Sunday, November 14, 2004

Don Bradman

I doubt the name means much stateside, but this Aussie was and remains the world's finest cricket batsman. Thanks to Norm Geras I found this article on his achievements. The article tries to convey in American sports terms the scale of Bradman's achievements. The vital paragraphs:

Cricket numbers mean nothing to most Americans. But try this: A cricket batsman is godly if he averages 50 runs in international competitions known as Test matches; Bradman, during his 20-year career, 1928-48, averaged 99.94 runs a Test.

A cricket fan in London, Mark Smith, conveyed the magnitude of Bradman's achievement in a sentence tailored to American understanding: "It's as if an NFL running back averaged 3,000 yards a season, or a pitcher won 40 games every year." The Times of London golf correspondent John Hopkins said during the recent Masters: "To do in golf what Don Bradman did in cricket, Tiger Woods would have to average 65 a round in every round of the four major championships the rest of his career."

Personally, I think if you combined Ichiro's hitting performance with Barry Bonds HR performance, every season, for 20 years, then you are in the same place.

The article also had a great line which probably explains why I like both games:

But the heart of cricket is baseball's as well, a small ball thrown toward a man with a big stick.

Don Bradman died in 2001 - the article is in fact an obituary.

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