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Willson Contreras goes viral for his cleats honoring 1 Cardinals legend

Willson Contreras in his Cardinals uniform

Mar 14, 2023; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras (40) walks in the third inning against the Houston Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

New St. Louis Cardinals catcher Willson Contreras is quickly endearing himself to the local fans.

Contreras went viral this week for the cleats that he wore to Opening Day on Thursday. A catcher, Contreras chose to honor longtime Cardinals catching legend Yadier Molina, who just retired last season after a renowned 19-year career in St. Louis. Contreras’ custom-made cleats featured Molina’s No. 4 as well as the message “RESPECT.” Take a look.

Molina, a ten-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion with the Cardinals, had been St. Louis’ starting catcher on Opening Day for the past 17 seasons. In fact, you have to go all the way back to 2004 for the last time that someone other than Molina started behind the plate for the Cardinals on Opening Day (former Cardinals and Kansas City Royals manager Mike Matheny, who is now 52 years old).

Now Contreras takes over behind the dish for Molina this year and is making sure that Molina is still right there with him in a sense. It is also a good way for Contreras to help make amends for some of his previous deeds.

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