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Big League Stew

Alex Gordon scales fence trying to steal home run, but ball cruelly hits off glove

David Brown
Big League Stew

Almost, Alex Gordon. Almost.

Gordon recognized from left field that Kansas City Royals pitchers were having trouble keeping the Chicago White Sox in the ballpark on a chilly Wednesday afternoon, so he decided to do something about it. And even though he failed, Gordon should be appreciated for giving the best effort possible.

Channeling his inner Ivan Calderon (or even Ben Revere), Gordon scaled the left-field fence at U.S. Cellular Field, stood on a narrow ledge, leaned over into Chicago's bullpen — while hanging on with his right hand — and almost stole a home run from "Jackin' " Dayan Viciedo. But he couldn't reach far enough, and the ball glanced off the tip of his glove for a two-run home run and a 4-1 White Sox lead. Chicago beat the Kansas City 5-2, scoring every run on the long ball.

That, plus K.C.'s 0-2 start to the 2013 season, had Gordon bummed out a little bit. Via the Kansas City Star:

"Almost, it hit the tip of the glove," Gordon said. "If it wasn't cold and my glove wasn't stone hard, it might have stayed in. But it just hit the tip of it and came out. If I could've just done it over again, I wish I could, because I was right there in position, ready to make the play."

I'll disagree with part of his analysis. Gordon did everything possible to catch that ball. He went above and beyond. It was an athletic move, but also smart — understanding that a ledge would be there for him to stand on. Gordon's only sin was being born with arms that weren't long enough.

That said, it is possible for a player to scale a fence, make a stand, and steal a home run. Calderon did it for the White Sox in 1987 against Alan Trammell at Tiger Stadium:

One of the coolest defensive plays in MLB history. Alex Gordon almost joined him. Almost.

Ben Revere made a similar attempt a summer ago with the Twins, when he scaled a wall in foul territory and just missed coming down with the ball:

Oh, so close. Regardless, these guys deserve a big hand for the effort.

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