SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Yadier Molina, catcher of the St. Louis Cardinals and captain of the 2017 Puerto Rico National Baseball Team, is hosting the second edition of Yadier Molina Home Run Derby & Celebrity Softball Game set for Saturday, December 9 at San Juan’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
This fun-filled charity event benefitting Foundation 4, a nonprofit organization founded by Yadier and his wife Wanda Torres in 2010, will help raise hurricane relief aid for Puerto Rico.
“One of my biggest priorities is to continue to raise money to help Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico, and Foundation 4 was mainly created to help our people especially during times of need,” Molina said. “I want to thank my friends who have accepted to donate their time and make the necessary arrangements in their busy schedules to participate in this event.”
The Yadier Molina Home Run Derby & Celebrity Softball Game begins with a short tribute to Puerto Rico’s U-23 Baseball Team (Los Rubitos) who recently defeated the Dominican Republic to earn the bronze medal in the Pan American U-23 Baseball Championship in Panama. This squad mostly comprised of minor league players was headed by Yadier Molina, his first experience as an official baseball manager.
The event officially kicks off at 1 p.m. with an entertaining Celebrity Home Run Derby, sponsored by the Puerto Rico Toyota Dealers Association, where 10 local celebrities battle for the Top Slugger Award. This Derby is followed by yet another Home Run Derby comprised by 10 MLB players, mostly from the WBC Team Puerto Rico roster (Francisco Lindor, Carlos Beltrán, Carlos Baerga, Eddie Rosario, Joel Piñero, Yadier Molina, Javier Báez, Roberto Bebo Perez, Kennys Vargas and Rafael Furcal).
These 10 players will be divided into two teams: Team JetBlue and Team Rums of Puerto Rico and will follow the same rules applied to the traditional All Star Weekend Home Run Derby. Javier Baez won the home run king crown at the 2015 Yadier Molina Home Run Derby; but the question is will the Cubs second baseman be dethroned?
After the Home Run Derby, a noncompetitive game of Celebrity Softball begins between two teams of 25 players each (Team TMobile vs. Team Empire Gas) comprised of a mix roster of MLB players and local celebrities. Team TMobile won the competition in 2015.
Miss Universe 2001 Denise Quiñones will sing the Puerto Rico anthem followed by Puerto Rican TV host and singer Víctor Santiago who will belt out the U.S. national anthem.
Participating MLB players include: Carlos Beltrán, Francisco Lindor, Javier Báez, Eddie Rosario, Kennys Vargas, Carlos Baerga, Ricky Bones, Octavio Dotel, Joe Jiménez, José De León, José Berrios, Jose Cheo Molina, Yadier Molina, Joel Piñero, Alex Cora, Edwin Díaz, Roberto Pérez, Rafael Furcal, and Alex Claudio.
Local celebrities include Raymond Arrieta, Alexandra Fuentes, Jay Fonseca, Gil Marie López, Willito Otero, Rosko Jaime, Norwill Fragoso, Joealis Filippetti, Jaime Espinal, Adriana Diaz, Guillermo Jose Torres, Mónica Pastrana, Saudi Rivera, Danilo Beauchamp, Dimary Castro, Melwin Cedeño, Molusco, Mimi Pabón, José “El Negro” Figueroa, Gredmarie Colon, Denise Quiñones, Miguel Morales, Stephanie Del Valle and Patricia Corcino.
Foundation 4 is a nonprofit organization founded by Molina and his wife Wanda Torres in 2010, which conducts fundraising events to help numerous causes related to children in Puerto Rico.
Admission is free to the Yadier Molina Home Run Derby & Celebrity Softball Game and the stadium doors will open at 10 a.m. to the general public.
“I wanted to bring some laughter and joy during this holiday season to the people of Puerto Rico especially when they have had to face some of the toughest times in their lives due to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which is why we are not charging admission,” Molina said. “We want families to enjoy themselves in a sound and entertaining environment where well-known and beloved talent from the sports and entertainment world unite for a cause.”