Best Smile

So Taguchi

It's not the widest smile on the team. That belongs to Yadier Molina, who's had a lot to smile about lately. But So Taguchi's smile reflects two qualities that are rare in professional baseball today: silence and innocence. Because he speaks so little, watching So play ball is like watching a silent movie. He's Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp to Tony La Russa's stone-faced Buster Keaton. We get to imagine what So is feeling, which isn't hard to do, because his eyes always tell us. Mostly they tell us that So is so very happy to be in St. Louis. As a bench player, every time he gets to snatch a fly ball out of the Wrigley ivy or rally the Cards' playoff hopes with an improbable clout, So's guileless smile suggests that every at bat, every catch, is his first. He's every kid who ever wanted to play America's game, anywhere in the world.
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