Speed is nice but often overrated

Wheels on the basepaths always impress, but few players can outrun mediocrity

Updated: February 14, 2011, 12:16 PM ET
By Peter Keating | ESPN The Magazine
Chris SnyderAndrew Burton/Getty ImagesSnyder might be the slowest pro athlete ever, but that doesn't mean he's a bad player.

Since the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine is devoted to speed, I thought it would be a good time to reveal the following factoid: The slowest athlete in the history of baseball, maybe even in all of sports, is a current major leaguer. While you take a moment to guess who he is, I'll explain how we know.

Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.