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Degenerate39
06-04-2009, 01:04 PM
Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:00 pm EDT

Bryce Harper punches his ticket to Cooperstown at age 16
By 'Duk
I have no idea if there's a difference in pressure between having every baseball wonk following you around at age 16 and having every sports fan in the country learn your name, but I suppose Bryce Harper will soon be able to tell us.

Following in its grand tradition of predicting can't miss future superstars like Schea Cotton and Tamir Goodman, Sports Illustrated is using the cover of this week's magazine to tout the 16-year-old Las Vegas resident as "the most exciting prodigy since LeBron."

Writes SI's Tom Verducci:

"Still only 16, Harper stands 6'3", weighs 205 pounds, has faster bat speed than Mark McGwire in his prime and runs so fast that he scored on wild pitches six times this season from second base. As a catcher he picks off runners from his knees, and when he pitches, he throws a fastball that has been clocked at 96 mph.

"When James was 16, he was a high school sophomore with an NBA game and a body to match. Harper has been compared to Justin Upton(notes), Alex Rodriguez(notes) and Ken Griffey Jr.(notes), each a freakishly advanced high school player and each the top overall pick of his draft. But Harper, say the baseball men who are paid to make such assessments, has the ability as a sophomore that the aforementioned trio had as seniors."

Whether or not Harper will eventually save SI from the limb it just walked out on remains to be seen, but it should be said that Harper certainly believes he can.

"Be in the Hall of Fame, definitely," says Harper when asked by Verducci about his goals. "Play in Yankee Stadium. Play in the pinstripes. Be considered the greatest baseball player who ever lived. I can't wait."

Under normal circumstances, I'd say it's getting ahead of ourselves to point out that he doesn't mention winning the World Series as a goal or that he'll likely have to play the first several years of his career for a team not named the Yankees before his current "adviser" Scott Boras negotiates the first billion dollar contract in MLB history.

But since we're talking about a kid who's hitting 570-foot home runs and already has a frame that looks like it was constructed by a team of uber-intelligent robots, why not get a little crazy and predict that Harper will finish his career by passing Barry Bonds'(notes) home run mark, Pete Rose's hits mark AND Cy Young's wins total? Of course, that'll only be after he hits .400 in a season, hits safely in 57 straight games and throws eight no-hitters ... in the same year.

(Hey, everyone else is doing it ... why can't I?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQQ5cZD8PgU

cincrazy
06-04-2009, 01:08 PM
Wow. I can't believe that kid REALLY made that statement. Talking about the Hall of Fame at age 16? He has no idea what goes into making it that far. He's in for a reality check, physical gifts or not.

Degenerate39
06-04-2009, 01:13 PM
I'm not sure if he meant it to come out like that or not. They asked him about his goals and he said Hall of Fame. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with this kid.

Chip R
06-04-2009, 01:44 PM
Sounds like the Josh Hamilton Story part deux. Hopefully his road won't be as rocky as Josh's.

Rojo
06-04-2009, 01:48 PM
Someone revive George Plimpton. The kid certainly looks like a natural but baseball's a funny game.

Nasty_Boy
06-04-2009, 02:00 PM
The kid is special... That was a great video... Thanks for posting!

jojo
06-04-2009, 02:02 PM
I think it's cool how the kid can swing so fast that it actually makes his swing look like it's in slow motion with his bat glowing like a light saber.

princeton
06-04-2009, 02:07 PM
"Almost time to trade off the team again"

--Marlins ownership

thatcoolguy_22
06-04-2009, 02:10 PM
"Almost time to trade off the team again"

--Marlins ownership

"He should be worth at least 4 Braves mid level prospects."

--Pirates ownership

Chip R
06-04-2009, 02:24 PM
"Why, yes, Mr. Boras, we have a spare bedroom you can use until the draft."

RichRed
06-04-2009, 02:26 PM
Wow. I can't believe that kid REALLY made that statement. Talking about the Hall of Fame at age 16? He has no idea what goes into making it that far. He's in for a reality check, physical gifts or not.

