Brisbee: Baseball Time Machine: 20 individual seasons worth going back in time to see

From SABR member Grant Brisbee at The Athletic on July 19, 2019:

I watched Rickey Henderson. I used to have fluorescent yellow Mizuno batting gloves, and when I reached first base — because the pitcher couldn’t throw a strike to someone 40 inches tall — I would take a lead off first base and hunch down, with cat-like anticipation, waiting to steal second. Then they kicked me out of the over-40 league because I was making them uncomfortable. But I did this in Little League, too.

To anyone who didn’t get to watch Henderson, I’m sorry. He was a blast. He was one of the greatest players in baseball history, and certainly one of the greatest players in baseball history to watch. And I was there for Barry Bonds. The whole thing. We’re almost two decades away from the zenith, and it’s getting harder and harder to describe what it felt like to watch someone be that good at baseball.

But there are players that I missed. I was too young to appreciate vintage Hank Aaron, for example. I missed the best of Tom Seaver. And while I do listen to the Beach Boys on purpose, I’m too young to have watched Ted Williams, Willie Mays and Lefty Grove. It all seems rather unfair.

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Originally published: August 9, 2019. Last Updated: August 9, 2019.