erik lundegaard

Anatomy of a Catch: DeWayne Wise

Seriously, if you haven’t seen DeWayne Wise’s catch with nobody out in the top of the ninth inning to preserve Mark Buehrle’s perfect game yesterday—only the 18th perfect game (including the postseason) in Major League Baseball history—you’ve gotta see it. Right here.

As I said before, I may have seen better homerun-robbing catches but never in that kind of situation, never to preserve that kind of baseball history. Not even close. It’s the catch of the year.

Watch it.

Watch where he starts from. I mean he’s dead centerfield and not particularly deep. He has to run a long way to get to that thing. He has to run at a sprint to be exactly where the ball is heading.

He runs so fast, in fact, that it allows him to slow down at the warning track. That’s key. If he’d been running faster when he made his leap, the ball probably would’ve jarred loose from his glove when he hit the wall. Or he might’ve injured himself. Instead, because of his earlier speed, he’s able to slow down and go into the wall relatively softly.

OK, over the wall. Because it’s obviously a homerun. Kapler hit a homerun. Until Wise brought it back.

But even going over the wall relatively softly, the ball is still jarred loose from his glove. So, coming off the wall, falling down, he is able to re-glove and bare-hand the ball (both hands, kids), roll over on his back, and stand and raise the ball in his bare hand. I mean...goddamn.

Then he does a very baseball thing. With his gloved hand he points at Buehrle. I love that. I’ve written articles about “the point” in baseball and how it compares favorably to the antics in other sports, particularly the solipsistic celebrations of football, which are all me me me. Pointing in baseball means: “Good job, you. Good work. We’re a good team.” But why does Wise point at Buehrle here? Because Buehrle kept Kapler from hitting it deeper? Because Buehrle’s pitch, and Kapler’s hit, have just made DeWayne Wise a household name? Of course not. He’s just on automatic. I’m sure he’s pumped. But in baseball, particularly in the field, you maintain cool while the game is going on. You maintain nonchalance. Wise does. You can see his adrenaline almost overwhelming his nonchalance but he keeps it tamped down. After all, there are two outs to go.

Then he taps gloves with the left fielder and goes back and retrieves his sunglasses. Unsmiling. He’s serious. After all, there are two outs to go.

It’s beautiful. Everything I love about baseball is in this moment. Watch it.


Posted at 09:55 AM on Fri. Jul 24, 2009 in category Baseball  
Tags: , , , , ,

COMMENTS

Uncle Vinny wrote:

Holy hell. That's some damn fine baseball and some damn fine baseball writing, too.
Comment posted on Fri. Jul 24, 2009 at 10:14 AM

Mister B wrote:

Makes me wonder about that slacker right-fielder for the Mariners that couldn't catch Ken Phelps' homer that broke up Brian Holman's perfect game on April 20, 1990. :)

According to this:

http://www.retrosheet.org/b...

...it would appear that the slacker was Henry Cotto. :)

And this part:

"BATTING - HR: Phelps (1,9th inning off Holman 0 on 2 out). Team LOB: 0."

...still bugs me. Damn you Phelps!
Comment posted on Fri. Jul 24, 2009 at 10:59 AM

You may bypass the ID fields and security question below if you log in before commenting.


 
 





Receive notification of further comments via e-mail

« The Moon Landing from Africa, and Other Stories (Translated from the French)   |   Home   |   Quote of the Day — Gates Case »
 RSS    Facebook

Twitter: @ErikLundegaard

ARCHIVES

All previous entries

LINKS
Movies
Jeffrey Wells
The Film Experience
Roger Ebert
Baseball
Rob Neyer
Joe Posnanski
Cardboard Gods
Politics
Andrew Sullivan
Alex Pareene
Hendrik Hertzberg
Friends
Cloud Five Comics
Copy Curmudgeon
Deb Ellis
Andrew Engelson
Jerry Grillo
Tim Harrison
Eric Hanson
Ben Stocking
Jim Walsh
dative-querulous