By Grant Freking
In lieu of Father’s Day I thought I might come up with an interesting list of the best players in each sport. That is the best players in a sport that I am older than. That doesn’t make me their dad, but it does make me feel old. It also means I can refer to them as “kid” or “young fella.”
The right-fielder for the Atlanta Braves is off to a slow start this season but he’s also been injury riddled to begin 2011. However, Heyward did finish second in the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year Voting behind San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. Make no mistake about it, this 6-foot-5-inch, 240-pound athletic freak is the future of the Atlanta organization.
Coincidentally enough, I’m one day older than the youngest MVP in NBA history. I found out this little tidbit the night of the 2008 draft when I was watching the pre-draft coverage and it sort of hit me that I’m still a young guy, but I’m not that young anymore. The Chicago Bulls point guard, perhaps the best floor-leader in the game, should only continue to get better.
I thought I was taking a bit of a leap of faith here, until I went back and looked at Dallas Cowboys rookie wide receiver’s statistics from his first season. Bryant had 45 catches, 561 yards and six receiving touchdowns in addition to two return touchdowns before fracturing his ankle in Week 12. Yes, there’s immaturity and legal issues that the Cowboys need to address, but there’s no denying his production numbers should increase.
He blew the Masters in dramatic fashion, but won his first U.S. Open and first major championship by eight strokes. The 22-year-old from Ireland, who broke the U.S. Open scoring record, is the future of professional golf, although he only has two PGA Tour wins to his credit. Hopefully, Tiger Woods can get healthy so the sporting world can be lucky enough to perhaps see these two duel-out a few final rounds at a Major.
The Tampa Bay Lightning center is a mere 21 years of age, but plays like a seasoned veteran. This past season he finished with 91 points, including 45 goals, which was second in the NHL. The first overall pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft certainly has a sunny future.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.