Tribute to Benjamin Molina, my father

It has been a month since my father died. It doesn’t seem that long. Time seems to be standing still, as if I’m in a movie where everything is out of sequence and I can’t quite get my bearings. When the phone rings in my home in Yuma, I still think it might be Pai, even though I saw with my own eyes his coffin being lowered into the ground.

He was only 58 years old.

It happened on an overcast Saturday in October. Pai was across the street from my parents’ house in Puerto Rico, at the baseball field he built for the community’s children. He spent most of his days at that field. He groomed the mound. He raked the infield dirt. He made sure the grass was thick and green and cut. Every kid and parent in town knew my father. He loved baseball, and he made everyone around him love baseball.

On that Saturday, he looked up at the darkening sky and said a little prayer that the rain would hold off long enough to let the kids play their second game of the day.

I was at Legoland in Southern California with Jamie and my two daughters. The girls had been begging me to take them to Legoland. We drove from Yuma to San Diego on Friday, and the girls could barely sleep they were so excited to get to the park the next day. When we woke up in the hotel room on Saturday morning, I told the girls, “This is going to be the best day ever.”

It definitely started out that way. The girls drove the toy cars and got their “drivers’ licenses.” We had a great lunch. We were standing in line for more rides when I received the first of five phone calls.

“Your dad fell down and hit his head,” my cousin, Ramirito said. He sounded flustered and quickly ended the call.

“Something’s going on,” I told Jamie.

Then another cousin called.

“Your dad’s fine,” he said. “Don’t worry. The doctors are dealing with him.”

Then my brother Yadier called from Puerto Rico. Yadier and his wife, Wanda, just had their first baby, Yanuell. Yadier told me later that Pai had visited with Yadier and their 5-week-old boy that morning. Yadier said Pai blessed and kissed and cuddled the newborn. “I love you so much,” Yadier said to my father. “I love you, too,” my father said, holding Yadier tight in his big arms.

Now, on the phone with me, Yadier was crying and couldn’t talk. He handed the phone to my dad’s best friend, Vitin.

“You better make arrangements to come to Puerto Rico,” Vitin said. “Your dad’s hurting pretty bad.”

I was on the phone when I grabbed Jamie’s hand so tight, she knew something terrible was happening.  She then grabbed the girls’ hands and helped them get out of line, while I was listening to my worst nightmare unfold before me, and I said, “Let’s go. We got to go.” I wanted to run all the way to Puerto Rico as fast as I could.

As we headed for the exit, my brother Jose’s wife, Yalicia, called from New York. Jose was in New York for laser eye surgery.

“Your dad’s not doing so good,” she said. “I’ll call you back.”

That’s when I knew something really bad was happening.

When Jose’s wife called again, I could hear Jose in the background crying out loud.

“Yalicia,” I said, almost shouting into the phone, “what’s going on? Just say it!”

She was crying, too.

“Your dad just passed away.”

I walked away from Jamie and my daughters and started to cry. How could this be? We had just seen him and my mom three weeks earlier. They were in St. Louis visiting Yadier, and they decided at the last minute to meet up with Jamie and me in San Diego, then accompany us to Arizona, where we were playing the Diamondbacks. They also got to surprise my girls, who spent the weekend with me in San Diego. When it was time to leave, I bought them first-class tickets back to Puerto Rico. At the airport, I hugged my father hard.

“I love you so much, Pai,” I said, and I asked him to bless me.

“God bless you, Mijo,” he said.

Outside Legoland, as we waited for the shuttle back to the hotel, I called relatives in Puerto Rico to find out what happened.

They told me my father had spent most of the day walking back and forth across the street from the field to his house. He had watched one baseball game already and was hoping to get the second game in before the rain. He had put on a pot of chicken soup and had iced several six-packs of Coors Light for friends who were going to stop by later that afternoon. He was feeling good — he climbed a tree in the backyard to get grapefruit for a special drink he liked to make. Then he returned to the field with new baseballs for the second game. A worker, Gallo, was fixing home plate, and my father offered to take over.

“You fixed the whole field,” Gallo said. “Let me do this little part.”

As my father walked off the field, he suddenly grabbed his chest. His knees buckled. He struggled to breathe. He fell to the ground. Everyone at the field rushed to his side, yelling and gasping. Someone called 911. My mother rushed out of the house to see what the commotion was about. The ambulance still hadn’t arrived. So Joaquinito (a good friend and a coach for my dad’s team) pulled his truck up to the field, and Luis Figueroa — the former Giants infielder who was visiting his sister next door to my parents’ house — lifted my father into the truck’s cab.

“Keep fighting!” Luis shouted at him. “You’re going to make it.”

As the truck sped to the hospital, Luis heard what he described as “a little snap.” And my father’s heart stopped.

The doctors in the emergency tried to revive him. “Keep going!” Yadier urged them. But it soon became clear there was nothing more anyone could do. Yadier punched the wall. He kicked over a chair. Several people guided him out of the room.

Outside, in the waiting room and spilling out to the parking lot, hundreds of people had gathered. Word had spread instantaneously. More people kept showing up. None of us knew how beloved my father truly was.

Meanwhile, in California, I made arrangements for a private plane to fly me to Puerto Rico on Saturday night. I arrived Sunday morning. The next few days still seem like a dream.

A large white tent was erected in the little street between my parents’ house and the ball field my father built. The street was shut down to traffic. Enormous arrangements of flowers — dozens of them — stood behind my father’s casket. Thousands of people streamed into the tent for two days and a night to pay their respects. At night, there was a group of people singing the songs he loved. You could hear the music throughout the town. A lot of baseball players showed up — Jose Rosado, Luis Figueroa, Pedro Feliciano, Juan Gonzalez, my dad’s cousin, Carmelo Martinez, Jose Valentin, Jose Hernandez and many of his former Puerto Rican teammates and Hall of Famers.

Pai had only three sons, but he had many, many stepsons.

I didn’t leave my father’s side. Jamie and I sat in the tent by his casket all through the night. I talked to him. I told him that everything I am today is because of him. I thanked him for being a great man. I told him not to worry about his sisters and brothers — they had little money and my father always feared for their well-being. I said I would take care of them. I told him good-bye.

Then his casket was carried from the tent and onto the field — to first base, second, third, home and finally to the pitcher’s mound. Each of us three sons was presented with a base and my mother was given home plate. At each base, the townspeople in the stands gave my father a standing ovation. I wore a baseball cap low on my forehead. I could barely speak a word to anyone, I was so devastated. I lifted my head only when I needed to greet a new visitor.

Then there was a procession through the town. My family and I walked behind the car carrying Pai’s body. People emerged from their homes, clapping and
crying. The freeway to the cemetery was closed on one side, and people got out of their cars to show their respect. We could barely get through the entrance to the cemetery because there were so many people.

We knew Pai was loved, but we truly had no idea how much. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen.

My mom was strong throughout the whole ordeal. She is stronger than everybody. I think she cries at night when she’s by herself, but she never shows that she is hurting. That’s how she’s always been.

Now that I’m back in Yuma, I talk to her two or three times a day. My Titi Rosalia and Titi Charo are spending nights with her. And Yadier and Jose are there.

I think I’m still in shock. It’s been a month, but I still feel like there are bricks in my heart. I keep thinking that somehow he knew he was leaving us and that’s why he decided at the last minute to fly to San Diego and Arizona in September to see me and the girls — and finally meet Jamie for the first time. And that’s why he hugged Yadier so tightly just hours before he died.

I’m not a poet, but I was so overwhelmed by my emotions that I wrote a poem. It’s too long to reprint here, but I’ll share a little bit.

You’re my inspiration,
My hero forever.
Thank you for loving me
more now than ever.

You’re who I am today
You made me in soul.
Now it’s my turn
to love ’til I’m old.

Rest in peace, Pai. I love you.

52 Comments

I am very sorry about your dad, I will keep him in my prayers.
I enjoy your blog. If you could ever find the time, I would be great if you could read my blog, MLB in the eyes of a 13 year old. Thanks GO GIANTS

I am sorry, That was wrong I got a little too excited , you do not have to look at my blog. Again I will keep you and your family in my prayers ( your father too).

I’m very sorry, Benjie. Best of luck next year.

RIP

Aaron
http://districtboy.mlblogs.com/

Benjie, I am so sorry at the lost of your father. No matter what our age, we are at a lose when we lose a parent. My mother died young, and while you never get over it, the pain does lessen. I will keep you and your father in my prayers.
– Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Benjie,

I am so sorry for your loss. I know the pain and suffering of a loved one leaving you so soon. My father loved automobiles ans was a mechanic most of his life. Like your Dad, he was at a place he loved with all his heart when it was his time.
I do not know why it is, but both our fathers died at the place that gave them the most joy. Your Papi’s love of the ballpark was special and you should cherish that he got to spend his last moments in the clay and grass of a ballfield.

I have met and have known you for a few years because of baseball, and just know that he is truly proud of all three of you for the love you have for the game. On Opening Day 2009, stand tall and look to the sky. That ray of light shining down in your eye is his smile seeing you do what makes you happy…………..and he now has the best seat in the universe to watch all three of you play at the same time.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Bengie,

Stay strong. I know what it’s like to be you; I’ve lost a parent at age 13. All you can do is find comfort in knowing that your dad will always look down at you and will always be proud of what you have become.

Thanks so much for sharing this with the fans. The world lost a great man when they lost your father.

Tremaine

Bengie,
I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Caroline and family in CA

Hi Bengie,I am really sorry about your dad.I could never imagine something like that happening to me.I’m glad that he passed away in his favorite place doing what he did best.It’s such a sad loss,not only because of the way it happened but because of how young your father was.He seemed like an amazing person.In the 2009 season Jose,Yadier and yourself will play every one of your games as your father watches you guys.You and your brothers are amazing and I know that on opening day he will be with you.I send my warmest wishes and my prayers to your brothers,Jaime,your 2 daughters,your family and especially you.You wrote a beautiful poem for your father.I wish to hear all of it one day.Stay strong Bengie.Keep doing what you do best,baseball.Your father will be with you every minute of every day.He will be like the wind to you,you can feel him but you can’t see him.Take Care Bengie.I wish you the best of luck in your 2009 season with us.
-Your biggest fan,Yourkiah…
RIP Benjamin Molina

Bengie,
There are no words….. You and all of your family are in my prayers.

We love you

S. Ray
QuilterGrl

Bengie, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. Tears came to my eyes as I was reading that. You and your family are in my prayers. Stay strong and take care.
With much love,
Katie

hey Bengie sorry about your dad, stay strong. and tell Barry Zito im sorry about his mom too. tell Lincecum hes the best! haha.cant wait to see you next year!! i love watching you in the black and orange! go Giants!
:]

Hi Bengie, I’m so sorry for your loss. Reading this blog entry almost made me cry! I don’t even know what to say, but I hope you found comfort knowing that your father was so loved by everyone.

Hi Benjie, I would like to start by offering my sincere condolences on your Father’s passing, I could only imagine how you and your family must feel, as I was reading your blog, I could not stop crying, and I think that we are all taking that turn, and it is so painful to lose someone we love so much, especially our parents… It sounds easy to say, to stay strong, but God will give you and your family the strength to get thru these hard times. I have to tell you, that I have a 16 year old son, his name is Jesse, and you are one of his favorite players. Jesse is developmentally delayed, but with my coaching, he can follow the game, and knows alot about baseball, when in season, follows when the games are, and loves to watch you guys play… He is amazing, and a proud Giant’s fan. Take care of your Mom,and I truly believe your Dad is watching you and is very proud, take care, have a great season 2009, and keep on making your Giant’s fans proud!!! You are amazing too!!! Griselda Lopez

HEY BENGIE, I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO YOU, YOUR BROTHERS, YOUR MOM AND THE REST OF YOUR FAMILY. I KNOW THAT YOUR FATHER WILL BE LOOKING DOWN UPON YOU, YADI, AND JOSE WHEREVER YOU GO AND WHATEVER YOU DO. I AM A BIG FAN OF YOU AND YOUR BROTHERS AND WILL BE THINKING ABOUT AND PRAYING FOR YOU GUY IN THE COMMING DAYS. TAKE CARE AND GOD BLESS.
MARY MATZINGER

Bengie. I am truely sorry to hear about the passing of your father. It sounds like he was a very giving man, and would have done anything for anybody. My prayers go out to you, you mother, and brothers, and the whole family. Cherish the memories, and stand strong.

Jon Alexander

Bengie,
I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Jose, Yadier, your mother, and your family during this difficult time. Your father will always be with you and your family watching your every move. Stay strong and continue to make your dad proud. Take care.
Stephanie

We’ll be thinking about you and your family, Bengie!

So very sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family have all my sympathy and condolences. I lost my father at a young age as well, so I understand how you feel. It helps to remember the good times you had together, and I agree with you, something inside told him to go do the things he did before he passed. It just takes time and patience to get over the deep pain of the loss of your pai, and while it will never go away, it will get better.

