DiMaggio brothers can rival the Molinas as the most accomplished siblings in baseball history.

Bengie was the least likely to reach the Majors. He was too slow, too sensitive, and too small. But craving his beloved father’s respect, Bengie weathered failure after deflating failure until one day he was hoisting a World Series trophy in a champagne-soaked clubhouse. All along he thought he was fulfilling his father’s own failed dream of baseball glory—only to discover it had not been his father’s dream at all.

Written with the emotional power of sports classics such as Field of Dreams and Friday Night Lights, Molina is a love story between a formidable but flawed father and a son who, in unearthing answers about his father’s life, comes to understand his own.

Category: Book Review
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