The Formerly Great Baseball Player In Retirement

by Conor Friedersdorf

The great sports writer Joe Posnanski tells the story.

He was a phenomenon then; he might have been the biggest star in baseball. He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He was photographed shirtless by Annie Leibovitz. The autograph seekers rushed him nonstop. The women banged on his hotel room door late at night. The piles of money, as he joked happily, was brought to him by wheelbarrow. He sometimes said he felt trapped by it and wondered aloud why his life could not be more normal. But more often, much more often, he wondered aloud why he wasn't even more famous and rich and successful. He hit impossibly long home runs. What more could anyone want from him?

The second pitch in the YouTube is down the middle, but the 46-year-old man's swing is a touch late. The ball hits the top of his bat and goes straight up in the air.