Making Mr. RIGHT The ultimate All-Star Man covers all the bases, and he's kissable, too

July 11, 1993|By Jean Marbella | Jean Marbella,Staff Writer

Faster than a speeding Babe Ruth, more powerful than a 70-year-old Minnie Minoso, able to leap over a sliding base runner in a single bound, it's, it's, it's . . .

Ultimate All-Star Man!

With the best of baseball gathering here for Tuesday's All-Star Game, we decided to take this "best of" stuff one absurd step further. What if we could take the best eyes, arms, legs, mind, etc., from throughout baseball and put them together in a single player?

Pretty cosmic concept, we admit. Like, who would this player play against -- Robocop? Talk about fantasy camp!

Some picks were easier to make than others: The "best eyes" belong to the batter who draws the most walks, the "fleetest feet" are the ones that steal the most bases, the "surest bat" is the hitter with the best average. Defensive stats are a little trickier because of all the different positions. We went with a milestone that caught our eye recently: Ken Griffey Jr., surpassing the American League record for consecutive putouts without an error by an outfielder -- 510 straight.

But, of course, baseball is more than statistics -- when the subject of best right arm came up, for example, we couldn't ignore Roger Clemens even though his numbers aren't up there this season. And what would baseball be without a little pizazz -- the cross that dangles from Barry Bonds' ear, the artificial hip that Bo Jackson has willed into submission.

After starting a couple of intra-office debates -- Who has the biggest mouth, Deion Sanders or Jose Canseco? Is Jim Abbott's heart the biggest? -- we decided to turn to some real experts.

So, Morganna, which player has the best lips?

"I only kiss on the cheeks," says "The Kissing Bandit," in town recently for an appearance at a Bowie Baysox game. "Since chewing tobacco isn't banned in the major leagues, I don't want to get any of that on me."

Morganna, who by her count has smooched 160 players, will kiss and tell on the subject of best cheeks, though: She thinks our own Cal Ripken Jr., and Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers, are the most kissable.

"They're both handsome and have smooth cheeks, and they're everybody's idols, from senior citizens to kids. They have the best attitudes," Morganna says.

For more cerebral matters, we turned to George Will, the pundit who can wax as multi-syllabically about the boys of summer as the founding fathers. Who has the sharpest mind? The ever popular . . .

"Cal Ripken," says Mr. Will, who included the Orioles shortstop in his 1990 book, "Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball" (Macmillan). "He has a defensive mind. He's a man who doesn't have the natural assets of a shortstop, the quickness, so he uses his mind.

"Baseball is not a game of flow, like basketball and soccer, but of discrete episodes," Mr. Will adds. "You have a moment to learn from what just happened, and anticipate what will happen next. Cal does that."

Baseball is, of course, infinitely arguable. So if you don't agree with our Mr. Right, create your own and our guy will meet your guy at the ballpark. Just as soon, that is, as the Ultimate Agent can work out the Ultimate Contract.

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