He's 16. Bulletproof and knows everything, just like most 16-year-olds.

remdog
06-04-2009, 02:28 PM
Interesting that in the video it appeared that he was awarded a wooden bat as the trophie while he was hitting meatballs with a metal bat during the contest. :)

Rem

_Sir_Charles_
06-04-2009, 02:33 PM
I know that the excuse is the extra expense, but I'd really love to see high schools & colleges do away with aluminum bats. I cringe everytime I hear that "PING" instead of the "CRACK!". Probably the same reason I won't use metal woods when I hit the links. It just seems....wrong.

remdog
06-04-2009, 02:40 PM
I know that the excuse is the extra expense, but I'd really love to see high schools & colleges do away with aluminum bats. I cringe everytime I hear that "PING" instead of the "CRACK!". Probably the same reason I won't use metal woods when I hit the links. It just seems....wrong.

You're correct. It makes you feel so, ummmm, dirty. :)

Rem

cincrazy
06-04-2009, 02:41 PM
He's 16. Bulletproof and knows everything, just like most 16-year-olds.

Correct. But the thing that would concern me is, his parents are buying into the hype. Shouldn't someone around the kid say "Hey, calm down a minute. You have a long way to go." His parents want to take him out of high school so that he can pursue BASEBALL! I mean, c'mon. For every ARod and Griffey there's 10 David Clydes.

BuckeyeRedleg
06-04-2009, 02:57 PM
Very impressive video.

I read on the minor league board that he was considering getting his GED, so that he could be eligible for the 2010 draft.

If he wants to play for the Yankees, he'll need to take up residence in Latin America (DR) and become a citizen so that he can be a FA, eligible in July, 2010. LOL.

Is that even possible?

IslandRed
06-04-2009, 04:12 PM
If he wants to play for the Yankees, he'll need to take up residence in Latin America (DR) and become a citizen so that he can be a FA, eligible in July, 2010. LOL.

Is that even possible?

Too risky. One Red Sox plant in Immigration and Customs, and the kid would never get back into the country. :p:

dougdirt
06-04-2009, 04:14 PM
Very impressive video.

I read on the minor league board that he was considering getting his GED, so that he could be eligible for the 2010 draft.

If he wants to play for the Yankees, he'll need to take up residence in Latin America (DR) and become a citizen so that he can be a FA, eligible in July, 2010. LOL.

Is that even possible?

If he gets his GED this year and enrolls at a Junior College and plays, he is elgible for the draft in June 2010. He certainly won't make it to the Yankees in the draft, but there is always his first contract...

kaldaniels
06-04-2009, 05:14 PM
What about the quote "runs so fast he's scored from 2nd on 6 wild pitches this year" That has to speak to the level of competition he faces more so than his speed, right?

Jpup
06-04-2009, 05:23 PM
What about the quote "runs so fast he's scored from 2nd on 6 wild pitches this year" That has to speak to the level of competition he faces more so than his speed, right?

Yeah, I did that in Little League a few times. :)

Rojo
06-04-2009, 05:46 PM
What about the quote "runs so fast he's scored from 2nd on 6 wild pitches this year" That has to speak to the level of competition he faces more so than his speed, right?

I heard he once shot a man for snoring too loud.

_Sir_Charles_
06-04-2009, 05:53 PM
What about the quote "runs so fast he's scored from 2nd on 6 wild pitches this year" That has to speak to the level of competition he faces more so than his speed, right?

Or maybe from the fact that there was no backstop/wall. :O) Ball starts rolling across the parking lot...yeah, I could probably score from 2nd too. *grin*

Team Clark
06-04-2009, 09:45 PM
Irregardless of his youthful, verbal indiscretions.... Who needs viagra when you can watch this kid hit? Minus the hand positioning, this is a young Daryl Strawberry swing. Graceful, powerful and super quick. Nice footwork behind the plate too.

Brutus
06-04-2009, 09:50 PM
Irregardless of his youthful, verbal indiscretions.... Who needs viagra when you can watch this kid hit? Minus the hand positioning, this is a young Daryl Strawberry swing. Graceful, powerful and super quick. Nice footwork behind the plate too.

I'm not sure if I'm more mesmerized by his bat speed or his quick release on the throw to second. The kid has perfected his technique. He's got textbook fundamentals.

No one knows how the future will play out. However, I can see why there's such a fuss over him.

