Adley Rutschman vs. Other Elite Huggers

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Dillon Tate #55 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrates with Adley Rutschman #35 after a 3-2 victory against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 09, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 09: Dillon Tate #55 of the Baltimore Orioles celebrates with Adley Rutschman #35 after a 3-2 victory against the Boston Red Sox at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 09, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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So far in his short professional career, Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman has lived up to the immense expectations placed upon him when he became the 1st overall pick and presumptive face of the franchise in 2019.

Rutschman ripped through the minor leagues and had one of the best rookie seasons by a catcher in history. He showed off plus power, precocious plate discipline, and was an above average defender from the jump. He established himself as the nucleus around which the rest of the team will be built. Most importantly though, he emerged as an elite hugger.

The highlight of every Orioles win post-May wasn’t the fact that the Orioles won, it was that the pitcher who recorded the last out got an enveloping hug by the Golden Retriever of a man that is Adley Rutschman. A hug that could improve even the bluest of moods. A hug that made you want to jump through your television and join in.

Félix Bautista is so lucky.

Adley Rutschman vs. Other Elite Huggers

Rustchman’s hugging prowess has so quickly become the stuff of legend that I wondered: how does his hug game stack up with other renowned huggers? Could Adley Rutschman possibly be the greatest hugger of all time? Let’s take a look at the competition:

Adley Rutschman vs. Barney the dinosaur

A hug from a friendly purple dinosaur seems impossible to beat on the surface. He loves you, and you love him. I should know, he was at my third birthday party.

NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 28: Barney the dinosaur rides on a float at the 76th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Herald Square November 28, 2002 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 28: Barney the dinosaur rides on a float at the 76th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Herald Square November 28, 2002 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Peyton/Getty Images) /

One problem: I don’t know who’s in the suit. Like, yeah, it’s Barney or whatever, but who am I really hugging? Even if Rutschman has his catcher gear on, the smile and the excited run out to the mound is a dead giveaway. Show yourself, costumed person.

Advantage: Rutschman

Adley Rutschman vs. Lloyd Christmas

This hug from Lloyd Christmas to Aspen socialite Mary Swanson (née Samsonite), while aggressive considering they had just met, is fine in a vacuum.

The hug mechanics are as good as Lloyd’s intent to give his limo passenger a proper sendoff, though a lack of awareness shields Christmas from realizing a concerned Swanson is preoccupied with the task of dropping off a ransom payment to free her husband. Adley Rutschman’s mental acuity is too great for him to miss important social cues, so I’ve got to give him the edge here. He’s not going to go out there and hug after a loss (although that might make his teammates feel better about it).

Advantage: Rutschman

Adley Rutschman vs. Ari Gold

Ari Gold was a competitive, emotionally repressed, lovable borderline-narcissist whose lack of emotional control often led to profanity-laden tirades towards his assistant Lloyd or whomever had the pleasure of being on the other end of his cell phone. But in a rare instance wherein Gold displayed genuine-ish affection, you might just get a vigorous hug.

I truly believe there was a good guy somewhere deep down inside the egotistical Hollywood super agent, but is even the best hug worth being yelled at prior to? That’s where Ari loses out. Adley Rutschman would never scream at a teammate.

Advantage: Rutschman

Adley Rutschman vs. my dog Kendrick

For those who don’t have the pleasure of knowing the best boy, Kendrick is my 16-month-old Airedale Terrier. Kendrick is an affectionate goofball who does not shy away from snuggling, belly rubs, or anything of the sort. Needless to say, this is really difficult.

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FAF9-B0-BA-D5-AA-465-D-92-F8-F85-A601-FB325 /

My bubby. Source: Me

Kendrick lacks one main characteristic required of any elite hugger: dexterity. As much as he loves to lean all 85 pounds of his body weight against you to show you love, he simply doesn’t have the ability to wrap his front legs around a human for a proper hug. I love you buddy, but Adley Rutschman is simply a better hugger than you are.

Advantage: Rutschman

It remains to be seen if a new challenger arises, but Adley Rutschman is an 80-grade hugger the likes of which the Baltimore Orioles haven’t seen before. It’s imperative that the O’s bring their winning ways from 2022 into future seasons so each win can get the proper exclamation mark they deserve: an Adley hug.

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