Submit your answer to our Monthly Question, and the winning entry will be rewarded with a FREE Nokona Glove, as well as a ‘Nokona Surprise.’ Winners will be announced online, so stay connected with Nokona. Good luck!
Stadiums have become hotspots for dining. Pick a stadium, team, or even a specific player and create a dish in their honor. Name your dish, and let us know why that particular item suits the team/player, as well as why fans would like it. Extra points for including the recipe!
Dario is a fan of all Dallas teams – the Rangers, the Cowboys, the Mavs –and is a third baseman himself. He has won an X2-1150I, from our X2™ Elite Series, and his Surprise Gift is a tube of Nokona Leather Treatment, a Nokona hat, and a Tomahawk Glove Mallet.
QUESTION: Now's your chance to build the ultimate athlete. You can combine different individuals' talents and strengths to come up with the perfect combination. For example, if we were designing an ideal MLB player, we might put Billy Hamilton’s speed with Yoenis Céspedes’s arm, and Dustin Pedroia’s heart. Head, heart, vision, speed, determination, work ethic, hands, arms, legs, strength...it's all up to you. Let us know the position and sport you're building for, and why this would be the ultimate athlete. Entries will be judged on your creativity, thoughtfulness, and explanation. Have fun, and GOOD LUCK!
WINNING ANSWER: Here is how I would build the perfect MLB player. If I was the GM of the Rangers and could build my own Frankenstein player, here is how I'd combine the top skills of players past and present for the perfect outfielder.
Head - Greg Maddux. Not only did Mad Dog also have a great work ethic, but I think he could get into a batter’s head more than anyone. He had so many pitches to pick from, and could keep the opposing team guessing what he was throwing all game long. He looked unassuming as a body type, but he was mentally stronger on the mound than most players. Oh, yeah...having wicked movement on the ball also helped, too.
Heart - Adrian Beltre. All Rangers fans love this guy, and he is so respected across the league because of how he played the game every day. Check out how Belts responded during the bench-clearing brawl and fight between Odor and Bautista a few seasons back. Adrian was right there to clear Bautista out of the way to calm the situation down. And, this was the season right after the Rangers were embarrassed by the Blue Jays in the playoffs. Major respect for Belts, and I will miss that guy playing every day.
Vision - Derek Jeter. I was never a Yankees fan, but you have to admit he had all the skills of the prototype player. I think the play that ranks above all of his highlights was the run-saving flip toss to get Jeremy Giambi out at the plate in the 2001 ALDS. It was like his vision knew the cut-off man would be missed, and Derek was there to save his team. All the momentum for the A’s stopped dead in its tracks at that play.
Speed - Ricky Henderson (the GOAT of speed). You have to give it to the stolen base king. Speed was his specialty, and he dominated during his day at stolen bags.
Determination - David Ortiz. Big Papi was determined to lead his team to the greatest upset in sports history. Don’t forget, he had a walk-off home run in the series before. But, in that Game 4 against the Yankees, we all knew he would get that home run. Notice that he didn’t seem surprised at what he had just done when mobbed by his teammates at home. Then, we knew the Red Sox would finally rid themselves of the Buckner curse because Ortiz would get the hits when they needed him the most.
Work Ethic - Nolan Ryan. I read the reason he was so dominant into his mid-40s was because, after a game pitched, he would go to the weight room for a work out. I bet a lot of players go home after a game, so to hear that Nolan would then hit the weights after a game shows how dedicated he was to staying in top shape, and not letting age dictate his game play.
Hands - Evan Longoria. Sure, maybe the Gillette commercial was CGI; there is a reason, though, that they used Evan to display the quick hands and reflexes to save that interviewer’s face. The guy just makes turning two a seamless play on defense.
Arms - Ramon Laureano. That throw from the warning track against the Angels last season was a YouTube highlight that will stay in rotation for years. No cut off man!??!? A dime to the first baseman’s glove?!??! That was accuracy, and an out-of-this world cannon of an arm colliding for the perfect throw.
Legs - Willie Mays. Plus, he had one of the coolest nicknames of all time. It’s shame he couldn’t play in today’s era of instant highlights. He would be on Web Gems every night. He was a perfect five-tool player, and his over the head catch ranks atop the greatest of baseball highlights. Sure, he used all of his skills to make that play, but his hustle got him to the ball. I am teaching my kids who are just starting baseball about not giving up and hustle. I showed them this highlight to illustrate making a play when it seems impossible.
Strength - Bo Jackson. Broke a bat on his helmet. Say no more! I believe in 1989 that Bo was the best athlete in the U.S. …maybe the world. Between what he did in football and baseball is still discussed and dissected to this day. He career was unfortunately too short, but he remains the favorite athlete to so many kids of that era...including me!