When I played baseball many moons ago, I loved to bat lead off. I liked to set the table at the top of the first with a line drive single up the middle. A seed whistling past the pitcher’s ear. Then I would get a good lead, and draw a couple pick off throws. Make him show his best move in the top half of the first. Meanwhile, my dugout is calling the pitcher a belly-itcher and other stuff. They couldn’t throw me out. I was too quick and too fast. Soon enough, I dusted myself off on second base and grinned at my friends.
Batting lead off is the best spot in the lineup. Better than even cleanup. I guess you can make an argument that cleanup has more rep to it. Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson were cleanup men. But its not as good as lead off. You get up more when you’re the lead off man.
The South Carolina Gamecocks have a new lead off man. Meet Danny Blair, number 4. He plays center and bats lead off. In the baseball realm, it doesn’t get better.
Here’s what Coach Chad Holbrook said about Blair.
He’s a special player. . . . He’s a special talent. He can run. The ball flies off his bat. He plays a great outfield. So he’s a big part of our plans as we go into the season. I certainly think he’s an everyday player. He has a chance to be a high draft pick and an all SEC-type performer. . . . His offensive approach is better. He’s not chasing pitches out of the strike zone. He’s much more comfortable and confident in himself. He can bunt the ball. And if he bunts the ball fair, he has a chance to beat it out because he can really, really run. He’s just a much more confident player at this time than he was a year ago.
My playing days are over. I but I can dream of batting lead off Danny Blair.