More than an hour before Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina there were already fans gathered outside the Springfield Cardinals office and trying their best to share the shade and waiting for the chance, the possibility, the maybe-just-maybe opportunity to get his autograph.

It's been that type of week here at the Cardinals' Class AA affiliate.

The management of the team opened the gates several hours early Tuesday so that fans could stream in to see batting practice and the Gold Glove-winning Molina go through the workouts. The pitcher who Molina caught on Wednesday night said there were more fans gathered around watching him warm up in the bullpen than he remembers pitching in front of in many games. It's Yadipalooza.

And it's about over.

Molina is set to catch five innings tonight and then he's poised to make the drive back to St. Louis and make his case to be activated and behind the plate Friday night when the Cardinals return to action. The Cardinals play the Cubs in a four-game series this weekend that includes a doubleheader Saturday at Busch Stadium.