RedsManRick
06-04-2009, 10:55 PM
All I know is that the way he turns his knee in on his timing toe-tap drives me nuts!

Highlifeman21
06-04-2009, 11:19 PM
All I know is that the way he turns his knee in on his timing toe-tap drives me nuts!

It does look pretty lame

BuckeyeRedleg
06-05-2009, 12:12 AM
It does look pretty lame

Except when the ball goes real, real far.

Mario-Rijo
06-05-2009, 12:31 AM
All I know is that the way he turns his knee in on his timing toe-tap drives me nuts!

Upton-Esque.

Chip R
06-05-2009, 10:09 AM
This kid definitely needs a serving of humble pie.

westofyou
06-05-2009, 11:51 AM
This kid definitely needs a serving of humble pie.

30 days in the hole right?

Verducci is correct, baseball isn't a prodigy game. Throw him in the bigs and see if he can do it for several years and then I'll listen to his cocky, 17 year old mouth run everyday. Until then he's baseball's version to Albert King (http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1091468/index.htm)

RANDY IN INDY
06-05-2009, 12:19 PM
All I know is that the way he turns his knee in on his timing toe-tap drives me nuts!

A lot of people are teaching that these days. Nothing but a timing mechanism to keep the front side in a little longer. Seems to work for him.

Brutus
06-05-2009, 01:54 PM
A lot of people are teaching that these days. Nothing but a timing mechanism to keep the front side in a little longer. Seems to work for him.

Yes. It's a good timing mechanism. It also allows him to load up the back side and create more power from his hips once he turns the front foot. It's hard to learn, but if you learn it and get it down, it can be very helpful.

RANDY IN INDY
06-05-2009, 01:57 PM
Right on the money, Brutus. When that front side flies early, doesn't matter how well you have loaded. That "trigger" reates a coil effect and keeps him back, letting him explode into the baseball.

Bumstead
06-05-2009, 02:54 PM
It was a great video. Quite a nice marketing tool. I have been wanting to see something about him as I have been hearing about him for about a year already...I remember Bobby Knight talking about Damon Bailey when he was in 8th grade...It worked out OK for IU, but not so great when Bailey got to the NBA. You never know, but he looks great right now. Everything is finally falling into place for Washington...:p:

When I was in little league, I prided myself on how many times I ended up on 2nd after I took a walk (same pitch, never stopping at 1B)...nobody created a video of that... :D Fun times!

Bum

cumberlandreds
06-05-2009, 02:55 PM
Irregardless of his youthful, verbal indiscretions.... Who needs viagra when you can watch this kid hit? Minus the hand positioning, this is a young Daryl Strawberry swing. Graceful, powerful and super quick. Nice footwork behind the plate too.

But can he hit a curve ball? That's the great equalizer.

kaldaniels
06-05-2009, 03:09 PM
What are the odds this kid becomes an above average major leaguer...all variables considered.

I'd say 25 percent.

jojo
06-05-2009, 03:11 PM
What are the odds this kid becomes an above average major leaguer...all variables considered.

I'd say 25 percent.

Those are winning odds for ball players.

Team Clark
06-06-2009, 04:29 AM
Yes. It's a good timing mechanism. It also allows him to load up the back side and create more power from his hips once he turns the front foot. It's hard to learn, but if you learn it and get it down, it can be very helpful.

If Bruce had such a timing mechanism he wouldn't be so vulnerbale to the breaking ball. He has no way of keeping his hands back.

Team Clark
06-06-2009, 04:31 AM
But can he hit a curve ball? That's the great equalizer.

I bet he could. The reason being he "looks" to be able to stay back so well because he has superior bat speed. Hard to say since we only saw BP type pitches. I would hedge my bets that he is an overall good hitter. :thumbup:

RANDY IN INDY
06-06-2009, 08:49 AM
Looked pretty sweet to me. How about you, TC?

Raisor
06-06-2009, 09:33 AM
Who needs viagra when you can watch this kid hit? .

dude.

ewwww

Dateline NBC might come calling.

Team Clark
06-06-2009, 02:50 PM
Looked pretty sweet to me. How about you, TC?

Smooth as silk. He's not even filled out yet. He projects well in size with that frame. I'd switch places with him... :thumbup:

Chip R
06-06-2009, 06:10 PM
dude.

ewwww

Dateline NBC might come calling.


