Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Fireballer's Allure

With the signing of Aroldis Chapman, we're once again reminded that nothing is valued more in professional baseball than the ability to throw a baseball better than 100-plus miles per hour.
As a starter and reliever with Cuba's national team, Chapman, 22, has been clocked at 102 miles per hour. Today the Reds signed him to five-year, $30 million deal.
Of course, last year fireballer Stephen Strasburg was the game's biggest bonus baby. The season before it was left-hander David Price. Fireballers all. And all of them are in High Heat.
But pardon me if I find myself thinking about Steve Dalkowski at such times. He was a bonus baby, too. Even though his contract was in the tens of thousands rather than in the multi-millions. That's a vintage shot of Dalkowski to the left.
He would have been remembered as the best of the bunch -- if he had truly made it.

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