Remembering Hammerin’ Hank, and the ways he’s worthy of the superlative “great”.
Great. One of the most overused words in all of sports. Long ago I developed the opinion, my personal sensibility, that to say a player, for example, is “great” is to say they had more than an exemplary season, made more than an outstanding play, had the most amazing skills or stuff. Greatness is achieved over time. To be a great player, you had to do it over and over at a level that is extraordinary. Superlative. A supremely great athlete may also be one who transcends the sport. Ali called himself, and then lived up to his calling as The Greatest. Gretzky? The Great One. He didn’t just do it once or twice, and he didn’t just do it in comfort and without burden.
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