Friday, July 01, 2011
SHADES OF SHAWON
Twenty years ago the Chicago Cubs had a shortstop who had a cannon for an arm and covered more ground than most shortstops ever dreamed of doing. When it came to pop-ups he wanted to take anything between home plate, second and third plus foul territory and the left fielder had to call him off for drives that looked like they would be bouncing off the leftfield wall. I'll always recall the image of the leftfielder backed up against the wall suddenly becoming aware of this guy standing next to him shouting "I got it! I got it!!!" You can imagine the excitement he created. The Wrigley fans went crazy for Shawon Dunston (above) and his leftfield audience created what they called the "Shawon-O-Meter" where they could track his prowess at the plate. Each time Shawon came to the plate, they waved the Shawon-O-Meter out in the leftfield bleachers to encourage their beloved hero, and when he got a hit his improved batting average was reflected instantly on the meter. Those were the days, but now . . .
. . . the Cubs have a new shortstop. Starlin Castro (below) brings the same kind of excitement to the game. He fields balls that appear to be basehits, and yes, he has that spectacular cannon for an arm, and he knows how to swing the bat. What more could a baseball fan ask for? Thanks, Starlin, for all the excitement you bring to the game. And thanks Shawon, you brought so much joy and excitement to Cub fans everywhere.