By now, the world is aware of Gift Ngoepe, South Africa and the continent’s first Baseball superstar.
On Saturday morning (SA time) though, the 27-year-old infielder of the Pittsburgh Pirates showed that he has the potential to truly contribute substantially.
Ngoepe played a starring role in the Pirates’ 12-2 victory over the Miami Marlins, notably hitting a triple in the sixth inning.
It was a beauty, almost sailing over for a home run and allowing him to run all the way to third base.
Less spectacularly but nonetheless impressive, the man from Polokwane also managed two walks.
A batter can move to first base without hitting a ball if the pitcher throws four balls “outside” the imaginary rectangle area of the batter’s area.
While a pitcher can intentionally throw balls wide to help a batter walk, it also requires skill and judgement from the batter.
You have to be able determine which ball would go wide of the rectangle area and which one may be a strike.
Ngoepe did that twice.
It was another vivid illustration of his talent.