Bo Jackson played his last Major League Baseball game 27 years ago but remains one of the most exciting players to ever step between the lines as his unique brand of spellbinding athleticism has rarely been matched. Younger fans may not appreciate just how much of An Event he was and how his exploits showing up without notice on SportsCenter could stop a person dead in their tracks. Simpler times.
Utility man Mike Gallego lacked Jackson's cache. He did, however, sign a baseball for me at the old Tiger Stadium once and led the American League with 17 sacrifice hits in 1990. Three years later his path crossed with Bo's on a sticky Bronx night. It did not go so well.
Jim Leyritz, owner of an underrated batting stance, lofted a lazy fly ball to right field. Jackson didn't play it particularly well, allowing himself to catch the ball while drifting backwards. Seeing this, Gallego decided to make a mad dash for third. The two-sport star answered by uncorking a laser of a throw fueled by incredible strength and zero momentum.
Come on. The carry on that heave is absurd. It just keeps going and going all the wait to a waiting Robin Ventura, who applies the tag on a stunned Gallego. All voiced by an excited Hawk Harrelson.
It's no exaggeration to say that if left to my own devices I could watch clips like this all day. Perhaps all days. Not ruling out an eventual Howard Hughes situation. Early 1990's baseball has remained frozen in amber as perfection. Because for every well-known name like Jackson there's a distant and pleasant memory of a time someone like Mike Gallego got mixed up in something memorable.
After all these years, Bo still knows content.