The .230-hitting Knoop was a magician with the glove. His range both up the middle and into the hole were remarkable, but his true gift was his ability to snatch a batted ball while off balance or diving, and make one amazing accurate throw after another, as he was falling to the ground. He did this routinely through his five-plus seasons with the Angels. When Tebow rolls to his left, as defenders
|are pursuing him, and as he fires accurate passes while running for his life, sometimes while falling to the ground, I see the exact image of Bobby Knoop from 50 years ago.
For Knoop the throws were actually more difficult, as he so often made them diving into the hole to his left, and throwing right handed. Tebow makes this play running the natural way for a lefty, to his left. He may have done it but I have yet to see him do it running to his right.
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One final note: It is interesting that if you polled most baseball fans as to their pick of the best defensive second baseman in recent memory, most would likely choose Roberto Alomar. Knoop was traded by the Angels to Chicago for Roberto’s father, second baseman Sandy Alomar, Sr.