Many have pitched in the Majors Leagues, but few will be remembered like Bartolo Colon. At the age of 43, the Braves righty has spent 20 years in Majors, baffling hitters and providing a level of entertainment unlike any other player.
His numbers are impressive. He has 2,388 strikeouts with a career win/loss record of 234-165.
But it's the general persona of Bartolo Colon that people will remember most.
Standing 5'11, 285 pounds, Bartolo brings a unique stature to the rubber, a hefty figure unlike any to have gained significant success as a pitcher in the Majors. Despite his size, Colon delivers the ball with ease, a level of finesse accomplishable by only himself.
Tonight, Bartolo will make his 507th career start as the Braves take on the Astros in a rare 2-game series.
Bartolo has proven to be effective, even at an old age. But lets face it. Bartolo's time in the Big Leagues is probably limited. He's been shelled so far this season, posting a 6.27 ERA in his 6 starts. It's early, but you have to wonder if this is a sign that this year will be Bartolo's last.
This might be the last time the Astros ever see Bartolo, and I won't say goodbye without paying respect. So with tat, let's look back at the five greatest moments provided to us by Big Sexy:
#5-- Bartolo swings out of his helmet
This actually isn't anything out of the ordinary for Bartolo, who has swung out of his helmet countless times. But on this swing, Bartolo legitimately thought he was going to crush the ball. This wasn't some half-hearted swing-- Bartolo corks up, strides his front foot and lets the barrel fly. You can tell he's serious because he doesn't even laugh when he's finished. He picks up his helmet, gets back in the box and moves on to the next pitch. That's the resilience of a champion.
#4-- Bartolo hits a double
In 424 games, Bartolo had never recorded an extra-base hit. That changed on a June afternoon in St. Louis, as Colon laced a fastball down the left-field line for his first ever double. It's not often you hear an announcer laughing as a player records a hit, but with Bartolo you just can't help it. He awkwardly turns around first, then cruises to second without breaking a sweat. That, my friends, is how Bartolo Colon does doubles.
#3-- Bartolo hits the pavement
It was game 2 of the 2015 NLCS and the Mets had emerged victorious, defeating the Cubs by a score of 4-1. Bartolo never stepped foot in the game, but he made his presence known with a disastrous post-game wipeout that left the surrounding media in tears. Bartolo falls, stumbles again, and proceeds to run into the distance, shocked and embarrassed but content with the entertainment he has provided.
#2-- Behind-the-back flip
Even with a 7-0 lead in the sixth, Bartolo will never simply breeze through an inning. After inducing soft contact, Colon chased down a dribbler ofd the bat of Justin Bour, proceeding to throw him out with a behind-the-back toss. It was a display of athleticism not though to be possible for a man Bartolo's size, but alas, he proved us wrong again.
#1-- The Miracle
On May 7, 2016, fans in San Diego, California caught a glimpse of what might be the most spectacular feat in the history of sports. Batting .000 on the season, Bartolo stepped into the box with a chip on his shoulder. He was eager to prove himself, eager to prove he was more than some 40 year-old man throwing junk balls. When he saw a fastball come right down the pipe, he reacted. And with one swing of the bat, Bartolo Colon permanently cemented his place in Major League Baseball history.