Friday, April 2, 2010

Flashback Friday: Devon White's "The Catch"

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This could very well be the most famous catch in Blue Jays history.

The iconic image of Devon White sprawled against the centre field wall at the Skydome is something that will remain etched into the history of this franchise. This week for Acid Flashback Friday, we pay tribute to "The Catch" courtesy of Devon White.

For a moment, let's travel back to Game Three of the 1992 World Series to relive the magic ...

With two men on and nobody out, David Justice smacked the ball to deep centre field. Playing medium depth, Devon White had the speed and the coordination to not only track the ball to the outfield wall, but he had the foresight to hit the cutoff man after he made the catch.

Was "The Catch" one of the best in the history of baseball? That's debatable ... but according to teammate Roberto Alomar, he considers the play even better than Willy Mays infamous over the shoulder catch from 1954:
"This one was better," insisted Roberto Alomar. "Mays didn't hit the wall, but Devo did. He had to catch the ball and hit the wall almost immediately."
While a great catch in itself, I think the weight of the circumstances within a World Series game definitely helped boost the reputation of "The Catch".

Also, had umpire Bob Davidson made the correct call on the play, the Blue Jays would have turned only the second ever triple play in the World Series, thus making White's catch even more impressive. Of course, we all know that Deion Sanders was clearly out as you can clearly see by the photographic evidence below.

Despite that the Blue Jays were completely robbed of the triple play, that doesn't take away from the fact that it was one of the most spectacular all around plays in franchise history.

Had Devon White not made the catch, Game Three of the 1992 World Series could have ended much differently. Thankfully, we never have to wonder what could have been ... because the Gold Glover Devon White saved the day.

3 comments:

  1. Ian, love your research and flashbacks. Having been a season ticket holder for the Jays first 20 years you provide a lot of nostalgia. See my analysis and prediction for the Jays season.

    William

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  2. Funny how Mayes actually doesn't believe that catch to be one of his greatest. Devo went full speed into the wall, and Mayes had time hold up before he hit it. He bounced off the wall in such a graceful manner. Amazing!

    I'd say Devo's catch was better, but then again, I'm a little bias.

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  3. Thanks William, I'm glad you enjoy them!

    Jeremy, I tend to believe that the over the shoulder catches like the one made by Mayes and a couple others made by Jim Edmonds have a higher degree of difficulty. Having said that, Devo made that catch look so effortless that it was a much more difficult play to make than most people give him credit for. I would definitely include it in the Top 10 regardless.

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