Thank goodness the World Series is over. I watched a total of five minutes of the six games. Just couldn’t take A-Rod and the Yanks winning. It made me sad that Pedro couldn’t get it done last night. It’s always disappointing when a guy who was as good as he was loses it. I was hoping for one last classic performance from him.
The one upside to the Series was how it brought up discussion of Willie Wilson and Willie Mays Aikens. The most excellent Cardboard Gods site shared some thoughts about Willie Wilson. I was watching Sportscenter at the gym the other day and they had a feature on the Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson. That kid is fast. And they have Jeremy Maclin, too? Yikes.
Anyway, between the Jackson feature and Willie being a topic of discussion, I’ve been remembering Willie fondly. He’s legitimately one of the fastest guys to ever play baseball. But, he also benefits from the classic “great athlete when you’re a kid” syndrome. To me, and a lot of people my age, Willie will always have superhuman speed, speed that no current athlete can touch. When you’re eight or nine and you hear announcers and fans talk about speed or power or some other physical attribute, it is always magnified. I’m glad it’s Willie that I think of first when I think of fast baseball players. And when I think of him, I think of him either sliding into second – was he the last super-speedster who consistently slid feet-first? – or racing around third, his hands in the air in triumph, when he scored the winning run in game four of the 1980 World Series. On a hit by Aikens, by the way.
<a href=”http://cardboardgods.net/2009/11/03/3953/”>1979 Stolen Base Leaders</a>
<blockquote>Wilson, forever the fastest man in the baseball universe inside my skull, if not in the baseball universe itself</blockquote>