Friday, July 24, 2009

The Catch

Even non-sports fans among you have probably seen this, but it's too good not to post. In the history of Major League Baseball, there have been only 18 perfect games, in which the pitcher retires 27 hitters in a row. Three up, three down every inning -- no hits, no walks, no errors. I don't know exactly how many baseball games have been played since 1880, but the general answer is tons. So something that's happened only 18 times in that span is pretty special.

Yesterday, Mark Buehrle of the White Sox became the 18th to do it. And in great baseball fashion, the real story might be a 31-year-old journeyman outfielder named Dewayne Wise, who has a .211 lifetime batting average in less than 600 career at-bats in the big leagues. But Wise will rightfully be remembered for a long, long time for the catch he made in the ninth inning to preserve the perfect game. The clip below shows the entire last inning. Watch it for Wise's catch, off the first batter, at the very least. Unbelievable. Thanks to Buehrle's pace, the whole clip isn't very long. Anyone who thinks baseball drags too much must love Buehrle, who gets the ball, pitches, gets the ball, pitches, gets the ball, pitches. I heard on the radio yesterday that his total time on the mound for the game was 32 minutes. (More after the clip.)

The most famous non-perfect game in baseball history belongs to Harvey Haddix. In 1959, pitching for the Pirates, Haddix took a perfect game against the Braves into the 13th inning (!) before losing. The Baseball Project, a rock group that includes Peter Buck of R.E.M., have a funny song named after Haddix, which argues that his effort should be considered an official perfect game. (I disagree.) You can hear the song on the band's MySpace page. It's the second one listed on the player at right, so you have to click on it. Also, a rapper seems to have embedded his own clip to automatically play in the comments below, so you'll have to pause that before listening to "Harvey Haddix." Complicated enough?



Blogger Kraig Smith said...

There's not a good YouTube video of it available, just someone who aimed a video camera at their TV, but Rusty Greer's catch in the 9th inning of Kenny Rogers's perfect game is no worse than 2nd for "best catch to preserve a perfect game." I think it's a challenger to Wise's catch, but both are spectacular. Greer is one of my all-time fave players, in part, because he played so hard that his career was shortened by injuries...thanks to dives like the one he makes around the 1:07 mark in the link below:

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess MLB took it off YouTube, but you can watch it here:

9:17 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home