Josh Donaldson’s Leap

When he popped back onto the Tropicana Field turf, the ball in his glove, his tongue stuck brattily out of his mouth, there flashed the apparent essence of him: an exultantly cocky swagger of the sort we’ve viewed cautiously in the turbulent wake of Jose Canseco and the neon-plastic wraparound era embodied thereby. Donaldson inevitably removed his cap and flipped back that hair of his—a cut last seen gracing yearbook photos atop Vuarnet T-shirts and Nike Airs. That’s when it hit you plain: Donaldson is a throwback, but not in the usual baseball sense of Pete Rose’s dirty uniform—or not only of that variety—but in a somewhat more modern sense. He’s possessed not just of that hard-nosed, vaguely dirtbaggy air, but also of a flash and zip, an MTV-ness that Rose and our other rote callback characters never had the chance to acquire. Donaldson is the intersection of Brooks Robinson and Brian Bosworth.

“Josh Donaldon’s Leap,” for VICE Sports Canada

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