Baseball cult hero uses epic gut to stop 160km/h smash

Bartolo Colon is affectionately known as ‘The Big Sexy’ in baseball scenes.

In a week, he’ll turn 45 years old – 15 years older than the average age of MLB players when the 2018 season started.

But Bartolo, now with the Texas Rangers, is still taking the mound every fifth game and showing he can still hang with guys who are 25 years his junior.

His performance on Thursday against the Seattle Mariners proved that in spades.  He pitched 7.2 innings, and allowed no runs, no walks, and just four hits.

Bartolo is a big, big man. Image: Getty

And in the middle of that stellar outing (which the Rangers would end up winning 5-1), he did something that most pitchers wouldn’t be able to do. At least, not as well as Bartolo did it.

In the fourth inning, Bartolo was facing Jean Segura. On the 0-1 pitch, Segura hit a screaming come-backer right at Colon, who couldn’t get his glove up in time. So the ball socked him right in the gut.

The speed of the ball that hit him? 102-mph (or 164km/h in metric terms).

In the gut! Image: MLB

But Bartolo didn’t seem fazed at all. He grabbed the ball and threw it to first to get the out.

After the game, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan asked Bartolo about the incident, and he gave what is already one of the greatest quotes of the 2018 season.

“It hit me more on the side than in the middle,” Colon said. “I have a lot of big belly, so I can take it.”

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