Baseball is a bit like high art - an acquired taste that many will find boring, overpriced for many, and yet, at it’s best, it can be quite beautiful. There’s a reason why so many of us come back to the game despite losing seasons, scandals, work stoppages, and TV blackouts. When the game is played at a high level, it can produce awe-inspiring plays.
Joe Posnanski prompted a discussion on the beauty of baseball on Twitter when he asked about the most beautiful plays in baseball. Not individual plays, but the way some players played the game - the way Ken Griffey Jr. swings the bat, or how Roberto Clemente fired the ball from right field.
OK, I'm continuing to crowd-source for my new book -- what are the most BEAUTIFUL plays in baseball? Not one play, necessarily, but we are talking visually beautiful. I'm thinking the Trea Turner slide, Clemente throwing, Baez tag, Griffey swing. Have at it!— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) April 26, 2022
I came up with a few beautiful plays in Royals history. The first that comes to mind is George Brett’s iconic swing, patented by hitting coach Charlie Lau. The power he generated from that easy swing was remarkable (just ask the fans in the third deck of Yankee Stadium).
There are some beautiful pitching deliveries in baseball history - Sandy Koufax, Juan Marichal, and Tom Seaver. For the Royals though, I always found submarining reliever Dan Quisenberry’s delivery to be a thing of beauty. That rubber arm would threaten to scrape the ground, only to release what seemed like a whiffle ball the way it floated to the batter.
Defensively, you could pick a lot of Royals - Amos Otis or Willie Wilson or Carlos Beltran or Lorenzo Cain effortless gliding around the outfield. Frank White picking the ball in short right field off the Astroturf. Salvy gunning a runner trying to steal. But I have to go with Eric Hosmer. I understand the metrics don’t have him as a Gold Glover, but you have to admit he at least looks the part with his smooth scoops at first base.
What are your favorite aesthetically-pleasing plays in Royals history? What about baseball history? Let us know in the comments!