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Fernando Tatis, Jr is to MLB what Patrick Mahomes is to the NFL.
Each is now the new face of his league and the undisputed favorite among young fans. Both are sons of former professional athletes, and they conduct themselves exceptionally well. Both have the hair and the flair. Both move their bodies like they belong in the movie The Matrix. Both have enormous lifetime contracts from their “small market” clubs, and both have overcome significant injuries on their road to excellence.
Tatis returned last night after his fifth shoulder instability issue. Though he needs surgery, he once again made a triumphant return and hit two home runs. They say the hardest thing in sports is to hit a baseball, and Tatis has come back and hit exceptionally well after every absence. Now, he’s even playing a different position, right field instead of shortstop.
Mahomes played through last season with a turf toe injury that needed surgery. In 2019, he overcame a patella dislocation to win the Super Bowl on his way to the MVP and becoming the new face of the league.
All athletes get injured, but Tatis and Mahomes have both recovered quickly and adapted, which separates them from all other pro athletes and shows how special they are. Tatis has changed his swing, adjusted the way he slides, and now has moved to a different position, yet he still excels. Mahomes has recovered and played through a kneecap and big toe injury to return in quick fashion and adapted his game to be successful. Tatis contorts his body, and Mahomes is famous for altering his arm angle.
Indeed, each is my 8-year-old son’s favorite player (and most of his friends’ favorite players as well.) He wears #23 for baseball and has multiple Tatis jerseys. He dressed up as Mahomes (wig, helmet, jersey and all) for Halloween, and his favorite Christmas gift was a signed ball.
Both guys deserve all the adulation they get. They have both been exceptional athletes and role models who have played through and recovered from injury.