Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Thin Line Between Greatness and Immortality

Sully Baseball takes a look at the career of former Oriole Harold Baines through the lens of one of my favorite movies, Bull Durham.

Sully takes this line from Crash Davis:

"You know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? 25 hits. That's one extra hit a week...

You get one extra flare a week--just one--a gork, a ground ball with eyes, a dying quail--just one more dying quail a week and you're in Yankee Stadium!”

...and he applies this concept to Harold Baines' entire career. With 7 extra hits a season, Baines could very well have been in the Hall of Fame.

But I can’t help but wonder… does he think about those 7 extra hits a year? Does he think about a great catch made on a ball he hit? Does he think about an official scorer ruling a hit of his was actually an error? Does he think about a close call at first base that could have gone either way?

Does he think about games lost to the strikes of 1981 and 1994? Does he think of time lost to injuries later in his career?

A hit here, a hit there… a flare a gork, a ground ball with eyes, a dying quail here and there… and he’d be off to Cooperstown.

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