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Thread: First-Person account of Billy Hamilton

  1. #1
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    First-Person account of Billy Hamilton

    Some of the readers here may enjoy this story, a first-person perspective on Billy Hamilton in Dayton.

    http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp..._t459&sid=t459

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    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: First-Person account of Billy Hamilton

    thanks for linking that.

    I remember sitting in a Dairy Queen drive thru, listening to the Dragons one evening in the middle of summer. You listen to enough baseball and you get an understanding of the "pace of play" thru the announcers call. I had never seen Billy live, but certainly read about his exploits. Anyways, Tom Nichols was doing the play by play. Billy laced a hit into the outfield. Having heard Tom broadcast enough times, for the average player as Tom got thru describing the hit, he would have continued on "and "player x" rounds into 2nd base for a double". However, this time, it was "and Billy coasts into third with a triple". It was a weird feeling, at no point did Tom mention that Billy was blazing around the bases, at no point did he mention the ball rattling around in the corner or getting away from the outfielder. It was as if Tom was calling the average doulbe off Joey Votto's bat, only to have Billy Hamilton running the bases. With out specifically pointing to Billy's speed, you got a complete sense of just how fast the kid is simply by Tom using his normal play by play inflection and pacing, only with it ending in an extra base for the baserunner, a base probably nobody else would have picked up in that situation.

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    Re: First-Person account of Billy Hamilton

    Medford, that is an interesting observation. He only had 9 triples that season, a high number but not tremendously high. The characteristics of the ballpark has a lot to do with the number of triples and the Dayton park does not have much foul territory down the lines. The South Bend park, by contrast, has probably another 50 feet of foul ground where the ball can roll if it is hooking or slicing into the corner, so the outfielder has to run another 50 feet and then throw it an extra 50 feet. As you can imagine, the league record for triples is held by a South Bend player. Hamilton had 14 triples in 2012, then he dropped to four last year, oddly. I don't know the Louisville park that well. He does not hit the ball in the gap that much but he will hit some hard grounders down the lines.

    He also had one inside the park homer in Dayton and I know he has had some since then as well. As I am sure you saw, there are many, many cases where he is going to get a triple on the same ball that someone else would get a double. Couple other things we saw included scoring from second on a routine ground out on the infield, and scoring from third on a sacrifice fly on a popup caught by the first baseman in foul ground.

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    Flash the leather! _Sir_Charles_'s Avatar
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    Re: First-Person account of Billy Hamilton

    Most important quote IMO. One that points out his TRUE effect.

    Aside from the measurable stats and the extra energy, he had to have set an all-time record for most throwing errors caused, and most balks induced. With Hamilton running, either out of the batter's box or on an attempted steal, every defensive throw was rushed. Every fielder tried to compensate for Billy's speed. Often times, the end result was something good for the Dragons.
    2014 predictions:
    99-63 WS champs (Cards take 2nd WC, Mil 3rd, Pit 4th, Chi 5th)
    Bruce/Votto neck and neck MVP race (neither takes it)
    Bailey CYA winner
    Hamilton ROY & GG

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    Old school 1983 (01-28-2014), REDREAD (01-28-2014)

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    Re: First-Person account of Billy Hamilton

    My favorite Hamilton play during his time with Dayton was a line drive hit into the left center gap that rolled onto the warning track and just died because it went into a puddle or really saturated area from the rain earlier in the day and Billy was on 3rd standing up as the outfielder was throwing it back in.

    What blew my mind was that he was able to turn a routine hit into the gap that is probably a contested double for most guys into an easy, stand up triple.

    He is a whole other level of fast. It's insane

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    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: First-Person account of Billy Hamilton

    Quote Originally Posted by redsof72 View Post
    Medford, that is an interesting observation. He only had 9 triples that season, a high number but not tremendously high. The characteristics of the ballpark has a lot to do with the number of triples and the Dayton park does not have much foul territory down the lines. The South Bend park, by contrast, has probably another 50 feet of foul ground where the ball can roll if it is hooking or slicing into the corner, so the outfielder has to run another 50 feet and then throw it an extra 50 feet. As you can imagine, the league record for triples is held by a South Bend player. Hamilton had 14 triples in 2012, then he dropped to four last year, oddly. I don't know the Louisville park that well. He does not hit the ball in the gap that much but he will hit some hard grounders down the lines.

    He also had one inside the park homer in Dayton and I know he has had some since then as well. As I am sure you saw, there are many, many cases where he is going to get a triple on the same ball that someone else would get a double. Couple other things we saw included scoring from second on a routine ground out on the infield, and scoring from third on a sacrifice fly on a popup caught by the first baseman in foul ground.
    I have no recollection of where the game was at, don't know if it was home or away or anything, but having never thought about it, I can easily see why Dayton doesn't produce a bunch of triples, there is really nothing complicated about playing OF in Dayton, and the fans are close to the action. The thing that makes that memory stand out so much to me, is that with out any visuals, nor any specific attempt to describe his speed, it painted a perfect picture of just how fast Billy is.

    One piece of that article that grabbed me was Tom's mention of how the energy level w/n the ball park and on the team really peaked when Billy was on base or at the plate. Baseball is a game of "the routine" you have your routine strike, routine walk, routine pop up, routine base hit, routine stand up double, etc, etc, etc.... There are only a handful of opportunities in a typical game where you see something beyond "the routine." There are only a handful of games a season where enough routine things happen w/n a single ball game to make the game something special, something memorable.

    There is really only 1 game that stands out to me that I've seen live; the Griffey walk off, inside the park home run game, vs the Cardinals. Beyond the walk off home run, an inside the park home run none the less, I saw Pujols hit a home run over the short lived "black monster" at Cinergy, I believe the first one that actually cleared that thing in centerfield. I also saw a Kelley Stinnet (I believe, it was definently a catcher) hit a homer w/ the Reds trailing late and Juan Castro standing in the on deck circle. I looked over at my friend and mentioned how, he better hit a home run here w/ Castro on deck, otherwise this game is over. I saw a collision at 2b w/ Fernando Vina. 4 seperate situations that were anything but routine based either upon the result or in the case of Stinnett the timing.

    With Hamilton, you get the sense that any trip up to the plate is an opportunity to see something beyond "the routine" It was the same feeling I got when Griffey stepped to the plate, you knew there was a decent chance to see a ball fly over the wall, it was worth watching. With Billy, there's not much chance of seeing him launch many over the wall, but scoring from 2nd on an infield hit, an infield hit on a ball grounded "routinely" to third, a steal of 2nd and 3rd on consecutive pitchers, a triple, if not an inside the park home run. Who knows how his career is going to play out, but for the moment, with his speed, there is a certain amount of excitement every time he touches the feel that only a few people can provide. Griffey at the plate, Aroldis coming out of the bullpen throwing 103+ heat, Ozzie Smith in the field, Randy Johnson on the mound, etc...

  11. #7
    Burn It Jamz's Avatar
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    Re: First-Person account of Billy Hamilton

    Just amazing. Great read.
    I see great things in baseball. It's our game.


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