For a player to be mentioned in the same breath as Ted Williams, the so called “greatest hitter who ever lived,” then consider that player to be, “The Man!” Toronto Blue Jays rookie-sensation Bo Bichette is The Man! The 20-year-old shortstop has done nothing but hit since his promotion to the major leagues.
Bichette started off with a bang by doubling in nine straight games to break Williams’ mark, which he accomplished in 1939. His hitting has continued consistently during his leadoff spot in the order, as he had done on every minor league level that he’s played.
You can say it’s hereditary, as Bo’s father, Dante, was no slouch at the plate when he was putting up MVP-like numbers while playing for The Colorado Rockies back in the 90s. Bo’s older brother, Dante Jr., continues his quest of playing in the bigs by hanging around the .300 mark while currently playing for the Washington Nationals AA affiliate, Harrisburg Senators.
What makes all this even more amazing is Bo was playing ball over at Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg only three years ago. He made his Spartans coach, Jayce Ganchou’s, job easier by hitting moon shots into the night sky in front of scouts, whose heads resembled a PEZ dispenser as they continuously followed the flight of the baseball. There was one game when the Spartans had a huge lead late in the game and when Bichette led off the bottom of the 6th inning, the opposing coach ordered his pitcher to intentionally walk him, to everyone’s disappointment. The New York Yankees community advisor, Ray Negron, was heard amongst the boos, shouting “you belong in prison for doing that!” to the losing coach. It was like that game after game for Bichette, as coaches feared for their pitchers when he stepped up to the plate.
Three years later, Bichette continues to rake major league pitching, as though he’s still facing those high school pitchers when he was a Spartan. His body language spells pure confidence and he doesn’t waste his at bats. Bo even looks good when he swings and misses, as he steps back in the box almost daring the pitcher to do it again.
In a recent game against the NY Yankees, the young Bo singled in the 1st inning off pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, who the Yankees are paying $22 million to the Japanese import. Later in the game Bo singled off flamethrower Aroldis Chapman, who cashes $17.2 million this season. Bichette wound up with two of Toronto’s three hits in a Blue Jays loss. The best is yet to come.
Bichette’s call up was delayed as he was recovering from a broken hand after being hit by a pitch in April. He’s looking better and better with every game that goes by, while his mother Mariana leads the cheering squad. It was only yesterday when her husband Dante would be pitching to Bo, and Mariana would be waiting to shag the few balls in the outfield that Bo didn’t power over the fence.
Bo’s daddy, Dante Sr., was inducted into the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame in 2016. Williams was baseball’s last .400 hitter having battled .406 in 1941. Only a few have flirted with that mark since then, Rod Carew at .388 in 1977, George Brett at .390 in 1980 and Tony Gwynn at .394 in 1994. It wouldn’t surprise me if Bo Bichette’s swing and aura, along with his work ethic, produces a .400 season batting average when all is said and done.
It will only be a matter of time before the city of Toronto starts to sport t-shirts with the saying “Bichette Happens!”, just like in Colorado back in the 90s, when Daddy Dante was making S*** Happen!