Baseball players can certainly be tough when they need to be. Especially catchers, and especially if they're named Yadier Molina.
The St. Louis Cardinals backstop was at the center of a scary moment on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh. The All-Star was on the receiving end of a vicious collision with Pittsburgh Pirates baserunner Josh Harrison.
Harrison came around third base on a base hit to right and decided at some point down the third base line that he was going to try to go through Molina. That turned out to be a bad idea — Molina somehow held the ball — but the damage was done.
Molina got up clearly seeing stars. Manager Mike Matheny – a former big league catcher himself — and the Cardinals trainer rushed out to tend to him. Molina needed help standing at first before walking off under his own power.
He's expected to be OK, though. He underwent X-rays and a concussion test after the game, and appears to have escaped with "just" a strained back, shoulder and neck.
Quite simply, it was one of the finer plays you will ever see. If you watch closely enough, you'll see that Molina is focusing on nothing but the baseball as Carlos Beltran's throw comes into the infield. That obviously puts him in a bad place to absorb a blow from another professional athlete. However, Molina still picks the ball out of the dirt — on a short hop, no less — and is able to apply the tag. Or, at the very least, make the tag as he is being run through.
See it all below.