It always happens, especially in sports. When a new phenom hits the bright lights at the pro level, the comparisons start up.
This rookie is a younger version of so-and-so.
Just wait, in a few years we will forget about what’s-his-name because of this newcomer.
This time the buzz from Los Angeles centers on Yasiel Puig, which it should. Puig is an amazing player to watch. He knocks the cover off the ball and has a cannon for an arm that makes runners think twice about advancing. Yet it seems he is getting linked to a handful of players, most notably Bo Jackson.
“I don’t think I’ve seen anybody do something like this. You don’t see this kind of package. This is a Bo Jackson-type package you just don’t see.”
When Mattingly uttered those words Jackson and Puig started to become linked. Even Puig got tired of hearing his named being associated with Bo. In this video, we see Yasiel being asked what he thought of the comparison—watch how he rolls his eyes as almost to say enough already.
Puig gets it and others should do the same. Yasiel is not going to play in the NFL. Puig did not win the Heisman or have a possible career in track and field. Bo Jackson did.
Managers, players and fans might see a resemblance of the two on the diamond, but that is where the similarities end.
Jackson was a freak of nature. He exceed expectations by playing at a consistently high level in both the NFL and Major League Baseball.
Even though his hip injury prevented him from ever playing in the NFL again, he still made his way back to baseball. He hit a home run in his first at-bat playing for the Chicago White Sox.
Jackson’s stories seem to be that of legends we read in books, but his tales actually happened. We sometimes exaggerate a player’s greatness. With Bo you couldn’t stretch the truth. He made the impossible come to life. It looked effortless for him, which made everything he did seem more unbelievable.
Puig will pack Dodger Stadium with fans wanting to catch a glimpse of him. He will continue to make laser type throws that will stun opposing teams. He will have games where he hits two or more home runs. He will do this and much more to keep us at the edge of our seats.
All I am saying is that when you say a player that is like Bo Jackson….Wait, let’s scratch that thought. It will never happen.
As sports fans, we are always looking to link the past or present to the future. We see it all the time. In the NFL we look to see who will be the next Peyton Manning. In the NBA people are trying to compare LeBron James to Michael Jordan. LeBron is a completely different player than MJ. It is like comparing apples to oranges. Why not just admire greatness without the need to compare one player to another?
I get it. This is part of human nature, but it seems to be played out. These comparisons come up too many times. We tend to put labels on players as soon as they enter the limelight. We set these high expectations on players before a full season is in the books. Don’t believe me? Remember “Baby Jordan?” I think his name was Harold something.