Billy Hamilton is the speedy center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds. If you’re unfamiliar with Billy, try to picture someone akin to Willy Mays Hays from Major League (a center fielder so fast, he bought a new pair of batting gloves for every base he stole). You get it.
Because of Hamilton’s cheetah-like speed, he’s able to track down fly balls in center that many other (even great) center fielders would have never been able to get to. But for Hamilton, it’s not all about speed. In other words, he doesn’t just rely on his legs to be an good center fielder. He can also, apparently, fly:
He ran a long way to get that ball, made a fantastic leaping catch and even jumps right back up to return the ball from whence it came. Excellent, excellent play…
… but what’s more impressive? That play, or beating Bartolo Colon in a foot race?
If you’re unfamiliar with Bartolo Colon (or how fast he might
not be), basically just imagine the opposite of Billy Hamilton. While Hamilton is the 25-year-old, tall-ish (6’0″), lanky (160 lbs) center fielder, Colon is the 42-year-old, shorter (5’11”), rounder (265 lbs) pitcher.
On Tuesday night, however, the stars aligned and we got to watch the two in an unscheduled foot race to first base:
After a grounder pulled the Mets first baseman off the bag, Colon got the train moving and started barreling towards first base. At the same time, Hamilton (who’s not on base as often as he probably should be) is sprinting down the line like his life depended on it. Colon technically lost – or rather, the race was never finished due to a poor throw – but, hey, with a better throw, you just never know …