A scenario, a question, a worry, a highlight and a memory.
A few years ago Todd Frazier got away with a brilliant little unpremeditated cheat. When chasing down a foul pop fly, he ran out of room and tumbled over the wall into the first row of fans at Dodger Stadium. A moment later he showed the ball, climbed back over the wall, tossed the ball into the crowd, and returned to his position having recorded an out on a supposedly terrific catch. The cheat? Well, he never caught the ball. He found another ball on the ground where he landed in the first row. Apparently it wasn't even a regulation baseball, which was why he tossed it away as soon as he got credit for the out.
Brett Butler is the only Major League Baseball player to come from my hometown, and although he is older than me by 22 years our families went to church together and for a few summers around the early 2010s I played softball with his brother and nephew. But everyone who grew up playing baseball in town looked up to him as an against-the-odds overachiever. Whenever I'd go to the baseball card shop I'd hunt for Ryne Sandberg and Brett Butler cards. Obviously he belonged to other fanbases and seemed to be most beloved for his years in San Francisco and LA, but it still delights me to think of a young Sam identifying Brett Butler as the kind of baseball player worth calling a favorite, that Sam and I both paid pocket change for the same mass-produced cards and that there might be many other Scotts and Sams out there somewhere who also have fond memories of cheering for the kid from Libertyville.
I’m late on this but found an example I wanted to see discussed. If this left fielder had simply sold this all the way home and never fessed up would that be acceptable? MLB couldn’t pull it off but high school/college definitely could.
Love the final discussion about favorite players. A few weeks ago I randomly tried to write down my personal “ballplayer of the year” retroactively and this is what I came up with.
2007 - Sam Fuld
2008 - Reed Johnson
2009 - Ryan Dempster
2010 - Derrek Lee
2011 - Kerry Wood
2012 - Anthony Rizzo
2013 - Hector Rondon
2014 - (?) Mike Trout, Luis Valbuena
2015 - Jake Arrieta
2016 - (?) Jonathan Lucroy, Chicago Cub?!
2017 - Eric Thames
2018 - Sean Manaea
2020 - King Elvis I (summer collegiate league mascot)
2021 - Robbie Ray
2022 - (?) Seiya Suzuki, Nico Hoerner
Sam, your ventures into sharing your philosophy around, what do i call it, mindfulness?, were among my favorite parts of listening to you on EW, and i'm glad i get to see them again. they are legitimately helpful to me, and though i can't think of how you'd ever format something like this, i would read you write about it for probably dozens to hundreds of pages. your quoting "the glass is already broken" introduced a whole new way of thinking to me that i try and fail and try again to stick to constantly.
It feels like the Bobby Valentine mustache event is re-introduced to my awareness every few years and I always appreciate it so much. It’s one of my favorite baseball moments. Thanks Kenny!
I'd like to see a closer examination of the "high bouncing bingle" referenced in the 1905 article.
I'm also terrified that every time I see a chopper for the rest of my life, I'll think (or worse, say) "high bouncing bingle."