Good catch!

June 25, 2015 • 12:30 pm

Here’s a pretty amazing catch by Josh Donaldson, the third baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays. At the time, Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada was working on a perfect game against Tampa (a game in which none of your opponents even reach first base), and Donaldson, dove into the stands to catch a foul ball, which put the batter out.

As the announcer said, “You know, if a guy is doing what he is doing on the mound, you gotta give up your body—and that’s exactly what Donaldson did: he’s determined on making this catch.”

See this video for another superb catch by Donaldson. This is a man with moxie.

Sadly, the next batter hit a slow roller to third base and beat the throw to first, ruining Estrada’s perfect game. But the Blue Jays still won in the 12th with a home run (Estrada had already been pulled from the mound).

33 thoughts on “Good catch!

  1. Very difficult catches, both of them. Have no idea how they track those high pop-ups let alone catch them.

  2. Still not as great a catch as the Royals’ Alex Gordon taking a flying leap into the stands against the Chicago White Sox on April 26. In my opinion anyway! A White Sox fan softened the blow, but Alex came down on hard seats & the concrete with the ball still in his glove!

    1. Yes indeed! That was one of the best body-sacrificing catches I’ve ever seen…or it could just be my hometown favoritism showing! But Gordon plays as if he is made of rubber, bouncing off of those stupid chain link fences in the outfield, diving over fans, etc. Whoever had the brilliant idea to make those outfield fences like that ought to be forced to run full steam into them while trying to make a catch like Gordon does repeatedly!

      1. Yep, Gordon is one of my favorite players – actually all the Royals are, but no one sacrifices the body as Alex does! My hometown favoritism is showing, too!

  3. This is the first time I’ve heard baseball discussed here. Cats and baseball, two of my favorite things, with a little science thrown in. No wonder I love this website.

  4. The best (and stupidest) catch in recent days was by Cub fan Keith Hartley who caught a foul ball barehanded while holding (and feeding) his seven month old son Isaac. His wife was not pleased. He was called for fan interference so Cub pitcher (who was batting) Jason Hammel was called out. Cub fans have this horrible habit of turning their children into Cub fans at the earliest age possible – preparing them for a lifetime of pain and suffering. As the late great Mike Royko said, “A pessimist sees the glass as half empty; A Cub Fan wonders when it’s gonna spill.”

    You can see Hartley’s catch here:
    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/06/24/417116256/yoink-dad-nabs-foul-ball-while-holding-baby-at-cubs-game

    1. Maybe fiancées of Cub fans should put the topic on their pre-marital check-off lists, eh? (Abraham and son Isaac come to mind.)

  5. Donaldson is a really good hitter too.
    BTW, that start by Marco Estrada is the first time a pitcher has carried a no-hitter or perfect game into the eighth inning in consecutive starts in almost 30 years. He nearly no-hit the Baltimore Orioles on April 19th.

    1. My father, who was a huge baseball fan, actually saw the first of Johnny Vander Meer‘s two consecutive no-hit games in 1938. When he later read in the papers about the second one, he thought for a moment that was reading about the one that he saw. Vander Meer is still the only major league pitcher to hurl consecutive no-hitters.

      1. That’s incredible.
        To be at one of Vander Meer’s consecutive no-hitters is right up there with seeing Fisks’s HR in game 6 of the series or seeing Bobby Thompson’s HR off of Ralph Branca.

        1. Conversely, the one I would not have wanted to see would have been Harvey Haddix pitching 12 perfect innings in 1959, only to lose in the 13th.

        2. …Bobby Thompson’s HR off of Ralph Branca

          “The shot hear ’round the world.” Don DeLillo wrote a great novella about people who were at the Polo Grounds watching that game, named after the Dodgers’ left-fielder who watched the ball sail out of the park over his head, Pafko at the Wall.

      2. In his second no-no, Vander Meer (who, like a lot of young hard-throwing lefties, was prone to wildness) walked eight batters, including walking the bases full in the bottom of the ninth inning. Still shut the Dodgers out, though. That was also the first night game played at the Brooklyn home park, Ebbets Field (which, like Wrigley, wasn’t built with lights in mind).

  6. As the announcer said, “You know, if a guy is doing what he is doing on the mound, you gotta give up your body—and that’s exactly what Donaldson did: he’s determined on making this catch.”

    ” . . . gotta give up your body . . . .”

    Yes, it seems that he should be willing to quite significantly inconvenience himself, and I applaud a great catch as much as the next person, but how much bodily harm is one expected to endure? E.g., tearing knee cartilage? (Happened to me playing h.s. basketball. Not worth it.) Breaking a femur? (Saw it happen to a h.s. football player.)

    Seems that winning an (im)perfect game is what counts.

    1. In the catch where he caught the ball and fell into the tarp, at least in HS it wouldn’t have counted for girls softball. To prevent kids from doing this kind of thing, you have to have at least one foot on the ground and can only lean on the tarp.

  7. Great catch. In fact, it was so great that both Donaldson and the announcers didn’t appear to notice how he crushed that little kid (in black).

  8. Does baseball not have a limit on the field of play? As mentioned above it looks pretty dangerous for the spectators to have players throwing themselves into the crowd.

    1. Yes, that’s what surprised me as well. Does that mean that players have to go into the crowd to get the ball back while the batsmen (batters?) are still running?

      1. In this case the batter wouldn’t have been running since if Donaldson hadn’t caught it, it would have been a foul ball and just have counted as a strike.

        1. I wonder if there is a contract clause expressing how much physical risk the owner expects a human resource – uh ah mean – a third baseman to run to catch a foul ball.

          (BTW, exactly what does a professional sports team owner own? Especially when the city has paid for the performance venue.

  9. Great catch by Donaldson. He also had the play on the slow-roller to third that broke up Estrada’s perfect game. Made a nice barehanded scoop on the ball, but his throw to first just missed the runner. At least Estrada later gave up a legitimate hit; hate to see a pitcher lose a perfect-game bid on a scratch, infield single.

    I’ve always been fascinated by the dynamic of a pitcher going after a no-hitter at an away game. Around about the 7th inning the home fans (most of them, anyway) will starting pulling for the opposing pitcher — everyone wants to see a no-hitter, especially a perfect game. But as soon as the no-hit bid gets broken up, it’s back to root-root-root for the home team. (Nobody cheers for their team to get shutout in a one-hitter.)

  10. What a terrific catch!

    The Oakland A’s are my hometown team and I really miss Josh Donaldson. He was a great player for the A’s. They could sure use him this year.

    1. You have to explain why that is a great catch or the baseball fans won’t understand.

      In cricket, if a fielder catches the ball and steps out of the field of play, instead of being a catch, the batsman scores six runs as they would if the ball crossed the boundary without bouncing or being caught. It has been known for fielders to catch a ball that would have bounced inside the boundary but then step back onto or over the boundary rope in the act of catching. That converts what probably would have been four runs into six.

      However, the rule only takes effect when the fielder touches the ground so if you jump to catch the ball it is still in play even if it has already crossed the boundary.

      In this case, the fielder jumps to catch the ball but is unable to avoid landing outside the boundary, so he throws it to another fielder before he hits the ground.

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