:roll:

reds44
06-06-2009, 06:15 PM
His swing reminds me of Jacque Jones'

HumnHilghtFreel
06-07-2009, 04:16 AM
I'm not expert on the matter, but that was some mesmerizing bat speed for anybody, let alone a 16 year old.

Should be fun to track his progress to the HOF :)

CTA513
06-14-2009, 02:38 AM
It looks like hes trying to do what he can to enter next years draft.



HARPER LEAVES HIGH SCHOOL, WILL PLAY FOR CSN

Bryce Harper, the baseball phenom from Las Vegas High School, has no future in high school. An extraordinary player is ready to make an unusual move.

Harper, a 16-year-old who just completed his sophomore year, has registered at the College of Southern Nevada, where he plans to attend classes in August and play for the Coyotes next season.

His father, Ron Harper, announced the decision today while in Oklahoma City for a baseball tournament.

"Bryce is always looking for his next challenge," Ron Harper said. "He's going to pursue his education, too. He's going to get pushed academically and athletically.

"I don't see a problem with it. I think we've handled it the right way. I think it will be a great story."

Bryce Harper gained national acclaim by appearing on the June 8 cover of Sports Illustrated as "Baseball's Chosen One." The story hinted at his plans to enroll in junior college to prepare for his professional career.

Harper, a 6-foot-3-inch catcher, hit .626 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs for the Wildcats this season. He also had 36 stolen bases.

With his combination of power and speed, Harper is projected to be the top pick in the major league draft when he's eligible. That should be next June.

Ron Harper said his son, who turns 17 on Oct. 16, will be draft eligible "in 2010 or 2011 ... There are a lot of rules that people don't know about."

Bryce Harper and his mother, Sheri, recently went to CSN and signed enrollment forms and his letter of intent to play baseball. Harper is aiming to earn his GED test credentials in the fall.

"He was thinking about it. He initiated it," Ron Harper said. "He said, 'Dad, why can't I take my GED and do this?' "

The minimum age for major league draft eligibility is 16, upon completion of high school.

Ron Harper said Las Vegas High administrators and baseball coach Sam Thomas are "all supportive" of the move, though he expects some detractors might surface.

"There are going to be critics. I can't worry about what people think. People are going to see what they want to see and say what they want to say," Ron Harper said. "I think this prepares him for life, playing the game of baseball.

"People question your parenting and what you're doing. Honestly, we don't think it's that big a deal. He's not leaving school to go work in a fast-food restaurant. Bryce is a good kid. He's smart, and he's going to get his education."

CSN coach Tim Chambers is a longtime friend of the Harper family.

"That's the only way this works out. I've known Tim for about 25 years," Ron Harper said. "Tim is going to take care of him. I couldn't send Bryce somewhere else. If I sent him across the country, I might second-guess myself and think I was crazy."

Bryan Harper, Bryce's brother, is transferring from Cal State Northridge to play for the Coyotes next season, so Bryce will have a strong support group at CSN. Bryan is a 6-5 left-handed pitcher.

"It's phenomenal because I get to play with my brother," Bryce said.

Ron Harper said he and Bryce have faced a "media frenzy" since arriving in Oklahoma City last week, a result of the publicity from the Sports Illustrated cover story.

"I've always tried to keep him humble," Ron Harper said. "But Bryce has always made good decisions on his own. He needs to be a good role model.

"My son is going to live with us and still eat at the same table. His brother will be a mentor to him. Why can't it be a good story?"


Source: http://www.lvrj.com/sports/48007317.html

OnBaseMachine
06-14-2009, 03:01 AM
Here's a picture of Bryce Harper. That hat looks good on him. :)

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2008/0917/rise_harper_400.jpg

dougdirt
06-14-2009, 03:19 AM
oh this is going to be fun to watch unfold!

BoydsOfSummer
06-14-2009, 04:49 AM
When you hear "The ball jumps off his bat", that's what they are talking about.

Degenerate39
06-14-2009, 09:31 AM
I hope this kid makes it. If he doesn't he could be in some trouble.

dougdirt
06-14-2009, 11:47 AM
I hope this kid makes it. If he doesn't he could be in some trouble.
I don't know really. He is going to get 5M+ about 14 months from now. Whether he makes it or not, he can live off that for the rest of his life if he takes care of it.

