Most of you likely recall the Robert Redford movie called ‘The Natural’, about a man who was simply ’born’ with the skills to become a superstar baseball player.
History is replete with men and women who seemed to already possess amazing skills at birth, from Mozart, to Da Vinci, to Einstein, etc. Some of these folks exhibited their prowess at a very young age; others in their early adulthood.
In our game, becoming a winning handicapper normally requires years and years of practice, education and training.
But, there are also those who seem to be born with advanced handicapping skills.
While the art of playing at a professional level doesn’t usually begin until their early twenties or so, prior to that they usually exhibit advanced skills of logic, mathematical expertise, the ability to solve tough puzzles, etc.
All one has to do is look at the prolific system-creating, winning system creating, abilities of the likes of Robert Saunders Dowst, Ray Taulbot, EW Donaldson, Lou Holloway, Bert Norman, etc.
And there have been many others. These players simply seem to have the knack of identifying critical handicapping factors and then organizing those factors into a systematic approach that separates contenders from pretenders.
In recent decades we would point to two that we would describe as ‘naturals’ in this game.
One is the late, great Tim Osterman, who was literally the best handicapper we have ever known. He made his living at this game from the time he was 18. He never really needed a salaried job.
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