Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler is a gritty player. Not in the sense that he has the fortitude to fight through injury and adversity to deliver key plays in the clutch — though he may indeed possess those attributes. What I mean is that he’s literally a gritty player. He has grit in his teeth, hair and down his shirt.
At least, he did last night after delivering a slide so un-textbook that it could destroy the whole publishing industry. Let’s go through this one frame by frame.
It starts out OK. Kinsler charges toward third base with some speed. Though it doesn’t really look like a play at the bag is imminent — the defender is standing several feet away — Kinsler decides to go for the face-first slide. A bold decision.
That’s where it all falls apart. He launches himself forward and downward with way too much force, nearly breaking his own wrists and knocking his own helmet off as he hits the dirt. Then, he basically rakes his face across the bag (involuntarily, of course) and ends up overshooting it by a good three feet.
Though the animated GIF above doesn’t show it, Kinsler was able to laugh it off after the play.