Bartolo, My Hero

Now that the reality of Monday morning has set in, I can take stock of the highlight of the weekend: New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colón hit the first home run of his 19 year career.

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Smile for the camera, Big Sexy. Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports 

There’s nothing I can say here that hasn’t already been said.

He’s an unlikely hero. Overweight, middle-aged. Ironically nicknamed “Big Sexy.” His batting stance lacks awareness of technique. He hunkers over the plate and swings so hard he typically loses his batting helmet.

He’s been a bit of a running punchline and early in the 2015 season he managed a better batting average than a few of the (then LOL)Mets’ position players—including a spectacularly lucky looking RBI double against the Marlins. It’s like he doesn’t expect it… nobody else does either. And just look at the child-like glee on his face as he runs.

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Basically me.

Bartolo is all of us. He represents why we love baseball so much. He defies expectations. He’s the underdog at bat. He’s the kid who elicits groans from the other kids in PE because they know he’s going to strike out and lose the game for the team. But then he gets up and rips one to left field.

I’m not saying let’s put him in the 2016 Home Run Derby or anything, but I’m certainly willing to keep the celebration over this hit running until his next start. And he deserves it. First homer in a 19 year career. He’s proof that it’s never too late to accomplish a dream.

As someone essentially starting life over in my mid-30s (and who will be competing for jobs with people in their early to mid-20s), I’m a bit sensitive to this concept. And right now, Big Sexy is my #1 hero.

I’ve got a home run in me too. We all do. Bartolo is proof of that.

 

 

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