Clouded by things like the Pete Rose scandal and the current predicament of steroids, it is easy to overlook the era in which we live, an era governed by legitimate all-time greats courting infamy.
As they rouse the ghost of legendary figures, players like Babe Ruth, Willy Mays and Henry Aaron, we must concede that this alone is one of the greatest batches of talent seen to date.
Not only has the sport continued to evolve each and every generation, but the spread of worldwide professional Baseball has opened up the Heavens of talent to owners seeking its many fruits.
Ichiro Suzuki—arguably a top-5 lead-off and set up player of all-time—has collected over two hundred hits a season from 2001-2010, while hitting an unprecedented .328 in the process.
His uncanny ability to slap the ball the other way, steal bases and strikeout little perpetuates the fondness of contact celebrities like Ted Williams.
The quiet and intelligent Suzuki, a Japanese native, not only spreads the worldwide affects of American Baseball, but promotes radical notions of cultural appreciation from an American public in need of diversity.
Another great hurdle has been leaped.
How many wins will Cliff Lee finish his career with?
Lee, presently 9-5 on the season, is 5-0 in the month of June with a 0.21 era. The complete game tallied his fourth this season and expanded his current run-less streak to thirty-two innings.
The lefty with a somewhat awkward release point held the Red Sox hit-less until the sixth inning. His performance out dueled one of the Bo Sox go-to aces in power-pitcher Josh Beckett (6-3).
Many MLB critics assert the inevitable consummation of a Phillies-Red Sox World Series matchup. If last night proved anything at all, it was that with Cliff Lee at the helm a World Series win could plausibly rest with the Philly contingency.
More importantly, the most undervalued pitcher today stoked the arguments in regards to a career that has quietly dominated over the last eight years.
No pitcher outside of his teammates Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt, Mets junk thrower Johan Santana or current New York Yankee ace C.C Sabathia warrants the kind of attention Lee is worthy of.
The 2008 Cy Young winner's 108 wins since 2004 ranks 2nd only to Halladay. His mechanical consistency, diversity of pitches, longevity and consistent top 10 showings in strikeouts arouse attention.
At thirty-two he is still young enough to join the sixty current fire-ballers with 200 career wins, and possibly the echelon of 32 others with 250 wins.
Can you hear the whispers of Robin Roberts? The rusted shackles bound around his limp skeletal feet dragging on the floor of Cooperstown?
If so, you will hear his scratchy praises of Cliff Lee.