Brett Gardner joins catch-of-the-year conversation with balancing act

Mark Townsend
·Yahoo Sports Contributor

Once a stalwart in the New York Yankees outfield, Brett Gardner may not have much of a future there with a youth movement underway. Don’t throw dirt on him either though. He’s not going to give his spot away that easily, which was evidenced by his sensational catch-of-the-year candidate on Saturday night.

Gardner went above and beyond to rob Angels’ slugger C.J. Cron of a two-run homer, and then nearly crashed into the stands on his way down. Fortunately for him, he was able to balance his body atop the wall before falling forward back on to the field.

Yes, this play actually happened. If you didn’t believe it the first time, perhaps you will the second time.

That’s a crazy good play only topped by the relentless enough effort Gardner put in. According to Statcast, Gardner raced 100 feet with a top speed of 17.6 mph to make the grab.

Needless to say, it could have gone poorly for Gardner on several levels. First, he could have dropped the ball. Second, he could have landed on his head. Third, well, there would be no third if he landed on his head.

Brett Gardner of the Yankees makes a crazy catch to rob the Angels' C.J. Cron of a home run. (AP)
Brett Gardner of the Yankees makes a crazy catch to rob the Angels’ C.J. Cron of a home run. (AP)

Making the effort even more impressive, New York was holding a five run lead at the time. Given the Angels offensive struggles, that may have seemed comfortable to most Yankees players and fans. Not Gardner though. Especially now that his playing time is anything but guaranteed.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!