Thank you for sharing, all the best to you and your family. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. May your father rest in peace.

Kind regards

Benjie,
Sorry to hear the bad news. Please accept my condolences. I didn’t know your father, but I can tell from your words and the amazing support of his community that he will be missed by all. Take care.

Bengie, My heart and prayers go to you and your family. I am terribly sorry for your loss and everyone elses loss, it is obvious this man affected so many people in great ways. I know how hard this must be on you, your brothers, the community, and your mother. The passion you show on and off the field is a true testimate to your father and every game I have watched you in a Giants uniform, and seven games for the Angles, shows how great of a man your father raised. There is no person I’d rather have leading my favorite sports team in the world besides you Bengie and I thank your Pai for the great teacher he must have been. Please let your brothers know how sorry we are. The Giants Community mourns your loss and we will always be here for you and you’re family. We love you Big Money.

Benji,I’m very sorry to read about your father’s passing.I know how you must feel.I lost my dad 14 years ago this month.I’ve met you driving the team bus in So.Calif.You’ve always been very kind to me and that is a reflection of the way your Papi raised you. After reading what you have written about your Father,he sounds like a remakable person and a truly honorable,loving Man who was loved by many,many people the world over.When I was a boy living in northern Calif.,my dad built a backstop in the orchard behind our home.All the neighborhood kids played baseball in “Orchard Stick” park.That’s one of the great memories I have of my dad.When I was 16 yrs old,I visited my dad in NY.The highlight of that summer was when he took me to a Giants/Mets game@Shea stadium.Since my father’s passing,I always go to pay my respects when I go to the East coast.When I was in Boston for the Giants series in’07,the Baltimore series in’05,and the Yankees sereies in ’02,I went to visit my father’s gravesite.He was raised a NY Giants fan,and after marrying my mom, moved to SF Bay area and remained a Giants fan.My entire family have always been Giants fans.You know how much the Giants mean to me,and you are a BIG part of that.I hope that reading this can help you in always remembering the good times you have had with your Father.Take Care and ALL the BEST to You,your Mother,Brothers,Jaime and your Daughters. Sincerly,Jingles

Hermano (Brother)
As you mentioned on your story, your Dad had only three son’s and many stepsons. I am one of them and I felt your pain as it was my own. I also received a few calls that day advicing me of what had happend… I just came back from the island and stopped by your Mom’s (Gladys) house and is hard not to see him around. But, now is you guys time to live his legacy. I wish the best for you guys and your families and I hope to see you sometime next year. Take care Brother!
Danny Acosta

Bengie–my friends and I have been huge fans of you ever since you became a Giant. We see you as having not only a great bat and glove, but having the leadership qualities and heart which make you not just a great ball player, but a great human being. It can be hard after losing a loved one, and that’s quite an understatement, but I just wanted to let you know that the passion for life that your father passed on to you, you bring with you to every game, no matter how sore or hurt you may be feeling that day, and we respect you for that. You are a player that every fan of baseball, no matter what team they root for, respects and admires. And I know I can speak for all Giants fans when I say that I am proud that Bengie Molina is on this team. My sincerest sympathy for you and your family during this difficult time.

I’m sorry to hear about your sudden loss. I’ve lost both my parents to cancers, my father when I was ten, my mother when I was forty. Fortunately, I neither smoke (dad’s lung cancer, for which cigarettes only damaged his lungs, but even the cancer couldn’t grow in the clogged spots) nor eat a lot of those highly preserved, but possibly still non-American “natural” and “organic”, Asian foods (mom’s stomach cancer). Still doesn’t give me the greatest of odds.

(Dismounts from a high horse)

Bengie, if your poem for your father is too long, maybe you could put in in a file and upload it someplace from which we could all download it. I could even host it on my Earthlink.net space if you’d like.

Shrimp Boat Blog

Sorry for making a second entry, but I just realized that Barry Zito gets an article on his mother passing, but I don’t see one for Bengie’s (and Yadier’s and Jose’s) dad. Not one in the SF Chronicle either. Your thoughts on why this happened.

Of course, the MLB search engine seems to be cow manure. It couldn’t even find the obit for Zito’s mom, despite the Giants section having a direct link for the release.

