Dustin Pedroia, Tim Lincecum Prove Small Is the New Tall
The 2009 MLB Season begins Sunday night. To celebrate, I am throwing away every pair of Timberland boots that I own.
Those extra two inches of height? Who needs them! six-footers are so 2003.
That's right. The days when being tall was cool are long gone.
As we exit the first decade of the 21st century, two of baseball’s brightest stars are ushering in the short guy era. It’s time to start celebrating being 5’9’’! (Ok, 5’7’’ and 1/4, when I kick off the Nikes.)
Take a look at the cover stars of MLB ’09: The Show and MLB 2K9:
American League MVP Dustin Pedroia who is listed at 5’9’’—a height that must include the telephone book he was standing on—and National League Cy Young Tim Lincecum, a string-beany fireballer, who only reaches his listed height of 5’11’’ while standing on the rubber in his cleats.
Here are two of the league’s most marketable players—and each will get carded at an R-rated movie.
Neither player needs to show ID on the baseball field, however.
In 2008, Pedroia became the third player in MLB history to win Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in consecutive seasons, joining Cal Ripken Jr. and Ryan Howard. He was the first second baseman to win the AL MVP since Nellie Fox of the White Sox in 1959.
Lincecum’s been similarly successful in his two seasons. In 2008, he became the first second-year pitcher to nab the Cy Young Award since Dwight Gooden and Bret Saberhagen in 1985. His delivery is often the subject of biomechanical analyses as scientists attempt to figure out how somebody his size can throw a baseball that hard.
Pedroia and Lincecum are throwbacks to a time when regular-sized men flourished, a pleasant contrast to the gargantuan freaks that dominated the sport during the late-90’s.
"I hear all the time that I'm not big enough, that I'm not fast enough, that I'm not strong enough, all of that stuff. Honestly, I don't see any difference between me and any other guy,” says Pedroia. “If I could out-hustle the other guy or do the little things to help my team win, then it will make up for me being smaller than them. Being big has nothing to do with playing baseball.”
As for Lincecum, the star flamethrower acknowledges the impact his success can have on smaller pitchers.
“It gives everybody else out there who is not a big person the motivation and the inspiration that they know they can do it, too,” says Lincecum.
Right on, Timmy.
All aboard, short guys. The new era continues Sunday.
Until then? I’m going to enjoy these last five days with my Timberlands.
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