Bengie Molina released a book this week that officially changed his profession from former catcher to now author. But, contrary to what you might think, this is not a baseball book.
The book, “Molina: The Story of the Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty,” has much more depth than just being a baseball book, and that’s the appeal that can draw any type of reader to it. This book is focused on Bengie’s father and the sacrifices, hard work, and values he passed down to all three of his boys. Throughout the book, Bengie takes us in depth into the relationship between his father and himself, the constant questioning of his fathers thoughts, and his desire for his father’s approval while battling with his outward disapproval. It wasn’t until his father’s passing that Bengie ultimately realized the man his father truly was.
For those looking for more than the family aspect of the book, there’s also a love story that plays out throughout. Bengie takes us step by step as he meets his wife with whom he has his two daughters. As his career begins and progresses through the minors, the time away and money situation puts a strain on their relationship. When Bengie eventually reaches Anaheim, he meets a reporter who he can’t seem to shake out of his mind. Despite the reporter not having personal contact with athletes and Bengie being married, the two develop a close friendship throughout Bengie’s years in Anaheim. As things get worse at home and his friendship develops, Bengie contemplates a divorce. When an accident to his friend happens and Bengie’s knowledge of the family’s feelings toward a divorce, Bengie has to decide whether to do what’s best for him and risk the disapproval of his father.
Of course there is some baseball in the book. Actually, baseball is the central backdrop throughout the book as Bengie’s personal life develops through each chapter. Molina shows us how he became a catcher (he was the only Molina to not be a natural catcher) and takes us through his minor league years. As he approaches the majors, it’s not a player standing in his way, but a manger in Terry Collins. We continue through Bengie’s first full year, to winning the World Series over the Giants and the rest of the Anaheim years. We then find out about Bengie’s near-Met years, his time in San Fransisco dealing with Barry Bonds, and catching a kid named Tim Lincecum, before being traded to Texas to then see his old mates in the World Series.
If you’re still on the fence about getting this book, then go take a listen below. I had a long conversation with Bengie covering many aspects of both the book and his playing career. Bengie in the interview goes in depth about his days in Anaheim from Terry Collins to the rally monkey. We talk about his brief stop in Toronto before he ends up in San Francisco. There Bengie doesn’t hold back about Bonds and how he was in the clubhouse amongst his teammates and his feelings about whether Bonds deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. We also discuss, among other topics, what differences he notices in Tim Lincecum from now to when he was catching him while he was winning a couple of Cy Young Awards, Bengie’s feelings about former teammate Josh Hamilton, and what he thinks of the new home plate rule. Check it all out below in my in-depth interview and go get Bengie’s book, “Molina: The Story of the Father Who Raised an Unlikely Baseball Dynasty,” wherever books are sold.