I believe we have a brand new leader in the category of best baseball play in 2012.
It happened on Friday afternoon at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Baseball Championships in Longview, Washington. Derrick Salberg, an outfielder for host school Lower Columbia College, raced back to the fence and then leaped over it to rob Everett's Keone Kela of a ninth inning, game-tying two-run home run.
In fact, it was the very last out of the game, securing the 4-2 win for LCC.
My description can't do the play justice. Watch for yourself.
Absolutely incredible under any circumstances. But given the actual circumstances, one of the best defensive plays I've ever seen in baseball. I can only imagine what was going through Salberg's mind as that ball approached, and then when the realization set in that he was going to have to risk life and limb to make a game-saving grab.
"When I saw it coming I told myself I was going to get it," Salberg said. "I wasn't doing well at the plate so I was going to make up for it with defense. It hurt when I landed on my back, but the adrenaline took the pain away because I saved my team a victory."
That adrenaline is going to wear off eventually, but you can bet Salberg's outstanding catch will stand the test of time when compared to similar defensive plays.
If the video wasn't enough, you can also check out a few breath-taking still photos of the catch over at The Daily News. Photographer Bill Wagner captured it beautifully.
Big BLS H/N: Eye on Baseball