The Magic That is Bartolo Colon
- Updated: May 8, 2016
There is a saying among baseball lovers, that whenever you go to (or watch) a ball game you could see something that has never been done before. Sometimes this saying feels like an excuse for avid fans to keep watching a blow out game all the way through to the end. Other times you can be a witness to history, as many Mets fans did last night that was watching on television or in person in San Diego.
First thing is first – how many times have you jumped out of your seat for a home run in the first week of May? You can probably count them on one hand, once or twice for a bomb from your favorite player or a walk-off in extra innings. But I challenge you to find something that has ever brought more genuine, child-like joy to such a wide range of people involved with a baseball team. From the absolutely giddy players vacating the dugout, to Gary Cohen’s voice cracks, to the fans and even reporters going absolutely nuts on Twitter for hours it was one of the coolest nights in sports that I have ever experienced.
Not any player can elicit this kind of reaction during the twenty-ninth game of the season. But with that being said, there have been even less players who have captured the hearts of a fan base the way that Bartolo Colon has. For two plus seasons the spectacle of Bartolo Colon grabbing a bat and stepping into the batter’s box has been nothing short of magical. From huge swings and misses with his helmet falling off, to him barely making contact or his extra base power he showed off in St. Louis last year, everything he does prompts an eruption from the crowd.
There was an inkling that Colon’s hitting had reached a new level this year. In his last start against Atlanta at home, Colon roped a line drive down the left field line that hooked foul. But even with all the success that he has found with the bat, a home run was truly never considered a possibility. If it was ever mentioned it was prefaced with, “imagine if…” or “what would you do if…” but anyone who now says they thought it could or would happen is kidding themselves.
It is really hard to describe the just how cool last night was, and to me you do not have to look any farther than Gary Cohen and Ron Darling. I cannot recall Gary Cohen ever reacting quite like that before. Yes, he has called a Mets no-hitter, heroic comebacks and division clinching games, but there was something a little different in his voice last night. Ron Darling said later on that it was one of only times he can remember that Gary stood up during a game. Gary Cohen called it one of the greatest moments in MLB history, which ok is probably hyperbolic but it was an extremely exciting moment and it was a historic happening. Colon last night became the oldest player ever to hit his first in the Major Leagues, quite a feat for an almost forty-three year old pitcher.
Most of all, what should be appreciated here is that yesterday was one of those things that was just cool and the reason why so many people around the world love sports. The emotion that a Bartolo Colon home run generated is something that could not be scripted or planned it was pure and real. Mets fans and other fans of the game have embraced Bartolo as a folk hero and his first home run just added to his lore. Long Live #BigSexy.