Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Greatest Baseball Catch Ever. Seriously.

The Sports World today is obsessed with making players, teams, events, whatever The Greatest Ever. And if they aren't The Greatest Ever, then we need to know how close they are to being The Greatest Ever. We rank everything. You can't flip throughthe 9 ESPN's or Fox Sports without running into some kind of list (and if Summer Sanders is counting down, count me in).

Is D Wade greater than MJ? Is the Patriots dynasty the best of all time? The Daily Quickie, in particular, is guilty of this - Dan Shanoff revels in "instant history" (I think that's what he calls it, anyways...I stopped reading once he started talking about his wife, which is something sports writers are increasingly doing, and it about as annoying as Stu Scott interviewing Stephen A).

Normally, I shy away from all that stuff. First of all, its usually pointless, and second of all, you need some time to rank things; the moment they happen is just too soon.

That said, Gary Matthews, Jr.'s catch yesterday was the greatest catch in baseball. Ever. No joke. That catch makes Willy Mays' over-the-shoulder grab look like a can of corn. Mays' catch seems to be the gold standard for catches (even though everyone knows it was great at the time, but today is almost routine ), and GMJr puts him to shame.

(Sidenote: did you know Gary Matthews Jr. was black? I had no idea. I could have sworn I heard a country music song by Gary Matthews, and then I saw him make this catch, and I was just dumbfounded. I actually did a double take.)

I know there have been some great diving catches, some bare-handers, some sick home run robbers...but how are you going to top that catch? Everyone is calling it the front runner for Play of the Year, but let me tell you, unless Derek Jeter kills Roger Clemens with a line drive in the World Series, that play will win. No contest.

Think about what he did. First of all, he nearly leaps over the wall. Another inch or two, and hes making that catch in the bullpen. Going towards the left, he still tries to make the catch with his left hand (I think because he's left handed and that's the hand his glove was on; not positive though. Only to do so, he has to twist and contort his body - in midair, mind you - and then he does maybe the most impressive thing. Instead of putting his glove up normally - like you're blocking the sun out of you're eyes - he reverses it, and nabs in basket-style (maybe in tribute to Mays). Throw in a sweet little plunk when the ball finds leather, and its The Greatest Catch Ever.

If someone has video or can describe a better catch than that, I want to see it. I think Harry Potter catching the Snitch in his mouth might be the only catch more impressive. Mad props to GMJr.

And in case you missed it, here is The Greatest Catch Ever, in all its glorious glory.

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