Tagged: Willie Mays

Big Time Players, Make Big Time Plays in the Playoffs

Signed, sealed and delivered on a promise he made when he signed that big contract.  Carl Crawford Outfield Tampa Bay Rays, was 5 for 5 the other night with 2
crawford_carl0629.jpgdoubles and a triple in Tampa is definately getting all their monies worth, which is was very thin to begin with, out of Crawford.  The ‘Fenway Massacre’, is continuing leading to tonight.  13-4 and 9-1 were last two scores for Tampa in Fenway.  It seems the Rays have a knack for hitting balls in that ballpark, with many shots going over the ‘Green Monster’ I’ve noticed. 

Back to Crawford.  You hear a lot about ‘Five Tool Players,’ and the name that automatically comes to my head is Willie Mays.  Crawford is not going to smash homeruns as much as Mays did, but in this day, he is very close to having all 5 tools (i.e. hitting for average, hitting for power, baserunning skills and speed, throwing ability, and fielding abilities).

Crawford got me thinking of the kind of player Mays was, and it got me in the mood to make a design related to what is referred to as ‘The Catch‘, to follow on my post-season memories theme.  If you are not that familiar with ‘The Catch’, here is a brief synopsis:   

September 29, 1954, during Game 1 of the 1954 World Series between Mays’ NY Giants and the Cleveland Indians at the Polo Grounds (great old stadium that facilitated this catch) in New York. The score was tied 2-2 in the top of the eighth inning. Starting pitcher Sal Maglie walked Larry Doby and gave up a single to Al Rosen. With runners on first and second, Giants manager Leo Durocher summoned left-handed relief pitcher Don Liddle to replace Maglie and pitch to Cleveland’s Vic Wertz, also a left-hander.

Wertz worked the count to two balls and a strike before crushing Liddle’s fourth pitch to deep center field. Some reports say the ball traveled 450 feet, which is an exaggeration, but in many stadiums the shot would have been a home run and given the Indians a 5-2 lead. However, this was the spacious Polo Grounds, and Giants center fielder Willie Mays, who was playing in shallow center field, made an on-the-run over-the-shoulder catch (looking like a wide receiver) to make the out. Having caught the ball, he immediately spun and threw the ball, losing his hat in characteristic style. Doby, the runner on second, might have been able to score the go-ahead run had he tagged at the moment the ball was caught; but as it was, he ran when the ball was hit, and then had to scramble back to retag and only got as far as third base. Liddle was then relieved by Marv Grissom, to whom he supposedly remarked “Well, I got my man!”

What amazed me so much about ‘the catch’, was how far Mays had to run, and the amazing determination he showed getting the ball back into the infield.

the catch copy.jpg