Stephenk29
06-14-2009, 04:52 PM
I don't know really. He is going to get 5M+ about 14 months from now. Whether he makes it or not, he can live off that for the rest of his life if he takes care of it.

IF he takes care of it.

Metal bat or not those are some titanic shots for a 16 year old. Not to mention he also hits 96 on the gun? A lot of this sounds like some exaggeration has taken place, but never the less he looks very impressive.

dougdirt
06-14-2009, 07:29 PM
IF he takes care of it.

Metal bat or not those are some titanic shots for a 16 year old. Not to mention he also hits 96 on the gun? A lot of this sounds like some exaggeration has taken place, but never the less he looks very impressive.

Its tough to exaggerate things that are measurable. I am not sure about a 570 foot HR, but I have seen him hit them 500 feet. More than once.

Stephenk29
06-14-2009, 11:38 PM
Its tough to exaggerate things that are measurable. I am not sure about a 570 foot HR, but I have seen him hit them 500 feet. More than once.

I guess I was referring to the incidents where he scores from second on a pass ball. Six times? Yeah it probably happened but who the heck is he playing?

dougdirt
06-15-2009, 12:30 AM
I guess I was referring to the incidents where he scores from second on a pass ball. Six times? Yeah it probably happened but who the heck is he playing?

In baseball, the draft is all about tools. His swing is incredible, his bat speed is incredible, his body projects as a very good major league body, he has good speed and has a rocket arm. Its not so much about the numbers, its about the ability. This kid has an incredible amount of talent and ability. Whether he is playing against little schools in Maine or playing against the big boys in Florida, Texas or California he is a special talent and that isn't going to fade away without a serious injury or two. If he can get his GED, no one will get paid in next years draft more than Bryce Harper will.

The Baumer
06-15-2009, 03:12 AM
Who needs Hall of Fame goals when you can score some 'road beef'? This kid is gonna be rolling deep!

Degenerate39
06-16-2009, 01:18 AM
Why I mostly support Bryce Harper's decision to skip high school
By 'Duk
When big Bryce Harper made the cover of Sports Illustrated two weeks ago, I knew we'd soon again be hearing from the 16-year-old 'chosen one.'

But not quite this soon.

On Sunday, the sophomore from Las Vegas found his way into national headlines again when his father announced that Bryce will forgo his final two years of high school and use a GED to enroll in a community college this August. Though it more or less makes a mockery of our education system, the Harpers' plan would make Bryce eligible for the 2010 draft, where he could conceivably be the Nationals' No. 1 pick and eventually join forces with Stephen Strasburg to save Washington baseball from itself.

It's a controversial decision, to be sure, but Ron Harper says he and his son are prepared to hear from the inevitable haters.

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

"There are going to be critics. I can't worry about what people think," Ron Harper said. "People are going to see what they want to see and say what they want to say. I think this prepares him for life, playing the game of baseball.

"People question your parenting and what you're doing. Honestly, we don't think it's that big a deal. He's not leaving school to go work in a fast-food restaurant. Bryce is a good kid. He's smart, and he's going to get his education."

From my viewpoint, I'm not going to act like a truant officer on Harper's decision when viewed in a vacuum. It's quite clear that Harper has loads of talent, lives to play baseball and has been groomed to play professional baseball ever since he and his family realized that he was much better than everyone else. It's obvious he has that physical attributes to succeed and he'd be drafted in two years anyway, so why delay the inevitable? Is an 18-year-old really that much better equipped to handle the pressures of grand expectations than a 16-year-old? As much as people will want to say that Harper should stay in school like a normal kid, the truth is that whatever normal life he had disappeared the minute he showed up on the cover of a magazine at homes across the country.

Plus, in an age when tennis and golf prodigies leave their families for top-flight academies before the age of 10 and future basketball studs are identified in the sixth grade, what's the problem with Harper setting out on a very defined career path? Being the top pick in the draft could net him $20 million or more, so making a play while the chips are on his side is just simply a smart move — especially in the volatile world of baseball talent.

