Nothing says grit like these six hardcore plays from the last month
Grit was a concept originally introduced to America by George Washington when he loaded his troops into a boat and told them "We're going to keep rowing across the Delaware until we win the Revolution." Ever since, the desire to dig deep and never surrender has been in our blood.
And while you can show off your grit and gumption while in the office ("Toner low? Sorry, that's an unacceptable answer, copy machine") it's a little easier to do if you're a professional athlete.
So go ahead and take a break from arm wrestling polar bears and flossing your teeth with beef jerky to enjoy these six recent examples of strength and fortitude in baseball.
ALEX GORDON AT THE WALL
When faced with a choice between going face-first into a fence and not going face-first into a fence, some people opt for the non-face-crushing option. Alex Gordon is not one of those people.
Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki hit a line drive over Gordon's head during a game on Aug. 27, so the left fielder went all John Wayne and got on his horse. As the ball started its descent towards Earth, Gordon realized he had no choice but to risk his good looks in a tangle with the chainlink wall at Kaufmann Stadium.
ANDREW MCCUTCHEN RUNS AROUND THE PARK REALLY, REALLY FAST
After winning the NL MVP Award in 2013, Andrew McCutchen has put himself in the conversation for a repeat with a .310 average, 23 homers and 17 steals this season. But on this day, McCutchen was tired of hitting home runs and simply jogging around the bases. He wanted to flex his quads a little.
After smashing a fly ball off the top of the center field fence, McCutchen turned on the turbo boosters, circling the bases in just over 15 seconds. Sure, McCutchen could have stopped at second or third, but did Louis and Clark stop before reaching the Pacific? If they didn't quit, then Andrew McCutchen doesn't either.
AROLDIS CHAPMAN HITS 103
Overhand pitching is a fundamentally unnatural motion for a human being. Phsyics say it's just not supposed to work. Aroldis Chapman doesn't give two hoots about phsyics.
Facing the Cardinals, Aroldis Chapman reached back and threw straight molten-hot, liquified-like-a-Hot-Pocket cheese. Of the nine fastballs Chapman threw that day, none were under 100 mph. In fact, here's what they looked like:
101, 100, 102, 102, 103, 103, 102, 103, 103
Yeah, those are velocity readings and not the mid-day temperature in Death Valley.
MIKE MOUSTAKAS BRINGS THE RAIN
As proven by both horror films and romantic comedies, everything is more intense in the rain. Mike Moustakas gets it, too. While the Royals and Tigers squared off in the driving winds and rains, the Royals third baseman leapt high to snag Torii Hunter's grounder before making an off-balance laser beam of a throw to first base for the out.
That's hotter than any dockside declaration of love.
JOSH HARRISON'S ONE MAN BAND
On the very day that Josh Harrison was bestowed with the "Heart and Hustle" award by the Pirates, the third baseman/right fielder/second baseman/everyman went out and proved he deserved it. Throwing himself to the ground more often than Chevy Chase's stunt double, Harrison made a diving stop towards the hole, started a double play with a full-extension snag and slap of the third base bag and even threw out a runner at the plate. All this before tying the game in the bottom of the 8th with a triple off the wall.
Something tells me one plaque isn't going to cut it. Maybe a golden statue is more in order.
JUSTIN TURNER OVERDRIVE
With his fiery red beard and eyes of fire, Justin Turner proved that walls are merely suggestions.
Chasing a foul pop-up off the bat of Seth Smith, Turner manifested his destiny and went headfirst into the stands to make the grab, caring not that the stadium architects didn't intend for a ballplayers to enter that section of the field. Because Turner doesn't listen to The Rules-- he's his own man and he'll grab life by the throat and drink deep.