May 28, 2016
The story of Bartolo Colon is one that makes everybody smile because it presents an aspect that is sorely missing in Major League Baseball. The long history of baseball is filled with characters and stories that go on and on and now Colon is the man for our times. If you don’t know by now, Colon is a pitcher for the New York Mets who just turned 43 in May and is on record to be the oldest player to hit a home run. After nineteen seasons and nine teams, he hit a ball into the stands. This is not just another story about an athlete who is beating Father Time and can still compete with the youngsters. He should have been done a long time ago, but there is something inside of him that keeps him competing. Money and glory are surely a motivating force by he appears to have something that not all players possess, a joy for the game.
Bryce Harper bellowed about baseball as not being as fun as it should be. Bryce Harper always looks wrapped up pretty tight as a player with an abundance of scowls to offer. I then saw him on the Tonight Show and he appeared to be amenable with good humor. It appears he needs to eat some cherry pie and crack a smile on the field once in a while. Bartolo Colon whose nickname is, “Big Sexy” because once you see him on TV or a real game, you get it. His teammates pinned that name on him, but they also love him for it. He is a great teammate that shares his insights and demonstrates great poise on the mound.
Aside from the fact that Colon is older and appears to be thirty to forty pounds overweight, he is part of a real good New York Met pitching staff. The reason he is still successful is because he throws a lot strikes and doesn’t walk hitters very often which is a testament to his great control. He has good command of his off-speed pitches which allows him to throw a deceiving fastball in the high 80’s and low 90’s MPH.
Colon has endured the trials and tribulations of professional baseball which includes blown out arms and being traded or released. He is a journeyman pitcher who knows how to extend games into the late innings and pitch out of tough situations. Pitchers like him are never the first ones to get the fanfare but they are crucial to a staff in these days of huge payrolls. The amazing thing about Colon is that he is still a reliable pitcher that puts up good numbers. It’s so easy to blow him off as a retread and not understand how he gets batters out. Nineteen seasons gives him wisdom that will pay off as long as his body and arm can withstand the physical toll. For some reason I don’t see Colon hanging up the cleats for a few more seasons. Go “Big Sexy!”