The problem I do have with it, though, is that there are no doubt thousands of delusional parents who will see this news and think that maybe it's a viable path for their nowhere-near-as-talented sons and daughters. While the Harpers can't make their decision based on what other lemmings might do, I hope the door closes behind them.

Degenerate39
06-27-2009, 09:34 AM
Las Vegas High sophomore catcher Bryce Harper is the ‘most exciting prodigy since Lebron.’

The power-hitting Harper, who batted .626 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs this spring, will be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated on Thursday with a headline proclaiming the 16-year-old is ‘Baseball’s Chosen One.’ The subhead makes the comparison to NBA star Lebron James.

“It is just amazing. I’m so proud of him for all the work he has done,” said Ron Harper, his father. “I don’t know if anyone in the country deserves it more than him. He just busts his butt for something he loves.”

By the time Harper, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound, smooth-swinging left-handed hitter, walked into his first-period class this morning, word had already spread to teachers and classmates of Harper's soon-to-be national notoriety. Las Vegas baseball coach Sam Thomas e-mailed the cover to staff at the school.

"This is so awesome. There are no words to describe it," Bryce Harper said. "With everyone seeing the magazine, that will put a big target on my back. But I don't care. I love that."

Tom Verducci, the magazine’s baseball writer, was in Las Vegas three weeks ago for the Wildcats’ game against Canyon Springs to conduct the interview.

Initially, the family assumed the story would be buried on the inside of the magazine. They got a call Monday night telling them otherwise.

“We saw (the cover) for the first time yesterday,” Ron Harper said. “He just said, ‘Wow.’ I’ve always told him that you will take a lot of pressure from the space you occupy. Right now, he is going to occupy a lot of space.”

Harper hit seven home runs this month in six Sunrise Regional playoff games, but Las Vegas fell to Green Valley High in the title game. His power at the plate included blasting a 502-foot home run at the Tampa Rays’ Tropicana Field in a national home run derby in January.

Representation from mega-agent Scott Boras’ office has been spotted at most of Harper’s games this spring. He is expected to be a top pick in the 2011 draft.

“I would say Bryce is the best all-round player I have seen,” Thomas said. “It is just how he plays the game and his work ethic.”

Bryce Harper said he will not let the attention change the way he approaches the game.

"There is always something you can improve on," he said. "I go to practice every day believing there is someone out there working harder than me."

He will spend the summer trying to make the 18-and-under national team, which will play in an international tournament Sept. 24 to Oct. 4 in Barquisimeto, Venezuela. The first step is competing in the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars June 23 to 28 at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C. USA Baseball will take the top 36 players from the event.

"I'm going to have a huge bulls-eye on my back the rest of my life," he said.

He already had minor national interest. Come Thursday, his story will be in the mailbox of the magazine’s 3.1 million subscribers.

“A lot of people are really going to be watching him now,” Ron Harper said.

westofyou
06-27-2009, 12:16 PM
Dear Bryce, life is harder and has more curveballs than any travel league or HS that you've met so far.

Tread softley

SI on Josh Hamilton 10 years ago

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1015903/index.htm

He hits for power to all fields. In centerfield he's an instinctive defender with a phenomenal arm and a smooth, quick stride that helps him cover the alleys with ease. Thomas says, "Can you imagine someone so good at so much that he could be a lefthander throwing 96 miles per hour—and not be wanted as a pitcher?"

SirFelixCat
06-27-2009, 12:19 PM
Seeing as I live here in Vegas, someone remind me of this when the CSN baseball season starts up. I'd like to go watch the kid play some!

Highlifeman21
06-27-2009, 12:32 PM
In baseball, the draft is all about tools. His swing is incredible, his bat speed is incredible, his body projects as a very good major league body, he has good speed and has a rocket arm. Its not so much about the numbers, its about the ability. This kid has an incredible amount of talent and ability. Whether he is playing against little schools in Maine or playing against the big boys in Florida, Texas or California he is a special talent and that isn't going to fade away without a serious injury or two. If he can get his GED, no one will get paid in next years draft more than Bryce Harper will.

But is it a Jeff Conine young body?

Degenerate39
06-27-2009, 07:33 PM
But is it a Jeff Conine young body?

No mortal man can achieve that