Roy Hobbs might be a fictional character, but it looks as if there's a real-life version over in Great Britain.
And yes, he's a friend of the site.
Doug Grabowski used to live in St. Louis. He's in the Air Force, so he used to live in lots of places, but currently he's over in England.
Doug Grabowski also plays baseball. Obviously, this isn't his main career. And it never was. But since he's overseas for a while, he decided to join a league. And, well, let's let the British papers take it from here...
Doug Grabowski arrived from America on duty with the nearby US air bases. He is around 6 feet and 5 inches in height and has the physical attributes which have become the standard for the pitching staff of MLB teams. Similar to Roy Hobbs in the movie “The Natural”, there is little information about his career on the internet, but we understand he has played at the college level back in America.
Are you telling me that the Forest Park beer league doesn't have a stats page? I digress.
His fastball overwhelmed the Ravens. Perhaps they would have had some success after a few innings of getting the timing on their swings right, but that became impossible when he introduced his knee-buckling curveball and changeup.
Grabowski is certainly the best pitcher in the AAA League and Herts Ravens Manager, Carlos Casal, went a step further. “He is probably the best pitcher in any of the British Leagues today. We didn’t have a radar gun on hand but it probably reached 85-90mph.” said Casal.
From the 20 plate appearances made by Herts batters only 5 resulted in the ball being put in play. The remainder were 12 strikeouts and 3 walks giving Doug Grabowski a complete game shutout no-hitter on his British baseball league debut.
He also proved to be a class act quietly shaking the hands of every Herts player during the break between the two games. Players like him are a rarity and his presence can have a very positive effect on efforts to promote baseball and the league. The British Baseball Federation should not miss the opportunity to publicise outstanding players like him.
Ok, ok. this is a pretty self-indulgent post. Doug's a friend of mine. And I'd venture to say if you knew him, this would be much more amusing.
But still - and this is no offense to Doug - you have to wonder just how far a very average American ball player can go in Britain? Are scuffling minor leaguers missing the boat by not jumping across the Atlantic?
We'll be following Roy Hobbs junior and his terror through the Brit leagues. And we'll keep you posted. You can read the whole story if you'd like: LINK HERE
Now, the Friday Links...
Shredding. LINK HERE
Uh oh. LINK HERE
Impressive cat jump. LINK HERE
Beer labels in motion. LINK HERE
Your Facebook history. LINK HERE
Pure joy. LINK HERE
That's it. That's the week. The Cardinals are on a damn mission right now, with a couple of big series coming up, starting this weekend in Atlanta. Keep flying high, birds.