“The Freeze” might be the best thing to happen to baseball since Marge Schott was forced to sell her controlling interest of the Cincinnati Reds for managing the team the way Donald Trump presidents America.
For those who don’t care much for the slow-action baseball, the Freeze is looking to speed things up. The Freeze is actually a sideshow attraction who is becoming a star in his own right. During innings at Atlanta Braves home games, a lucky (or unlucky, depending on how fast he is) fan gets to come onto the field to challenge the Freeze to an old-fashioned footrace.
What makes the race more compelling is that the fan gets a huge head start before “the Freeze” walks his ass down. With the 2018 baseball season underway, “the Freeze” is back at it and so far is undefeated.
The Freeze is so fast that some on Twitter began speculating that maybe he’s really famed Jamaican sprinter and the fastest man to ever lace them up, Usain Bolt. He isn’t. The Freeze is actually former college track star Nigel Talton, but that didn’t stop the world’s fastest man from getting in on the fun.
So how was the Freeze born? Well, every great superhero must have an origin story. Here’s how Joe Posnanski at MLB.com explains how the legend of the Freeze grew:
In any case, this Freeze stuff—that was all fun. Last year, on a lark, he asked the Braves if he could try the Stolen Base Challenge, where a contestant has 20 seconds to race in from the outfield, steal second base, and bring it back. Talton did it in 13. And that’s what gave the Braves’ promotion people an idea.
“They came up to me and said, ‘We’ve got this idea—would you be willing to race fans between innings if we give them a big head start,” Talton said. “And I’m like: ‘Sure.’” Well, he does love to run. The promotion was for the frozen drinks at RaceTrac gas stations. He would be called The Freeze. And fans would try to Beat The Freeze.
Even superheroes have dreams: The Freeze hopes to one day be in the Olympics, and despite being faster than fans, he’s not quite fast enough to make a U.S. track and field team, NBC Sports reports.
But the Freeze is looking to take his talents to the ice. According to NBC Sports, the fastest baseball sideshow trained with the United States Bobsled and Skeleton off-ice camp last summer.