Duane Kuiper: My Favorite Athlete

I have started a Tumblr blog called Press Passes where I am posting my many press passes through the years along with, perhaps, a little story about the events. It has been a fun project in part because it has allowed me to look again a all of this STUFF I have on and around my desk.

This hat is one of those things. It is Duane Kuiper's hat. He sent it to my wife a few years ago to surprise me -- as if I needed yet another reason to idolize Duane Kuiper. Anyway, seeing this hat made me think of an idea: It might be fun to have people send in 100 words (no more) on their favorite athlete and why. It certainly does not have to be a baseball player. If enough people send one in, we could probably have some fun with that.

Anyway: I'll start:

When I was a small and unconfident kid, all I wanted was to be a big league ballplayer. Duane Kuiper offered the possibility. He was not big, not strong (he hit one career homer), not terribly fast. But he played in the big leagues for 12 years because he dived for every ground ball, rarely struck out, ran hard out of the box and was a great guy (everybody said so!). He presented this wonderful illusion that if you wanted something enough, if you cared enough, you could achieve it. It's about the greatest gift anyone can give a kid.