For all of the memorable moments and incredible defensive plays we see throughout a season, only a handful will stick with us for years and years down the road. On Friday night in Anaheim, Los Angeles Angels left fielder J.B. Shuck made one of those special plays when he robbed Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista of a sure home run.
It was that good.
It happened in the fourth inning with Tommy Hanson on the mound. Bautista got a good piece of Hanson's offering and drove it to the shortest part of the field — 330 feet down the left field line. Shuck didn't have a lot of time to measure up his predicament. He just knew from experience that he was dealing with the shorter than usual wall near the left field foul pole, and his instincts told him he had to jump as high as he could to make the catch.
Shuck would do just that to make the incredible catch, and then his momentum carried him all the way over the wall into the front row of seats.
Here's all that's left.
The aftermath was pretty good too. After talking a pretty hard fall on his back on the concrete, Shuck emerged with the baseball still in his glove. He then scaled the wall in less spectacular fashion, getting his cleat stuck on the shirt of an Angels fan.
But the reaction of the night goes to Jose Bautista and first base coach Dwayne Murphy.
If I had only posted the video and that screengrab, I think it would have said enough.
But you knew when I heaped all of that much praise on the play that it couldn't be a typical home run robbery. Let's be honest, though always spectacular, many of them do end up looking the same. In this case, though, Shuck's effort and execution were equally amazing and unique. Perhaps even good enough to make it the leader in not only the Angels clubhouse, but all of baseball for defensive play of the season.
By the way, Shuck also had a key triple for the Angels as they were able to overcome the Blue Jays, 7-5.
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