Thu Jun 02 05:56am EDT
Heck — even though Mays enhanced his catch by also making an outstanding throw to keep Larry Doby from scoring from second base, Jones' grab itself against the Seattle Mariners might have been better and the play of the year.
Jones ran full-speed with his back to the plate after Miguel Olivo(notes) hit a drive to deep center in the fourth inning that Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz(notes) figured was gone. Jones caught up to the ball then caught it, bumping into the fence a moment later and holding on to complete an incredible play for all time.
Say whoa, Adam Jones!
Not bad, if he doesn't say so himself (via the Baltimore Sun):
Asked whether the catch against the center-field wall should be the top "Web Gem" on "Baseball Tonight," ESPN's nightly look at the day's best defensive plays, Jones said: "It should be. There's always some good plays, but that's going to be hard for them to top."
Jones, also showing the Mariners what they're missing on offense after trading him in the Erik Bedard deal, hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, the final margin in a 2-1 victory. But there wasn't anything otherworldly about the homer when compared to the catch.
The stakes were higher for Mays' catch, for sure. And he had more ground to cover in the cavernous Polo Grounds, where it was 425 to center (not counting the area that seemed to go on for infinity).
But Jones had to deal with the fence. And, yeah, he says he practices making catches just like that one:
"I work on catching the ball behind my head, from different angles, because in [batting practice], it's so easy to catch the ball normal. That was perfect. Just ran and ran, and caught the ball. It's something that's really hard to replay in my mind. I remember doing it, but it's hard to put into words. It was a pretty cool play."
Pretty cool. Pretty a-Mays-ing.
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