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Kansas City Royals base runner Terrance Gore scores a run against the Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning at U.S Cellular Field.
Kansas City Royals base runner Terrance Gore scores a run against the Chicago White Sox during the eighth inning at U.S Cellular Field. (Mike Dinovo / USA Today Sports)

The fastest man in baseball drives with caution. When Terrance Gore was a sophomore in high school, his mother spent about $500 on a 1980 El Camino, and her son restored it with care. He painted the car candy apple red, upgraded the engine and installed 22-inch chrome rims.

"That's my baby," Gore said.

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He treats his wheels with reverence. The vehicle resides under cover at his home in Georgia. No one is allowed to drive it. Gore expected to return home to his car after the minor-league season ended. Then his own legs intervened.

The fastest man in baseball still looks like a teenager. He is 23, his Kansas City teammates call him "G. Baby" and he loves Skittles. He is also the most disruptive, game-altering force on the Royals' bench as they enter the American League Championship Series with Baltimore this weekend.

Jarrod Dyson coined the phrase "that's what speed do," but Gore is the living, breathing, spotlight-stealing embodiment of the axiom. He will likely never become a big-league regular. But he could become a late-season fixture, an annual September addition, recalled to wreak havoc as a pinch-runner.

In his first big-league game, Gore announced himself by swiping a base and scoring a run. He scored a walkoff run from second base on an infield single. He swiped two bases in the American League Division Series in almost comical fashion. By the time Angels catcher Chris Iannetta had completed a throw to second base in game two, Gore was brushing dirt off his uniform.

"I wouldn't say I'm was cocky, but I know I'm really fast," Gore said. "And it's going to take a perfect throw."

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