Before High Fives. Before excessive celebrations. Before Jose's choreographed celebratory handshakes and dances there was the ultimate congratulation of "The Low Two."
For those too young to remember or to have lived through the Mets hey-day of the mid and late 1980's, there was "The Low Two."
Bill Robinson, the late hitting coach and first base coach of the great Mets teams of the 1980's had a congratulation like no other. After a hitter singled or walked, instead of the congratulatory slap on the butt or back, Bill Robinson would hold his index finger and middle finger out together and the Met player would do the same; instead of "slapping five", they would "Low Two" - Robinson would hold his two fingers facing upward, and the Met player would hold his fingers facing down, and once the fingers slapped, the player and coach would reverse, and Robinson would slap a "Low Two" on the player.
This exchange would take place on the first base bag, and wasn't meant to draw attention, which was rare for those cocky Mets teams of the 80's.
In the era we are now in, there is more time spent on the "art" of celebrating than on the craft of the trade of the athlete. Granted, I am not bothered by Jose Reyes' antics, in fact I find them humorous, but too much is being said on sports shows about excessive celebrating - many fans who enjoy it.
It was great to watch Backman get a "Low Two" from Robinson after a key hit. No pulling the bag off the mooring, no jumping up and down, just the quiet "Low Two."
Baseball traditionalists, like myself, constantly bemoan the lost are of fundamental baseball. Whether it be a sacrifice bunt, taking the extra base, proper fielding techniques, etc. Another lost craft is the art of the "Low Two", a unique congratulation for a unique ball club.
Bill Robinson was the Mets hitting and first base coach from 1984-1989, and his personality was well matched for this dynamic club. Robinson passed away in July 2007 at the young age of 64. Cause of death is still unknown. He was a hitting instructor with the Dodgers minor league system at the time of his death. If in the future we see some young Dodger players looking for a "Low Two" after a key hit, we will then know that the art of the "Low Two" hasn't died;we will know that the proper congratulatory expression lives on.
So when watching play-off football with family and friends, try a "Low Two" after a key play instead of the wave or chest bump. You never know, it might be just the celebration you are looking for.