The astro turf has never been a friend to ankles and knees. Every Philadelphian around can attest to that. We cringed every time the turf took another one of our stars out, unless that star happened to be on the helmet of a certain number 88. I cringed today as Shane Victorino awkwardly went down in centerfield attempting to get the ball out of his glove after snagging a fly ball.
The Flyin’ Hawaiian has become as much a part of South Philly as a wiz wit. He gracefully adorns our center field with lightning Maui bred speed and athleticism. He tears up the base paths with quickness that makes Usain Bolt jealous. A phan favorite who is rarely every seen without a smile and goes out of his way to make sure kids get his giveaway balls in center field every inning.
I still remember the day I caught one of those Victorino tossed balls in center field only to give it to the girl two seats down per the request of Shane. The thumbs up my way for the kind gesture was enough to make a grown man feel like a kid again.
Victorino is for a second time apart of the National League “Final Man” vote for the 2011 All-Star game in Arizona. Victorino made his first ever All-Star game appearance in 2009 via the “Final Man” vote in by the fans, with a record breaking 15.6 million votes. Let’s just say that Phillies Nation takes care of business.
If you need to measure the Flyin’ Hawaiian’s worth to the team look no further than Friday’s game in Toronto. Victorino in the midst of a 7-36 slump went 3-5 with a triple and two RBI’s as the Phillies edged the Blue Jays 7-6.
“I'm excited,” Victorino said about his chances. “And I'm sure Philly fans will do what they did last time. It's happened once. Why can't it happen again?"
So for any true Phillies phan it shouldn’t even be a question as to why you should "Vote Victorino". But just in case you need some additional convincing, I am here to convince.
The Top Ten Reasons why you should Vote Victorino!
1. Victorino entered Sunday hitting .299 with 12 doubles, nine triples, nine home runs, 34 RBIs, 13 stolen bases and 52 runs scored this season. Victorino ranked sixth among NL outfielders in batting average, fifth in OPS (.886), sixth in slugging percentage (.515) and ninth in on-base percentage (.371).
2. The Flyin’ Hawaiian, alone from having one of the coolest nicknames in sports history, is one of the most exciting baseball players in the game.
3. He leads the team in batting average, slugging, on-base percentage, runs, triples, and OPS.
4. Did I mention that he loves kids!?!
5. His competition for the final vote consists of a Gnat, a Dodger, a Rockie, and a D-Back. Talk about a bunch of scrubs.
6. He can hit from anywhere, left, right, lead-off, fifth, seventh. Whatever Uncle Cholly asks, Victorino does with no complaints. The ultimate team player.
7. HE IS A PHILLIE! If it were Pete Orr I would still vote as many times as my IP address would allow!
8. He covers more ground than UPS, FedEx, the USPS, and DHL combined! I can only imagine the smile on Willie Mays' face as he watches Victorino gracefully run down any and all fly balls with ease.
9. The All-Star game determines home field for the World Series. Having Victorino's Gold Glove, speed, and bat on the NL team definitely gives us a better chance of securing home field.
10. He wins World Series rings, Gold Gloves, Roberto Clemente Awards, and "Final Man" vote-in contests......it's just what he does!
So hopefully I have swayed the voters’ minds. What a better way to spend your Fourth of July Monday than joyfully Voting Victorino! It just wouldn’t be right leaving Polly as the only position player representing the Phillies in Phoenix.
Click here to Vote Victorino!