Sunday, April 08, 2012

Baseball's Fastest Players Since World War II

by Bruce Jenkins
San Francisco Chronicle
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The consensus from scouts, longtime media members and personal experience on baseball's fastest baserunners since World War II, in no particular order:

Mickey Mantle: Before his knee injury (the first of many) in 1951, Mantle was timed in a surrealistic 3.1 seconds from home to first - in the baggy-pants uniform of the day. Greatest-ever combination of power and speed, but short-lived.

Willie Wilson: Near the top of everyone's list, and usually No. 1. Got from second base to home in such a blur, it seemed he had bypassed third altogether.

Willie Davis: Former track star was unmatched going from first to third, and he had style.

Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders: Fleeting glimpses, perhaps, but unforgettable.

Willie Mays: A bit like Jerry Rice - as fast as he needed to be.

Ron LeFlore: Spent much of his youth running from the law, literally, and later went to prison. Fans of the Detroit Tigers won't forget his prime.

Others mentioned: Willy Taveras, Miguel Dilone, Ralph Garr, Omar Moreno, Kirk Gibson, Joey Gathright, Mickey Rivers, Willie McGee.

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