Rickey… damn near greatest of all time.
Poised between going on and back, pulled Both ways taut like a tight-rope walker, Fingertips pointing the opposites, Now bouncing tiptoe like a dropped ball, Or a kid skipping rope, come on, come on! Running a scattering of steps sidewise, How he teeters, skitters, tingles, teases, Taunts them, hovers like an ecstatic bird, He’s only flirting, crowd him, crowd him, Delicate, delicate, delicate, delicate – Now! –
People wax nostalgic about Ty Cobb and the other dead beat- dead ball honkies….but make no mistake, if my man Rickey was around and even ALLOWED to play with those bigots he would have stolen 2000 more bases. Now before anyone gets crazy about an era they’ve only READ about, let me explain–In the dead ball era it was damn near prerequisite for someone to steal. If you had less than 50 in a season, you just weren’t that good. (apparently they didn’t give a shit about sabermetrics, as in 2010 in the American League there were 1505 stolen bases and only 540 caught stealing. A success rate of 73.6% which is almost 22% higher than in 1927. And 1927 was a high year as the success rate for a SB in that era was usually well under 60%…. Ty Cobb’s stolen base percentage for his career was probably around 67 percent.) Of course, there is always the argument that the era that I speak of had a lackadaisical attitude towards balk calls and other mound chicanery… and that is true, yet I find it hard to believe that an inferior athlete such as Babe Ruth, whos home run trot is famous for its daintiness can actually have 123 career swipes…a mere 77 behind Jose “robo-athlete” Canseco. What the fuck is going on here? This sport makes as much sense as a 40-year-old divorcee in Ibiza….entertaining, wealthy, fun to look at, yet ultimately a head shaking affair.
Ahhhh…but isn’t life itself a head shaking affair? How can you make sense of the serial killer, religion, black holes, or the time I vomited on the subway.
….and by you I mean YOU…the reader. You don’t know shit. Admit it. You will want to fulfill your need to be “the correct party” and regale me with NUMBERS. I don’t need numbers….I’ve seen the greatest base stealer of ALL TIME in my life time, and until they put robots on the goddamn field that will never change.