Benjie,

I was really tough getting through your post. I am very sorry to hear about the passing of your father. It is so awesome to hear about what sounds like an awesome relationship that you, your brothers and your family have. I wish you and your family all of the best and if there is one positive thing to come out of this it is the fact that it happened in a place that many of us dream the good lord will take us …………… The Ballpark!
Sincerely,
John Witt
Major League Ballhawk

Bengie,
We offer our families’ sincere condolences for your loss. Thank you for sharing this moment in your life with your fans. I only know you and your brothers through baseball, but can tell that you play the game and conduct your affairs in ways taught you by your father. You will continue to be a living tribute to the man who gave so much to you and to so many others. The lives he touched, and will continue to touch for generations to come, as the result of his passions and love are his true and lasting legacy. As you pass on lessons you learned from your father to your children, friends and other ballplayers, you will share just a little of your father with all of them, keeping his spirit alive by continuing the work he began.

Know that many are praying for you and your family in this difficult time.

Sincerely,
Scott, Liz, Alex & Shelby Corey

Bengie,

So sorry for the loss of your Dad. It is easier to say than to do I am sure but stay strong for your Family and friends. When you retire you can take care of the Puerto Rico ballfield for your Pai!! Hopefully Puerto Rico will honor him and name the field after him.

Regards, Jay

Bengie–

Although my father was 85 when he died six years ago, I think the feeling is always the same. I am so sorry for your loss. Your poem excerpt was beautiful. Your Dad sounds like a great man. You probably think you cannot live in those shoes. But you will. You already do.

It does get easier to think of my father, but it took this long for me. It’s still hard, but now I know what a gift I had, and my wife and daughter had, and it is not a tragedy anymore.

Take care of yourself and your family. It’s great that your girls and Jamie got to be with him. That is a great gift.

There is nothing more precious in a young man’s life than his relationship to his father. Good or bad, it is something that defines every young man.
Benji, you seemed to have had an extraordinary relationship with your father and he will live on forever in your heart as well as your brothers. In my mind, the greatest honor a son can show his father is to prove he raised you right. From my standpoint, he has done a good a job as any father ever could.
All of our prayers are with you and your family.

~Scott

http://thegoodofthegame.mlblogs.com

Thoughts are with you and your family, Bengie. I lost my Dad two years ago and the hurt doesn’t go away. This was an extraordinary writing that honored your great father.

Mark/MLB.com
http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com

I’m so sorry Bengie. Your father was obviously an extraordinary man… it shows in you. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

bengie, i dont know if it’s just completely random, or if there is some way in this universe that the reason im writing this comment, is for an actual reason.

but last night was my birthday. i went to sleep and slept all throughout the night, which i NEVER do. it seems like its the last thing i dreamt about before waking up but i wanna share with you the dream i had:

i was at a baseball field id never seen before, one i didnt recognize, and i was sitting in the dugout by myself. i watched the field as HUNDREDS of people i also didnt recognize just sortof wandered around on it, but u were on the pitchers mound. u were wearing your catchers gear but u were pitching. needles to say, u were having a bit of trouble striking out the batter, so a catcher i didnt recognize came out and talked to you. then, instead of returning to the plate, he came and sat with me in the dugout and yelled out to the mound, “bengie, we got this one.” and you looked directly at him, nodded, threw the pitch, and with no catcher there it didnt matter, u struck out the batter. the catcher next to me yelled “thats my boy!”

afterwards the 2 of us went out to the field and u had a great big smile on your face as you hugged everyone around you.

now like i said bengie, i dont know if that was random or if what i dreamed was some version of that day. if it was, i feel absolutely honored to be telling you of it.

all i know is that today i came to your blog for the first time in a few weeks, just to check if there was anything new because i couldnt stop thinking about that dream, and i read your latest entry, in absolute shock and awe.

i had no idea about your dad, im SO sorry bengie……
but even if my dream has nothing to do whatsoever with what happened, i hope it will offer some comfort.

you KNOW hes watching over you, and u KNOW he is so incredibly proud of you, and loves you and your girls SO much.

my thoughts, prayers, and dreams, are with you and your entire family…

I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father. It brought tears to my eyes as I read your entry, your father touched many lives and was a real inspiration to many people. I know there’s probably nothing anyone can say that will ease or take the pain and sadness away you are feeling right now, and honestly although it never really goes away, it does get easier to cope with. Maybe it will help to know that even though your father physically isn’t here, doesn’t mean he’s not living, his legacy is always going to live through you, and you are your fathers creation, a piece of him is always going to live in your heart. I’d like to read the rest of your poem, I know it’s beautiful and real, because it’s written from the heart. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Love Ya Bengie and take care!

