June 16, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 53, Buck Leonard (The Athletic)

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, Joe Posnanski will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy. 

My favorite ever baseball saying, I think, is this one: “Trying to throw a fastball past him is like trying to sneak the sunrise past a rooster.” There’s something so beautiful about how those words connect, something rhythmic and poetic and wonderful.

Best I can tell, those words have been said about three hitters:

Curt Simmons said them about Henry Aaron.

Bob Feller said them about Ted Williams.

And everybody in and around the Negro Leagues said them about Buck Leonard.

How can you judge the greatness of Negro Leagues players without a large enough collection of numbers? This is one of the recurring themes of the Baseball…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 53, Buck Leonard” at The Athletic