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Why It Is The Cincinnati Reds' Duty To Rush Billy Hamilton To The Major Leagues

So that I can watch Billy Hamilton play baseball. That's right: I'm willing to watch Cincinnati Reds games for the privilege, though I'll probably mute the Brennamans. In case you haven't heard of him, Aaron Gleeman offers a quick course on the fastest man in baseball—who appears to be the fastest man in baseball by a pretty wide margin.

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Here's the Billy Hamilton story in one paragraph: Last year he stole 103 bases in 123 attempts in 135 games. This year he's stolen 29 bases in 35 attempts in 23 games. (He's also hitting .398 this year, which has given him ample opportunity to pilfer even with four triples thrown in.) He's scored from second base on a sacrifice fly. That's a thing that's happened.

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Plus he's got the same name, somehow, as "Sliding Billy" Hamilton, star of the 1890s, who was equally renowned for his baserunning abandon. If the story weren't great already, it's great now.

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Of course, he's not quite Vince Coleman yet; in his own age-21 season, in A-ball, Vincent Van Go stole 145 bases in 113 games. The year before, in rookie ball, he'd stolen 43 in 46 attempts in 58 games... despite ending the season with 53 hits and 29 walks.

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