Ahh, memories. The good ones often last a lifetime.
Take for example, Ozzie Smith. He was such a good fielder with a flair for the dramatic. I remember the pregame back flips, the diving stops that he somehow made seem ordinary. I also remember how he made himself into a solid hitter. The glove is what got him into the Hall Of Fame, but he worked hard at his entire game.
Up until this point, when I thought of a starting shortstop on the all-star team, being a St. Louis native, I thought of Ozzie. I thought of acrobatics that seemed routine. I thought of all the runs he saved, all of his Gold Gloves.
This year the Cardinals again have a starting shortstop in the game: Jhonny Peralta.
Peralta is the opposite of Ozzie: A solid hitter who can thump a few that made himself into a solid fielder. I remember how everyone seemed surprised last year when Jhonny had a good year fielding wise. He made use of good positioning, thus always being in a good spot to make the play. Peralta may not be as acrobatic as Ozzie, but as I mentioned, he works at his overall game, just like Ozzie did.
As for the bat, well, as I said, Jhonny is primarily an offensive player, and the bat is admittedly what got him onto the all-star team. He’s hitting .297/.350/.469 with 11 homers and 42 RBI’s. Good numbers in general, but especially so for a shortstop, which isn’t the most bat-laden position on the field.
My mind will always flash back to Ozzie and his glove, but in the here in now, Jhonny Peralta has redefined what it means to be an all-star shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals. And you know what? I’m just fine with that.
As always, thanks for reading.