Baseball’s Tannibal, Todd Wal-Nuts, The Dumont, etc. | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Baseball’s Tannibal, Todd Wal-Nuts, The Dumont, etc.

I will admit that this article will probably interest Brett, Griff, and a handful of high school baseball players from Colorado and Utah who also frequent the Newschoolers forum…and literally no one else.   Sorry Arlo.  This is just what September and October mean to me: baseball playoffs and the anticipation of winter.  The title probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to very many readers, but these are a few nicknames of some of skiing’s greats.  Growing up the majority of sports media to which I subscribed were ski magazines, Internet forums devoted to skiing, and ski films.  I paid way more attention to the world of professional skiing than I did to the world of professional baseball until I was around 20.  At that time I found myself at school in Iowa playing baseball.  Iowa surprised me with something that at least resembled skiing in the form of a trash dumb covered in manmade, but it was far enough from the skiing that I knew that I let it go a little.  This time of year always brings me back to yesterdays and the days to come on the hill.  Griff and Brett are two of my favorite people in the world to ride with, so I am really glad that they also write for The Sombrero.  Anyway, with this piece I will compare a legendary skier to the Big Leaguers that I believe their personalities, talents, and styles most represent.

Tom Wallisch: Evan Longoria

I actually had a different guy in mind before Brett wrote his recent piece on the lovable Rays and their fearless leader.  Longo is the face of a new generation of player in my opinion, but, most importantly, the dude is also a bit of a throwback.  Longo is never found with his foot in his mouth boasting about this or that.  The guy gets his job done, performs at the highest level, and is just as likely to game-face it as he is to laugh a stressful situation off.  Wallisch has about as much hype around him as any skier in history, Tanner included.  The guy seemed to absolutely burst onto the scene though promotional videos and Level 1’s Superunkown.  Wallisch is the best park/urban skier in the world, and I would argue that, if we are talking straight-up tricks, Wallisch is the most talented skier ever.  Someone will have an argument against this, but I am going to limb it; barring double corks/flips, Wallisch has the best 3,5,7,9,and 10, right or left, in the game.  Every single one of them.   Any variation.  Anyway, Wallisch is the face of a new generation of skiers too.  His following is almost cult-like.  Amazingly, the guy seems to be humble, grounded, and almost unaware of his abilities… just like Longo.

Jon Olsson: Alex Rodriguez

This one is easy.  No skier epitomizes the greed, self-gratification, disinterest in the daily grind, and use of tanning salons like Jon.  If you regularly frequent this site, you probably hate A-Rod.  The guy is about as talented as anyone in history and might go down as the greatest ever when he is done, but look at this guy.  What a joke.  Remember when he used to play defense?  What about when he didn’t take every third game off for injuries that seem unusually vague?  Jon used to be the same way.  Now the guy sits out comps when he doesn’t like the kick on a jump…that he designed no less.  The guy lives in Monaco and drives a Lambo.  His sponsors tend to be European fashion designers, and he is known for big-leaguing fans.  A-Rod is a liar, a cheater, a sissy, a hair-geller, and a man-tanner.  Jon is too.  I respect both for their talent and for who they used to be, but nowadays these guys are largely everything wrong with their respective sports.

Seth Morrison: Albert Pujols

A few years ago this comparison would not have made any sense because Albert would have still been too young to be realistically considered Seth-like.  Now, however, the guy is a living legend.  Albert could very well wind up closing his career out as the greatest hitter to ever hold a bat.  The top-end is the only thing anyone ever sees of Albert.  He only enters the hitting zone from above the ball.  His strike-zone judgment is at or near the top in the history of the sport.  The power is there, but it comes in such a compact and efficient path to the ball that it is easy to forget how quickly the bat is accelerating at contact.  The world is lucky to have Albert.  He is today’s link to Mick, Williams, Mays, Ruth…whoever.  Albert defines this generation of hitters, and there are a lot of excellent hitters in the game today.  Seth is the same way.  His style is so distinctive, so fluid, so perfectly efficient and graceful that it is a challenge remembering that the terrain he is charging is bonkers.  Seth is the greatest big mountain skier to ever live and an absolute legend.  Aside from Tanner – who has no equal or anything close – Seth is the best ever.  Both athletes are the kind of no-nonsense, perpetually prepared, and calculated superstars that remind us that sport is a job – a way of life – and deserves to be treated with respect and reverence at all times.  These guys have never taken a second off, and as both enter what could begin looking like a decline (still a few years away I think), we must constantly remind ourselves that with every movement they make we are watching history and may never see it again.