Bengie,
I’m so sorry for your loss, this entry made me tear up a bit. It sounds like your father was an amazing man who loved the sport of baseball so much that he wanted to bring it to others. Carry on the tradition for him.
-Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

Benji,
I am so sorry for your loss. This has been a tough year for you and Barry. I have lost both of my parents and the pain will, in time, subside, but it will never go away. God has a purpose for each of us on this earth and when our purpose is fulfilled, he calls each of us back home. We are never ready to say goodbye to our loved ones…especially as young as your Dad, but know that he is whole and perfect again and will always be watching over you and your family until it’s time for you all to be together again.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Dear Bengie,My deepest condolences to you and your loved ones over the loss of your father. I lost my father in October, and my mother in January, so I understand the pain you feel, and my heart goes out to you. I also extend my condolences to Barry Zito, for the loss of his mother. I hadn’t gone to the Giants website at all this off-season, so today when I read about both your losses, I was very sad indeed. In taking care of my parents the past couple years, I needed something to pull me through each day, and that something was the San Francisco Giants. And while it may sound strange, having a baseball game to watch every day really pulled me through a very difficult time. And although I “love” all you guys, I especially admire those of you who give back to the fans and the community. Bengie, you and Barry Zito are great examples of that–you, with your blog for your fans; and Barry’s Strikeouts for Troops–these are just small examples of what good people you both are. I’m sure this has a lot to do with your upbringing, and you both should take solace in knowing that you were raised well by your dearly departed. Please know that you have fans out there who appreciate your good hearts, and mourn your loss with you! May time heal our wounded hearts. Anita

Benji,

I’m very sorry to hear about your loss. Your father sounded like a very special person and I’m sure he is in a good place now. I don’t know that he could have been more proud of what you and your brothers have accomplished and what you have contributed to the game that he loved.

I’ll keep him in my prayers. Take care and God bless.

-Justin

Mr. Molina – I read your story with much sadness. I lost my father just four years ago and it’s still a heavy pile of bricks in my heart.

Thank you for writing the words. I think writing helps. And it helped me to read them. To know someone else understands the deep pain I know.

I pray for you and your family and my deepest thoughts on your loss.

Karen

Bengie…..A touching tribute to your father….I’m sure he left a great legacy in you, your brothers and the remainder of your family. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions with us. Our family will be continually praying on your behalf. God is a God of comfort in these times. My father past away @ 54 years old while we were in school at Yuma. I wish now that I had the relationship with him that you share with your father. But I too took comfort in the fact that he came to see me play shortly prior to his passing. He never came to see me play. It was a blessing! Like you said…as if he knew he’d be going. God bless Bengie. Stay strong & Have a wonderful Christmas!
Email me if you’d like. I’ll share pics of my 5 kids!
Steve Gay
AWC, ’91, ’92

Bengie,
I offer my sincere codolences to you and your family on the loss of your father. I had heard about it, but your wonderful tribute brought me to tears and I could almost feel your pain in my heart. You’re father must have been a very special person.
As I live in St. Louis, I have been a fan of Yadi’s since he came to us in ’04. This year when I cheer him on, I know that your dad will be with him, you and Jose in spirit.
Terri

Bengie…just read about your Dad…I am so sorry. I just spent a week in Phoenix with my own parents. My Dad was just diagnosed with a very aggressive form of leukemia and the prognosis isn’t good. Even with time to prepare, it will be hard to lose him. I wish I had known about your Dad while I was there because I would have made an effort to contact you and even drive down to see you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Hope to see you in Atlanta next summer!

Bengie,

I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. My Dad was very special to me also. I cannot say I know how you feel, but I know how I feel and how much I miss my Dad. Your Dad was only here for a short time, but he really accomplished a lot. I am sure he was very proud of his sons and would want you all to “keep on Catching”. I know it doesn’t seem possible now, but time really does heal and it will get easier. I will remember you in my prayers.
Have a great 2009 Season Bengie.
Marilyn

Hi Bengie,
I am so sorry for your loss. I have been a fan of yours since you first came on with the Angels. I loved the style of your game and enjoyed watching you with all the new, young pitchers that came up to Anaheim. I still keep tabs on you and always get excited to watch you in person when you come down to Los Angeles to play the Dodgers.

