Monday, July 14, 2008

Watched: Josh Hamilton

At the end of the movie Tin Cup (ugh, I can't believe I'm starting a post that way) Kevin Costner's character is lamenting that he just threw away the U.S. Open and his girlfriend says something to the effect of "who cares? No one's going to remember who won the Open in five years, but they will always remember your 12. Why, it's immortal."

There came a point during Josh Hamilton's first round performance at tonight's home run derby where he crossed that threshold. It wasn't immortal, of course, it was only a home run derby, after all, but there came a point where it didn't matter who ended up winning the competition. All anyone will remember is Josh Hamilton's first round performance. He hit twenty-eight bombs, including 13 in a row, and there weren't many cheap ones. He hit three that went over 500 feet, including a mammoth 518 foot shot into the third deck in rightfield. It was a stunning display that eviscerated the competition of its intrisic meaning: it no longer mattered who ended up winning.

So what other baseball events fall into this category? I'm thinking of Carlton Fisk's homerun in the 1975 World Series - everyone remembers Pudge waving the ball fair down the line, but what's often lost is that the Reds won the next game and took the Series. Pujols' bomb off of Brad Lidge in the 2005 NLCS probably qualifies, too. I'm thinking the George Brett three homer game in Yankee Stadium fits, too, because I honestly don't know if the Royals ended up winning that series or not. [They didn't - in fact, they didn't even win the game - it was Game 3 of the 1978 ALCS] Are there any others that I'm not thinking of at the moment?

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