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Nominations, Please: Most Improving Player

Occasionally, in some manner of print or electronic publication deeply concerned with sport, the editors will denote one or the other athlete as “most improved” among his peers. What follows has little — one might even say nothing — to do with that.

What concerns us here is something that happens on other types of occasions — specifically, during the stories of P.G. Wodehouse. Occasionally, in Wodehouse’s stories, gentleman’s personal gentleman and widely hailed savant Jeeves will make a statement to the effect that he has plans to read — or, alternatively, has just concluded reading — an “improving book.” What he means is not, as some might expect, a book that gets better the further it goes along, but rather one that makes stronger the character, clearer the thoughts, and richer the imagination.

The purpose of this post is to accept nominations for Most Improving Player — that is, the baseball-ist who, by virtue of his play or conduct or some ineffable je ne sais quoi, has improved the reader most this season.

Nominations for this very important distinction will be accepted in the comments area below. A brief note on the virtues of each nominee are not only permitted but encouraged.

Players who belong to a reader’s preferred team, while not strictly forbidden, are frowned upon — both by the author and also former commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

To wit: