Barry…….Bonds…

Arguably the greatest baseball player of all time—considering not only his immense gifts as a hitter, with a devastating, lightning-quick, compact swing which was so deadly and feared, he set records for intentional walks—but also as a base stealer and left fielder—Barry Bonds certainly was the greatest of his generation. And the most beloved. Well….

π‘…π‘œπ‘”π‘’π‘Ÿ πΉπ‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘Ÿ.

This masterful, stylish Swiss athlete, Roger Federer, has achieved such towering heights, in tennis, that he is *generally* considered the sport’s greatest ever practitioner. He has given many, many thrills over the years…with his nonpareil artistry and creativity; his indomitable will; his uncanny proclivity to produce his best when it matters most, when so many others wilt. At his best, Roger’s game was—and, is—nothing short of poetry, the poetry of a genius…a slightly mad one, at that.

I’ll always recall my first viewing, against American Andy Roddick, in the 2003 Wimbledon semi-finals. His preternatural grace and *feel* for the game I simply found astonishing. Magical. When Federer closed out the second set with, really, something no one had seen—a running, forehand half-volley {usually a defensive shot} utterly whipped into the corner for an uncontested winner—both men had to smile. Commentator John McEnroe, quite capable of producing his *own* magic with a racket, was incredulous. “That’s not possible.”

On a personal note, I was fortunate enough to partake of the Great Man at very close quarters; a practice session. Being at such proximity to Mr. Federer would have to be included in one’s rather intimately scaled coterie of “Religious Experiences”. Plus, he also rather casually did something impossible. He’s like that.