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Ken Griffey Junior, as described by a 19th-century British Explorer

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How would Dr. Livingstone or some other Lord Tweedmouth-type have described Griffey?

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The people of the United States celebrate their men for running in circles on the dirt. And no man, they tell me, ran with such grace as the one they call The Kid.

In this vast land, the people spend summers congregated around dirt tracks. Thousands sit down in these arenas in displays of tribal unity — they drink mildly alcoholic beverages and adhere to carefully-guarded tribal boundaries. Wearing the wrong shade of red, for example, can open up a bystander to jeers and cries. Children, even, will gleefully attack a stranger based not on the comforting distinctions of race or religion but on the colors one wears.

The sports-men these people watch, like the audience itself, come in all manner of shapes. Many are what we would call "galoots." Oafish or inelegant at best, these lumbering gentleman are applauded for throwing sticks in front of tossed balls or their bodies in front of sticked balls. The crowds give applause for these men. The least graceful often get the loudest cheers, as if the soused mob in attendance supports the players whom they most resemble.

But the one called The Kid appears the exception to prove the rule. Impossibly young and impossibly graceful, the things most players try their hardest to do — The Kid seems to barely try at all.

He is so named because he is the child of a sports-man but like the swarthy Romans' story of Zeus, The Kid seems to have strode into the world fully formed. In the hoary year of 1990, I am told, The Kid and his father once sticked balls so far they were not even required to run circles in dirt per solito. The opponents (a presumptuous lot who call themselves "Angels") were so disheartened they let The Kid pere et fils simply jog, one after the other.

Querying locals, I have learned that The Kid has garnered fame for his ability to thusly discourage opponents. He sticks balls with impunity, and as such has been permitted to jog on the dirt hundreds of times. What I find remarkable is The Kid's relaxation whilst sticking. While many other sporting men of America must take a large step and a mighty wallop, The Kid wields his stick as if it is an instrument of Hindoo gymnastics. He merely extends his arms to effect the same result as his counterpart galoots' exertion.

Even the non-sporting subsect of Homo americanus have no little love for The Kid. He has made appearances in all sectors of their entertainment industry, from games in which the children can impersonate him or theatrical performances in which The Kid interacts with their favorite characters — even these truly bizarre canary-colored humans who lack proper digits. Merely uttering the name of The Kid is an industry unto itself in these lands: shoes of the ilk The Kid is purported to wear can be bartered for dozens of our Crown Shillings.

This beloved sporting individual seems to be held up as an idol of Americanism itself. Like Cincinnatus, the Roman farmer whose name is bestowed upon The Kid's hometown, The Kid was held up as a political candidate in the Elections of 1996 despite his own demurral. A groundswell of the populace supported him, though he was still only a child, over a war veteran and a concupiscent Southerner. Like Cincinnatus, The Kid was able to escape the capitol, preferring the field to the dais.

In a land where people bow to the Idol of Hard Work, they seem equally worshipful of this heretic who makes no small fortune by appearing to do everything easily. While many of his equally-gifted counterparts are derided as egotistical or, in the local parlance, Cockney, The Kid is able to dodge criticism in the manner of a dexterous cat.

Ardent followers of this peculiar sport in this peculiar nation tell me that there will never be another like The Kid. If this is the case, it is truly the shame of the World that we were not able to perfectly appreciate his wondrous skill when he performed upon it.