SAN FRANCISCO -- It's probably a good thing Texas Rangers catcher Bengie Molina was busy warming up starting pitcher Cliff Lee for Game 1 of the World Series when the lineups were introduced to the AT&T crowd.
When Molina's name echoed throughout AT&T Park, the former San Francisco Giants catcher, traded to the Rangers at mid-season, received a warm welcome from the passionate fan base he played in front of for 3 1/2 seasons. Molina, catching Lee in the bullpen located in foul territory in right field, raised his right arm to acknowledge the standing ovation.
Had he not been consumed by warming up Lee, Molina might have become overcome by emotion.
"It was very touching. I felt that deep in my heart," said Molina, who visited and embraced former teammtes before the game. "It almost made me cry just to know that they appreciate me like that. I'm very thankful for the fans. I'm very thankful because I spent 3 1/2 years here and they respected me the way that they did. It was very appreciated, but I just didn't want to cry because there are too many people here.
"I had no idea what to expect. I am wearing the wrong colors and they are very protective of their players and their colors, so I didn't know what to expect. That's why it was very touching."
And then Molina did what he's done this entire postseason -- he got on base. Molina singled in his first at-bat against Giants starter Tim Lincecum, the young ace Molina caught since the two-time reigning Cy Young Award winner busted into the big leagues in 2007.
Molina singled in a run in the sixth off Lincecum, who was pulled two batters later. Molina came around to score to cut the Giants' lead to 8-3.
"I'm not a guy that's going to talk about my offense so much. It was very nice to have a good game. I wish I would have gone 0-for-4 and got the win, but it didn't happen. I'm very happy for what I did, but we need to come back [today] and get another one."
Molina will take Game 2 off. Matt Treanor is expected to catch C.J. Wilson. Molina is expected to start Game 3 when Colby Lewis takes the mound as the World Series descends on Arlington, Texas, for the first time.