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If You Can Read This, You Can Outrun Toby Hall
Posted by Chris Liss at 4/27/2006 6:47:00 PM
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Watching the Yanks-Devil Rays game today, I saw Toby Hall rip a ball off the wall in the left field corner of Yankee Stadium. Hideki Matsui ran over to retrieve it, waited for it to bounce softly off the wall into his glove and made the long throw back toward the infield. For God knows what reason, the camera showed Toby Hall still on first base.

This wasn't a shot off the Green Monster in left center at Fenway, retrieved off the wall on the fly. This was deep in the corner in the Bronx, and it took two or three minutes to get back to the infield. A subsequent shot of Hall waddling out of the box at 6 mph explained his decision not to attempt doubles under any circumstances, but there's no doubt he would have made it in this case.

But the whole thing got me thinking: Is there any bare minimum speed required to play professional baseball? And how does it compare to the bare minimum required for other sports like golf, bowling or chess?


I was at the game and I was amazed he only got a single out of that.
Posted by bpelowski at 4/27/2006 7:41:00 PM
It's not like Matsui has a cannon arm out there, either.
Posted by czegers at 4/28/2006 9:03:00 AM
"there's no doubt (Hall) would have made it in this case.." I've seen Toby Hall play far more often than anyone else on the staff, and there's considerable doubt in MY mind he could have made it to second on the play in question. Toby Hall is a good defensive catcher, and has put up good offensive numbers (at long last) going back to May-June of '05. Hall is ... also ... the ... slowest ... player ... in ... major ... league ... baseball. He is what he is; he made the right decision there.
Posted by sixsigmagus at 4/29/2006 8:30:00 AM
What's funny is on the subsequent batter, a ball was hit down the left field line that might have amounted to a double if there was nobody on base ahead of the batter. With Hall on base ahead of him, it wasn't even close that he'd make it to third.
Posted by Erickson at 4/29/2006 10:23:00 AM
Supposedly Ernie Lombardi was one of the slowest men ever to play the game, but he consistently hit over .300 (unlike Hall) and was a good defensive catcher (like Hall) so he was an All-Star and eventually, posthumously, a Hall-of-Famer.
Posted by bscwik at 4/30/2006 10:57:00 PM
Can't remember who this joke was about originally, but one of my favorite baseball lines of all time is "[Toby Hall] is so slow that if he raced a pregnant woman he'd get third place."
Posted by kennruby at 5/1/2006 12:21:00 PM
I'd love to see a race between him and Bengie Molina.
Posted by Erickson at 5/1/2006 4:15:00 PM

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