If you don't see this catch by Oakland's Josh Donaldson on the end-of-season highlight reels for Major League Baseball, it means those plays haven't been made yet. The clock is ticking down.
Robbing David Murphy of another swing, Donaldson ran a long way from his position at third base and made a full-out dive over the tarp to snag a pop up in the top of the sixth. The key might have been hang time. Donaldson had time to slow down, gather himself and look up before making the final rush. The only other way he catches it, probably, is by sprinting full-out, mounting the tarp (so to speak) and catching the ball while standing. Not sure if he had time for that.
A's left-hander Jerry Blevins, on the mound at the time, said this on Twitter:
Play of the year. See you at the ESPYs @BringerOfRain20
— Jerry Blevins (@JerryBlevins_13) September 4, 2013
No other stadium in the majors challenges fielders with excess foul territory like the Oakland Coliseum, which was built to accommodate baseball and football. Donaldson's dive came somewhere near a corner of the north end zone, I think, and hopefully the Raiders are scouting him. Donaldson sacrificing his body was the highlight for the Athletics in a 5-1 loss to the Texas Rangers, a game otherwise wrought with Oakland mistakes.
Getty also got some great still photos of the moment:
"Guy on phone: Uh, yeah, I'm at the A's game. Donaldson just dived in front of me."
Ta-dah! Just like the Man of Steel emerging from the Metropolis sewer while battling the evil Kryptonians in "Super Man II." Also, can you spot the jersey foul in the stands?
Another aside: It was smart of Texas's Jeff Baker to tag up and head to second. The extra foul territory does work to the offense's advantage sometimes.