Cincinnati Reds centerfielder Billy Hamilton is considered one of the fastest athletes in baseball. It’s been rumored that he ran a 60-Yard Dash in just 6.5 seconds. This video purports to show him running from the batter’s box to first base, a total of 90 feet, in just 3.64 seconds. He stole 57 bases last season, because he is ungodly fast.
Conversely, New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon resembles a sloth who has let himself go. At 5-foot-11 and 285 pounds, Colon moves as if he is being filmed in slow motion. His at-bats have become a national spectacle, with fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the 42-year-old scurrying to first base, his helmet rocking back and forth on top of his curly hair.
On Tuesday, the fastest and slowest men in baseball engaged in a foot race. On paper, it shouldn’t have been close. Hamilton should have reached first base before Colon left the mound. But that’s not what happened. Hamilton hit a knubber to the right side of the infield, which Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores ran over to cut off. This forced Colon to attempt to beat Hamilton to first base, a race that could only end one way.
But Colon waddled as fast as he could, and his speed seemed to surprise Flores, who threw the ball to the spot where he thought Colon would be. The ball wound up skipping 10 feet behind Colon, who was just steps from first base, rendering the foot race of the century moot.
Still, look where Colon and Hamilton are when Flores tosses the ball. Honestly, it looks like Colon would have beaten Hamilton to the base and got him out. Of course we will never know the true outcome, but we can remember where we were the day this race took place.