Simon Dumont: Derek Jeter

This is more of my personal perception of both of these guys, not necessarily who they really are.  Basically it is the case that I used to hate both of them, but over the last decade have grown to appreciate them and what it is they do and have done for their sports.  After watching Simon’s segment from the most recent Poor Boyz release, Revolver, anyone would have to be insane not to consider this guy one of the chosen of his generation.  Some of the things Simon does are the most jaw-dropping and confusing accomplishments ever achieved on skis.  He holds the all-time record for quarterpipe amplitude as well as a buttload of medals from prestigious comps, film segments, and industry cred, but I honestly do not find that nearly as impressive as the guy’s bank account.  While Dumont is incredible and easily deserves most of his accolades, he is not Tanner and never can be.  He gets paid better than anyone in the sport with massive corporate sponsors such as Target, Nike, and Red Bull.  Target?  What interest could they possibly have in skiing?  Jeter is the same kind of guy where if you look away from him for a second, you might have missed a historic play.  Like The Dumont, Jeter has weird corporate sponsors too.  Jordan, Gillette, Gatorade, Oreo.  That’s right.  Oreo.  Unlike Jon and Gay-Rod, though, these guys are gamers.  They always show up and always give everything they have.

I could go on and on like this with skiers and baseballers, but I have not written anything in a while and actually have a spare minute away from midterms finally.  So here it goes:

Tanner Hall: Josh Hamilton

If you haven’t gotten the idea from anything written above, I will clarify.  Tanner Hall is the hands-down, without question, greatest skier to ever live.  His vision, focus, technique, athleticism, stones, and passion are unrivaled and unrepeatable.  An entire generation of skiers, Brettsta and I included, have been glorifying this dude since before any of us could even drive a car.  Of all the people on the planet, be it baseball types, dentists, and other skiers, I don’t think anyone can get me as amped to be alive as Tanner can.  Tanner loves what he does so completely and limitlessly that he reminds everyone of just how fortunate we are to be human and aware of ourselves and our surroundings.  Hamilton is the same way.  His talent is endless, and fans get the feeling that his smile is about as genuine as it gets.  There is nothing like the thought of losing what you love most to remind you to appreciate that thing you love when and if you get it back.  Hamilton’s struggles with injury and drug abuse are well documented and Tanner’s are too, although not really all that similarly.  Regardless, both of these badasses have been forced to take breaks from their careers to deal with strife and get healthy, and their sports simply were not the same in their absences.  Hamilton is the best player in the game every time he touches the field in good health and rest.  Tanner is too.  These two guys are often misunderstood.  I believe because of their pasts, they are forced to answer a lot of questions they would rather not.  They both seem to have matured a great deal as they realized that they can carry their sport on their backs, however.  Hamilton may not be quite at Tanner’s level in terms of what he represents to baseball as a whole – primarily because the Dallas market just is not comparable to that in New York – but, as a member of the Dallas community, I assure you that as Josh goes, we go.  As Tanner goes, so does the skiing.

That was fun for me to write…way more fun than studying for midterms, which is what I have been doing solidly for weeks.  A big bummer about being enrolled in 12 classes is that midterms literally last a month.  Black October is what it is called at Baylor in case you were wondering.

1 Comment

  1. Buck Nasty says:

    Good stuff bro. Now it just needs to start snowing.