When I read your blog about your father it really made me cry. The pain you are going threw now is horrendous and will get better in time, but you will never really get over it…I know, I too have lost a close loved one in my family. When you do have your low moments, I hope you can lean on the Lord, family, friends, team-mates and your fans. We all really do care deeply for you…even when it isn’t baseball season, we think of you often.
Please let your brothers know that we are also thinking of them and praying for them too. Also, I miss you and Jose on the Angles, but I am glad you are both still playing.

Love and Blessing to you and your family,
Lisa Vargas

Benji,
The noble character you display as you go about your business as a player is a tribute to your father. It’s obvious that you come from a very loving and strong family and we wish you all the best as you cope with this unexpected loss this year and in the years to come. We’re very blessed to have you play in the Bay Area for SF and know you are such a great player and influence on people and this organization. Wish you the very best.

Bengie,

I too lost my dad too young. He was only 62. And it was completely out of the blue. One minute he was fine. The next, he was gone. So I share in your grief. What a beautiful story you told though. It must have been very hard but must have helped with the grieving process. What a blessing for him to have had all of his family and friends around him. Thank you for sharing this intimate part of your life with us. Hang in there buddy. We need your strentgh this year. Good luck this season.

Bengie-

Te acompano los sentimientos por haber fallecido tu papa o (Pai). Siendo un compatriota boricua viviendo en los Estados Unidos, se lo que es estar en una familia nuestra y lo apegados que somos. Como nuestros padres no hay nadie. Que Dios te de la fuerza de recuperarte de esta gran perdida y te de la fortaleza de seguir hacia adelante con los buenos recuerdos que tienes de el.

Tuve la oportunidad de conocer a Yadier cuando estaba jugando clase Rookie en Johnson City, Tennessee en el 2001. Yo estaba dirigiendo un equipo de beisbol de ninos de 13 anos y estavamos por alla en un torneo. Yadier es una persona muy humilde y estuvo hablando conmigo bastante tiempo ya que me dijo que no habian boricuas en esas partes. Y ahora me arecorde que el me dio un bate de juego que me parece que tu le habias mandado. Por ahi lo tengo guardado para el hijo mio. El es catcher tambien (solamente tiene 13 anos) y le encanta ver a los catchers de Puerto Rico porque tienen mucha confianza y estilo, dice el. Yo vivo en el estado de Connecticut bien apegado a la ciudad de Nueva York. Mi padre es de San Lorenzo y mi mama de Caguas pero han vivido en los EU desde el 1964.

Bueno Bengie, te deseo lo mejor en esta proxima temporada, que disfrutes y te mantengas saludable. Los mejores deseos de parte de mi y mi familia.

Jose Serrano
jsrj21@aol.com

God bless you and your father Bengie. He was indeed a great man. You can judge a man’s accomplishments by the quality of his family and the number of his friends.

I am sure that your father is proud of you all.

Roger Nolan

That`s too bad! I bet you miss him. I hope you have some luck soon

I am so sorry. I was not aware of your Dad’ passing. I lost my Dad right before New years 2008. It still fells like a dream. I live in Yuma. my kids and myself attended your Appreciation Day in 2002. You took a picture with my son at Circuit City. He told me what a down to earth person you were. I believe we are reflections of our parents,and I can tell that your Dad was a Great and Wonderful man. Please give your mom my blessings. Your Dad’s memory, your family, team,and friends will be your strength. God Bless you and your family. Good Luck this season. My son and I are always rooting for you.

hey bengie!
i cant thank you enough for writing. I don’t know any other ball player that would. I am so sorry for your loss. I knew that your dad meant a lot to you after reading this blog. You seem like a very nice person and I hope that you recover. Im a big baseball fan even though im a girl. I’m actually a cardinals fan and love yadier molina but its always good to follow up on his family. I cant imagine what you went through but remember that you always have your fans to back you up. We all love you, and(if you can:)) write me back at yadier1fan@sbcglobal.net. This is a REALLY slim chance because you might now even check fan mail but either way… im really sorry and I am really enjoying reading your blog. Thanks!
Mara (worlds #1 baseball fan)

Those will be thy best friends, not to whom thou hast done good, but who have done good to thee.
http://www.nicetick.com
Air Jordan

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