When Billy Hamilton made his Major League Baseball debut in 2013, something was apparent. When he got on base, he had game-changing speed. A decade later, that hasn’t changed.
Hamilton pinch ran for catcher Yasmani Grandal during Wednesday night’s game between the Minnesota Twins and his Chicago White Sox. With Hamilton on second base with one out, Elvis Andrus came up. Hamilton broke for third on a 2-2 pitch. Andrus put the ball in play, so we never got to find out if Hamilton could steal third. But he got to show off his speed in another way.
Andrus’ grounder was to the shortstop side of second base. But due to the defensive alignment, Jorge Polanco, Minnesota’s second baseman, fielded the ball. While his momentum was moving away from the base, Polanco made a nice throw over to first to retire Andrus. Unfortunately for Polanco, he didn’t have time to freeze Hamilton at third base.
With that Hamilton took off for home. And while Hamilton slid into the plate, there was no throw and he successfully scored from second on a 4-3 groundout.
Billy Hamilton brings the good vibes. pic.twitter.com/AQzhEqFZLP
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 4, 2023
Hamilton’s incredible show of speed was something baseball fans took quick notice of.
Billy Hamilton is an absolute menace
— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) May 4, 2023
There’s a reason we built the Billy Hamilton statue and put it on top of the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel. He’s a savage on the bases
— Brian Knights (@BrianKnights3) May 4, 2023
BILLY HAMILTON IS A WINNING BALLPLAYER
— Mike (@ChiSoxFanMike) May 4, 2023
Name someone or something faster than Billy Hamilton.
Spoiler alert: You can’t.
— CHGO Sports (@CHGO_Sports) May 4, 2023
Billy Hamilton used exclusively as a pinch runner/defensive replacement is an effective player.
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) May 4, 2023
Alright I admit, I quite enjoy watching Billy Hamilton play baseball
— Jordan Lazowski (@jlazowski14) May 4, 2023
Chicago has struggled throughout the early part of the 2023 season. But if used mostly in pinch-running roles, Hamilton can clearly still spark an offense. Pitchers — and everyone else on the opposing team — has to be completely aware of his presence every time he’s on the field.