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Greatest Defensive Plays of All-Time


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We had a brief discussion on the issue after the Endy Chavez catch a few days ago. I'll start off with three of my choices...

 

 

 

 

 

With Game One of the 1954 World Series tied at 2, and runners on first and second and no outs, the Say Hey Kid, runs forever and makes an over-the-shoulder catch some 440 feet from home. Mays then twists and fires the ball back into the infield, arguably holding the runner on second from scoring. The Giants would go on to win the game and sweep the Series from the heavily favored Indians.

 

 

 

 

This play is #1 on this countdown. As Tim Kirkijian will explain, Ron Swoboda, known throughout his career for being terrible defensively, robs Brooks Robinson of a go-ahead extra-base hit in the 9th inning of Game Four of the '69 Series. The O's do tie the game on the play, but the Mets would go on and win the game the next inning.

 

 

 

 

Game Seven of the Fall Classic at Yankee Stadium. It is the bottom of the 7th inning and the Dodgers hold a 2-0 lead. They are just 9 defensive outs from doing the 'Absolutely Unthinkable' and bringing a championship to Brooklyn. But in typical Yankee fashion a rally mounts, first Billy Martin walks, next Gil McDougald beats out a bunt. Yogi Berra proceeds to hit an outside pitch by Johnny Podres down the left field line, a sure double that would tie the game. The left-handed Sandy Amoros, who had come in as a defensive replacement, comes out of NOWHERE, to make the catch only a left-hander could have made. He sees Gil McDougald way off first and fires to Pee Wee Reese, who throws to Gil Hodges at first base and records the double play. The Dodgers get out of the inning and eventually win the game and the Series.

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Great idea to pick up where our discussion left off Quad.

 

The Mays catch is still the most impressive to me. He covered a ton of ground to even get to the ball, his back was to home plate and the laser he fired back into the infield has Superman qualities.

 

 

I feel bad for Endy though because if the Mets go on the win the NLCS, his catch would be more well known in years to come. We all know right NOW that it was just a ridiculous grab but I doubt many people will remember it in 40 years.

 

 

Another favorite of mine is the Ichiro grab although Im not even sure what year it was. Anyone know?

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I feel bad for Endy though because if the Mets go on the win the NLCS, his catch would be more well known in years to come. We all know right NOW that it was just a ridiculous grab but I doubt many people will remember it in 40 years.

 

I think this catch will be remembered for a very long for the simple fact it happened in New York. You can compare this to Al Gionfriddo's catch in the '47 World Series. The catch is remembered even though Brooklyn eventually lost the Series. Many baseball historians rank this catch amongst the greatest of all-time.

 

 

 

As far Mathews' catch goes, I think Otis Nixon's catch in 1993 tops it. How many players can scale a 12 foot wall and rob a home run?

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I feel bad for Endy though because if the Mets go on the win the NLCS, his catch would be more well known in years to come. We all know right NOW that it was just a ridiculous grab but I doubt many people will remember it in 40 years.

 

 

I think this catch will be remembered for a very long for the simple fact it happened in New York. You can compare this to Al Gionfriddo's catch in the '47 World Series. The catch is remembered even though Brooklyn eventually lost the Series. Many baseball historians rank this catch amongst the greatest of all-time.

 

 

 

As far Mathews' catch goes, I think Otis Nixon's catch in 1993 tops it. How many players can scale a 12 foot wall and rob a home run?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy sh*t. I forget about Otis Nixon giving gravity the middle finger on that catch.

 

 

That one is slightly better than Endy's I think.

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Iam so glad nobody has mentioned Jeter's "dive into the stands." That is by far the most overrated defensive play of all time.

 

To a non yankee fan it may seem overrated :)

 

No i agree it was slightly overrated but it still was a very good catch the stands part i dont think was too necessary but going back and getting that on the run was pretty sweet.

 

Not a best defensive play, but definitely a Web Gem on baseball tonight.

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One of my all-time favorites is Ozzie Smith diving and catching the ball bare handed

and throwing the runner out when he was with the padres.

 

 

One of the best plays ever made by a shortstop. He was diving to make a catch on a grounder up the middle when the ball took a funky bounce to his right and he had to catch it barehanded. I could only find one video of it (in a short compilation of his plays). It is the first play shown (not the best quality, but better than nothing).

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