The Fastest Throw I’ve Ever Seen
Oh my gosh. That throw.
I mean … what in the world was that throw?
If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the Cubs’ Shawon Dunston. Great story. Son of a New York cab driver and a Macy’s Department Store clerk. Dunston would go around telling everybody he knew that he was going to be a big-league ballplayer. He batted .790 in his senior year in high school. Yeah, that’s right, .790. The Cubs made him the first overall pick in the 1982 draft.
And he had a fine career — a couple of All-Star Games, hit as many as 17 homers in a season (twice), stole as many as 32 bases, led shortstops in various defensive categories like putouts and assists, which was a feat in those days because Ozzie Smith was in the league then.
OK, look, I don’t want to give the impression that he was a superstar — Dunston certainly had his flaws. Bill James once called him “an eternal rookie,” not because of his enthusiasm (which was real) but because he never really stopped making rookie mistakes. Dunston led the league in errors one year and he basically never walked. Like never. He regretted it. “The only thing I wish I could do is walk,” he would say late in his career. “But I can’t. … If I see a ball, and it looks pretty, I’m going to swing at it.”
The ball looked pretty to him. In 1989 he walked 30 times. That might not seem like a lot because it isn’t a lot, but it is, far and away, his career-high, so much so that you kind of wonder: How did he walk so many times that year?